Launch of Phase II Research Reactivation - Humanities and Social Sciences (July 20, 2020)

[Summary: This memo provides information on Phase II research reactivation, which begins today, for the Humanities and Social Science divisions. It describes the Pathways to Research Reactivation webpage, which will function as the primary source of guidance on resuming research during Phase II.]

To: FAS Humanities and Social Science Faculty
Cc: FAS Steering; FAS Dean’s Office; FAS Humanities and Social Science Lead Administrators, Operations Managers, Chairs’ Assistants, and department staff

Dear FAS Colleagues,

Today, July 20th 2020, is the first day of Phase II in Yale’s reopening plan. We write to direct you to the Pathways to Research Reactivation webpage, which provides guidance on resuming research for faculty, graduate student and postdoctoral researchers, with a special focus on human subjects research, fieldwork, and off-campus research of all kinds.

As you know, most on-campus and off-campus research was paused during Phase I, with only a few exceptions such as medical research related to the pandemic itself. Exceptions had to be submitted through Yale’s environmental health and safety (EHS) integrator.

The good news is that, under Yale’s Phase II guidelines, a much wider range of research is now allowed, provided it can be done safely, with appropriate social distancing and PPE, and that it complies with current university travel guidance.

Through diligent engagement on various committees, your FAS colleagues have tried to make the guidelines for Phase II research as clear as possible, and to simplify processes and forms so they reflect the kinds of research done across the FAS. For example, much library and archival research can now be done at low risk as institutions reopen around the world. We have created a self-assessment tool to allow archival and library researchers to determine if they are exempt from EHS review; most of those who conduct library and archival research will be able to do so.

The main thing to remember is that there is a single Pathways to Research Reactivation page, which has a flow chart and written instructions to explain whether you need to apply for research approval under Phase II. The guidelines on this page apply to everyone in FAS, including all faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Several committees of your FAS and university colleagues have helped to design the Pathways to Research Reactivation page and have been set up to review proposals: a Human Subjects Research Committee, originally co-chaired by Jack Dovidio (Psychology) and now co-chaired by Greg McCarthy (Psychology), and an Off-Campus Research and Fieldwork Committee chaired by Steven Wilkinson (Political Science). The Off-Campus Research committee has sub-committees on Archives, Libraries and Museums (chaired by Joanne Meyerowitz: History and American Studies), Humanities and Social Sciences (Doug Rogers: Anthropology), and Natural Sciences (David Post: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). Each of these committees includes graduate student and postdoc representatives.

If you are returning to use your office or to use any other university research facilities, everyone coming to campus must complete COVID-19: Return to Yale Campus online training, wear a face mask and conduct a Health Check daily using a web form. Working from home is still recommended provided the work can be done remotely. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and contact Yale Health or their health care provider.

Best Regards,

Alan and Katie

Alan Gerber
FAS Dean of Social Science

Kathryn Lofton
FAS Dean of Humanities