COVID-19 & Research Restart

OVCR Research-Related Updates Regarding COVID-19 Emergency and Research Restart

Human Subjects Research Restart

Dear Colleagues,


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research is establishing a COVID-19 Research Recovery Committee in collaboration with the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences to help investigators and Deans prioritize IRB-approved studies for reopening.  (Please Note: Research with human subjects in the context of ongoing therapeutic care, those addressing COVID-19 treatment, and those studies that have been able to be conducted without face-to-face contact may continue to operate as they have for the past months.)

Study Principal Investigators (PIs) who have protocols they are prepared to restart are asked to complete the following form to allow assessment of their studies ability to re-open.

The form can be found at: please click on the blue University of Illinois at Chicago Login link.

PIs must identify their study’s risks and benefits in several areas, including:

  • the nature and location of study procedures;
  • the risk profile of their research subjects;
  • whether the study offers subjects direct benefits to subjects;
  • whether the study is conducted during routine UI Health facility visits with patients, or during other visits to campus by volunteer subjects;
  • whether or not some or all study procedures can be accomplished within 6’ physical distancing and masking requirements.

Restart applications will be reviewed by OVCR staff and by a faculty committee, co-chaired by Robin Mermelstein, Director of the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Jonathan Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research. The review will be focused on maximizing safety and minimizing risk to research subjects and investigators/staff. All studies that require contact (<6 foot distance) between investigators or staff and research subjects must plan and use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for these contacts.    As was the case for UI Health in restarting elective patient procedures, human subjects research restart plans will require a gradual, staged start to allow for testing of safety procedures and ensure protection of research volunteers and research staff.

If you have questions or concerns regarding research restart plans, please contact



Joanna L. Groden

Vice Chancellor for Research