Research Stage 3

Effective Saturday, June 26, when the restricted period ends for undergraduates traveling to campus for summer quarter, Stanford will implement new Cal/OSHA guidance. In alignment with updated guidance from Cal/OSHA, research activities at Stanford will move to Stage 3.

In Stage 3, each academic department may adjust research activity levels depending on staffing and readiness, within the bounds of guidance established by the University. Importantly, all researchers (faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and research staff) in laboratories and offices may return to campus, without any requirement that their work can only be done on campus. Other key changes include an end to density limitations and physical distancing in our research facilities.

This information is specific to the research community’s move to Stage 3. The university policy group is continually assessing university-wide COVID safety protocols. Please look for campus-wide update from Health Alerts on changes to university policy.

Face Coverings
All faculty, staff and students should stay up to date on and adhere to the latest requirements or recommendations around face coverings. Guidance that is issued by Stanford University or Santa Clara County is subject to change based on conditions and CDC recommendations.

Other health & safety requirements that will remain in place for now:

  • Complete the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB
    • Please note that EH&S will issue an update to all learners in the next few weeks with new information about vaccinations.
  • Self-monitor signs and symptoms of illness and report COVID illness or diagnosis via Health Check regardless of your vaccination status
  • Complete Health Check before you come onsite
    • The vaccination status question on Health Check is now mandatory. Fully vaccinated employees can upload an image of their vaccination documentation to Health Check, and students can do so through the Vaden patient portal.
    • We recommend you continue to test weekly until you are fully vaccinated.
    • Additional updates on Health Check will be provided in a university-wide communication this afternoon.

Requirements that are NO longer in effect:

  • No need to use ORMS to authorize onsite access
  • No need to develop or seek approval for COVID-related SOP for general laboratory and office access (with exception of certain types of human subjects research noted below)
  • No need to calendar shifts or schedules for density control or contact tracing

Local departments in coordination with facility managers are encouraged, as staffing permits, to:

  • Allow building access during normal business hours to anyone with a valid Stanford ID
  • Reopen kitchens, break rooms, and restrooms
  • Reopen conference rooms
  • Remove signage and floor markings, if appropriate
  • EH&S Safety is working on comprehensive building management updates to Cardinal Recovery.


Stanford Libraries COVID-19 update page has the most current information regarding the Libraries’ policies. Please consult it for information on library opening hours and access requirements.

Shared Facilities

Shared Facilities will follow the same guidance as provided for laboratories, and return to normal usage, hours, and access at their discretion as staffing permits. Please contact specific shared facilities directly for further information.

Clinical and Non-Clinical Human Subjects Research

COVID-related SOPs are no longer needed for domestic human subjects research projects that have an IRB approved requirement for fully vaccinated participants or for requiring a negative COVID test from a participant within 72 hours before the research is conducted. Otherwise, SOPs continue to be necessary. Local departments will have the full discretion to approve the SOPs. See Clinical and Non-Clinical Stage 2 sections for details on SOPs.

The same policy and procedure apply to human subjects research requiring domestic travel. That is, SOPs are only required for domestic human subjects field research without vaccination or testing requirements. A separate approval for international travel and international human subjects field research remains in effect until further notice (see below).

Field Research and Travel

Researchers can participate in domestic travel for research without prior approval (please see the separate SOP requirement above for certain types of human subjects field research). International travel for essential research still requires prior approval. Please submit your request here. University-sponsored undergraduate travel remains suspended during summer quarter.

Performing Arts

We are currently evaluating the impact of face coverings on performing arts activities, in particular in classroom settings, where the majority of performances, rehearsals, and one-on-one instruction occurs on campus. Please stay tuned.

Stanford Undergraduate Students

The exception policy used to allow Undergraduate Research will lapse after Summer Quarter 2020-21.

Beginning in Fall Quarter 2021-22, departments and programs will be responsible for handling all student requests to access buildings for research.

High School Students

Please refer to the guidance for in-person programs and activities involving minors.

Appointed Visitors

Beginning September 1, new appointments of Visiting Student Researchers, Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars, Visiting Scholars, and other non-matriculated students who will be physically present on campus are allowed, subject to approval by the dean of the school. All visitors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The appointing department and school are responsible for communicating public health requirements, ensuring compliance with safety procedures, and covering associated costs. The restriction on new appointments of remote visitors will continue. The vice provosts will consider exception requests for high-priority and urgent programmatic needs. These should first be reviewed and approved by the school deans.

Other Approved Visitors for Research Purpose

Visitors coming onsite for research purposes are approved on a case-by-case basis by local departments, no dean or VP level approval is needed. Approved visitors must complete the Stanford Visitor: Daily COVID-19 Health Attestation, prior to visiting our campuses. They must attest that they have screened themselves, do not have COVID-like symptoms, and that they are not in a restricted status requiring isolation or quarantine. Any visitor unable to attest, is not approved for onsite access.