On May 19, 2020, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research (OSVPR) in consultation with the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Medicine, provided guidance for the gradual and phased increase in on-campus research-related activities. 

Principal Investigators with on-campus research needs in the Energy and Environmental Laboratory (EEL) or Land and Water (L&W) Research Building, should review the following information and submit a request to Return to Research below.

Current IEE Status

Phase Condition and Criteria Allowed On-Campus Activities and Requirements


(PA Yellow) 

  • PA Stay at Home order is relaxed or lifted for the county or region of campus or lab.
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations & ICU admissions have plateaued and are decreasing in PA or in local community of campus or lab.
  • COVID-19 testing capacity insufficient to monitor all employees, staff, and students.
  • PPE shortages not widespread with a 2-3 week supply on hand.
  • Only approved personnel are permitted on site.
  • Practice measures for maintaining health and safety.
    • Mandatory physical distancing (at least 6 ft), extensive hand washing, wearing of face masks, and disinfection of areas and equipment used by more than one person.
  • Plan for rapid return to Phase 1 in place. 
  • Definition of allowable research expanded to include (i) time-sensitive research and (ii) research that requires on-site access and which can be conducted with sufficient physical separation among personnel. This includes
    • Seasonal data collection, such as field and agricultural work, experiments close to completion, or deadline driven, whose pause or deferral would lead to delay or loss of research results.
    • Field research, but subject to local conditions/restrictions at field sites, travel restrictions, ability to travel safely, and ability to social distance at field sites.
  • All data analysis and computer work that can be conducted remotely should be completed remotely.
  • All other research should be conducted remotely, including all seminars, group meetings, and one-on-one meetings.
  • Animals may be ordered and animal research restarted in accordance with the updated guidance for animal research.
  • Core facilities can be restarted based on sufficient demand and using staff to perform measurements where work cannot be done remotely.
  • Human subjects research must be conducted remotely; no physical, face-to-face human subjects research unless there is a direct drug or device therapeutic benefit. Exceptions for some in-person COVID-19-related research and Penn State Health observational studies; see Human Subjects Research Revised Standards.
  • Face masks must continue to be worn while entering buildings, when inside buildings, and in any other space where it is possible to have close contact with another person for more than 10 minutes. 
  • Graduate students are required to have approval from their graduate program head to conduct on-campus research.
  • Undergraduates, external visitors, and visiting scholars must receive prior approval from the relevant academic dean for on-campus research
  • For each building, maintain SOPs for entering/exiting the buildings and labs, preferred travel-paths to minimize hallway/stairway intersections, restroom signage/communication protocols, and maintained cleaning stations for those coming and going. 
  • Detailed schedules for personnel should be posted on lab/office doors where they can be verified by EHS or unit director.
  • Common areas remain closed.

Critical Penn State COVID-19 Resources​

EEL and L&W Building Information

  • EEL Ramp Up Slide Deck (IEE Director and EEL PI Meeting, May 19, 2020)
  • EEL Building Floor Plans and Travel Paths
  • Employees entering and working in EEL and L&W are
    • Required to bring building, lab, and office access card and/or keys with you (buildings are secured 24/7)
    • Required to individually swipe your PSU ID every time you enter the building. Do not allow others into the building on your card swipe.
    • Required to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth
    • Required to maintain a social distance of 6 ft or more from any other personnel 
    • Asked to self-quarantine for 14-days if returning to Centre County from a region with higher COVID-19 infection rates
    • Encouraged to maintain a contact tracing log 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance to put on and remove Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Conference rooms and the auditorium are closed
  • Kitchenettes will have limited chairs to meet social distancing requirements, please be courteous and stager break times
  • Any employee who violates access and safety protocols may lose building access for 30 days.  Report health and safety violations to IEE Safety Officer, Alan Witmer (aew108@psu.edu).

Symptom Checker on Penn State Go App

Employees working or visiting campus are now required to download and use the Penn State Go app Symptom Checker to verify your health and potential risk factor. The process takes less than 1 minute to complete and you are expected to use it daily or every time you go to campus. If you pass, you can go to campus. If you do not, please stay home and notify your supervisor.

Submit a Plan

PI's that are ready to gradually increase on-campus research in the Energy and Environmental Laboratory (EEL) building should compile and submit the following information to IEE Safety Office and IEE Director using the submission button below.  The information submitted will be routed for appropriate university approval.  Only after approval is granted from the IEE Director should employees schedule time to visit EEL.  We will review and bulk submit requests on Wednesday of each week. 

  1. PI shall complete the Penn State Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Laboratory and Research Ramp Up Planning Guide and Checklist. PI's are encouraged to provide details in their lab specific COVID-19 safety plan (see 2 below), and refer to that plan in the notes section (e.g. "See attached COVID-19 Safety Plan") of the EHS Laboratory and Research Ramp Up Planning Guide and Checklist where appropriate.
  2. PI shall provide IEE with a lab specific COVID-19 Safety Plan and enter that plan in their on-site Lab Safety Binder(s).
  3. PI shall complete a list of research personnel.

Submit Your Plan

Schedule a Time

Employees that have received approval for on-campus work and are familiar with their lab COVID-19 Safety Plan will need to schedule time in the building using the following calendar. 

  • Building occupancy is limited.  Please be considerate of your fellow researchers and reserve only time needed.
  • If you're sick, please notify your supervisor and stay home.  
  • Be prepared to reduce activity to that of an earlier phase, if and when needed.
  • Only access EEL for the phase you are approved or less restrictive phases. Refer to the EEL Ramp Up Slide Deck (slide 3 and 6) for anticipated building occupancy quotas.

Schedule Your Time