Business continuity and recovery planning resources for labs and research spaces


This is a challenging time for many as we adjust to working under the constraints of the COVID-19 situation and plan for impacts outside of our control, some of which may impact research continuity.

The University’s Emergency Management and Office of Research have provided guidance to the research community to assist with business continuity planning. As a supplement to these resources and in response to requests for assistance at the lab level, EH&S has prepared a Guide to Business Continuity and Recovery Planning for Laboratories and Research Facilities. It includes a checklist and is intended to assist faculty, staff, laboratories and research facilities in maintaining research continuity consistent with their own unique needs and circumstances.

We encourage all principal investigators and lab managers to develop a research continuity plan that takes into account health and safety as a priority.

  • Consider how the work of your groups can be slowed for the coming weeks and what steps you would follow if the work was placed on hold with short notice.
  • Encourage staff, students and postdocs in your groups to work from home, whenever feasible.
  • Provide flexibility for members of your groups. Practice social distancing and good hygiene (more than 6 feet between people).
  • Absolutely require that if anyone in the group is sick that they do not come to work.
  • Establish a system by which you, and members of the lab, can check the status of each other. 

The decision to keep a laboratory open should be based on the decision tree found in the Office of Research's Areas of research applicable to COVID-19 and Decision Tree and in close consultation with your department chair or director, and college or school.

Ramp-down decisions

Even if your research area is allowable, if you feel that the best course of action for the safety of your research group is to ramp down your research activities or shut them down entirely, you should do so. You are not required to keep your research activities open. If you ramp down or shut down, please see the Research Shutdown Checklist for helpful guidance.

Additional information about novel coronavirus is on the University’s Novel Coronavirus page.

The planning you do now will support the long-term success of our labs and research groups. Please contact or for questions or assistance.