UCI has moved to Phase III: 

Phase 3 Research will commence on our campus on Monday, April 5.  You may have received the email from the Office of Research on March 30, 2021 (available here: https://news.research.uci.edu) that contains information relating to Phase 3 Research.

Phase 3 does all of the following:

  • Opens the Campus for all research activities, including those that were not permitted, or discouraged, in Phase 2 such as research activities in the areas of theory and computation.
  • Allows a return of faculty and staff to their on-campus offices. 
  • Eliminates the requirement for 30% occupation of research laboratories, relative to pre-pandemic levels.  A 250 sq. ft. metric per researcher is also gone. 
  • Establishes a simple 6 ft spacing requirement for coworkers in our offices and laboratories.

To expedite the transition to Phase 3 Research, a single form has been developed, and is attached here.  But before completing this form, you should ask: Is this form necessary for you?  The answer is...

  • YES - if you didn't participate in Phase 2 Research and want to participate in Phase 3 Research with your coworkers.

  • YES - if you have a Phase 2 Research Plan, and want to increase the number of coworkers present, at any one time, in any of your laboratories or offices.

  • YES - if you are moving to new space (e.g. ISEB) after April 5, 2021.

  • NO - if you simply wish to return to your faculty or staff office.

  • NO - if you have an approved Phase 2 Research Plan that you will continue to follow during Phase 3. 

If the answer for you is YES", then fill out the form and email it - with a few other attachments - to your Department's COVID liaison: 

Further instructions are contained in the form itself. You'll find the form here: Phase III Form

Phase III Details 

You can read all the details of Phase III by clicking here

Guiding principles

UCI and the Department of Earth System Science are committed to continuing research while maintaining a safe environment for faculty, staff and students to work. Extensive planning has taken place to ensure measures are taken for a safe return to campus. Returning to work on campus is voluntary. Those that do not feel comfortable returning to campus at this time may seek alternate work accommodations from their faculty mentor and/or the department. Every effort will be made to find alternate accommodations so research progress can continue to be made. For those who wish to resume research on campus, commitment to safety protocols is required. 

The Office of Research has reorganized the General Points of Consideration to make it easier to develop transition plans. 

Review process, standards, and accountability

It is incumbent upon all department members to maintain the highest safety standards and follow all the protocols as approved. Anyone feeling unwell should stay home and report their symptoms to their supervisor. Hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing must be adhered to at all times on campus. Permission to conduct research during this time is a privilege that can be revoked by the school or campus. As a community we must be vigilant in upholding these standards so we may continue to conduct research during this time.

Positive COVID-19 diagnosis protocol 

  1. Report the illness to HR: https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/report-known-cases.php
  2. Notify personnel who have had exposure to the virus to self-quarantine.
  3. Notify the Department Chair (who will consult on lab ramp down procedures) and Physical Sciences Stores (who will contact an outside vendor to sanitize the lab). 
  4. Place "no entry" sign on lab doors.  


The Department is working to secure an initial supply of disposable face masks, gloves, and isopropanol alcohol that will be distributed to labs in advance of resuming research on campus.  

Floor plans can be accessed here.

UCI Office of Research Guidelines on Research Ramp-up 

EH&S resources:

Please send any questions or suggestions about the content of this page to bfitzjar@uci.edu.