Guidance for Expanding Research Activities – Core Facilities

The Guidance for Expanding Research – Core Facilities provided below supplements the Framework for UCI Phased Research Activities.


Core facilities provide key tools and services to support UCI’s research community.  As such, it is important that they support UCI researchers conducting UCI phased research activities.

Because core facilities differ based on equipment, instruments, services, locations, and a variety of other factors, this guidance does not address all circumstances and planning scenarios.  Rather, it is general guidance intended to help faculty and independent researchers who operate core facilities (“Plan Owners”) in developing plans for transitioning core facilities transition plans (“Plans”).

  • All Guiding Principles contained in the Framework for UCI Phased Research Activities  apply to core facilities, as do the sections on:
    • UCI’s Research Phases Mirroring the State of California Roadmap,
    • Decision Making Authority,
    • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accommodations,
    • Applicability and Effective Date, and
    • Communication, Monitoring and Enforcement
  • Core facility population density and/or physical distancing must align with the current research phase.  Everyone is responsible for maintaining low population, including Plan Owners, core facility staff and users.
  • Be prepared to track and control facility access to help ensure compliance with population density and/or physical distancing requirements, and to assist UCI contact tracing officials.
  • If a facility shares space with other core facilities, research programs and/or labs, the Plan Owner should coordinate with other Plan Owners to help ensure low, overall population density.
  • Plan Owners should review the General Points of Consideration (available on the Research Continuity website) for those points applicable to their facility.
  • Plan Owners should follow the process implemented by their Authorized Official (dean or SRP/ORU director) to complete their Plans. These should also identify special or unique circumstances and the precautions Plan Owners will implement to address them.
  • Plan Owners should share approved Plans broadly with users and post them in a location easily accessed by all facility staff and users to help promote and facilitate their compliance with it.

Points of Consideration

Plan Owners and Authorized Officials should contemplate the below Points of Consideration when developing and reviewing Plans.

  • What measures will the Plan Owner implement to help ensure that only core staff and trained users covered by another Plan Owner’s approved Plan may access the facility?
  • Given the facility’s location, space dimensions, and historical usage, how many people may be present in the facility’s space, given the population density and/or physical distancing requirements applicable to the current research phase?
  • What calendaring/scheduling tools, practices and/or protocols will the facility use to help coordinate user access?
  • Will the facility limit the amount of time a user may use it or be present?
  • If the facility has its own staff, how will their time be scheduled to help ensure low population density?
  • What precautions and control measures (i.e., face coverings, gloves, equipment disinfecting protocols, physical distancing, etc.) will the Plan include to help limit the potential for virus transmission?
  • What procedures will core staff and/or users follow to disinfect high touch surfaces?
  • What hygiene procedures will core staff and/or users follow before accessing the core, while using the facility, and prior to departing?
  • How will compliance with the Plan be monitored? By whom?  How will the impacts of non-compliance be mitigated?  Will this include denying future access to users who do not follow the Plan?