COVID-19 Updates


Research Community Letter

Date: March 7, 2022

FROM: Jessi L. Smith, AVC-Research

TO: UCCS Faculty

With the spring semester in full swing, there are several indicators that the pandemic is transitioning into an endemic stage. While we are in this optimistic transition phase, the campus has lifted the mask mandate and is asking for attestation of vaccine and booster status. It can be confusing to know how to approach your research assistants, research team members, and your collaborators during this transition. We hope that you will center compassion and flexibility to nurture yourself and each other as we all navigate this transition together.  

What can you expect during this transition phase?


  • Stay home if you are sick. 
  • Unless you work in a lab that requires PPE, you cannot require someone to wear a mask in your lab, studio, or office. You can, however, respectfully encourage your research team to wear a mask if you – or someone else on your team – would prefer mask-wearing. 
  • Masks will continue to be available for you to offer to people should you wish to encourage someone to wear a mask before entering your research or creative space. 
  • Masks are still required in some research and clinical settings (e.g., the clinics in the Lane and Hybl Centers). 
  • There may be some settings in which contractual arrangements require continued mask wearing; these will be indicated with signage or otherwise communicated by the impacted researcher.  
  • International travel (e.g., to field sites or conferences) using university sponsored funding is generally allowable. Domestic travel is permitted. Both require authorization within Concur.  
  • The Institutional Review Board (IRB) IRB will no longer require masks in the majority of in-person research settings. The exceptions being those laid out in the policy (e.g., campus clinics). PIs are encouraged to respect the personal choice of their research personnel and participants. If you have a currently approved protocol that requires masks and you are choosing to move your protocol to a mask optional model, you do not have to file a formal Request of Change. Please simply email the IRB that you are removing the mask requirement from your protocol and implement the change. 
  • The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity (OSPRI) staff will continue to work remotely to submit proposals, accept awards, issue subawards, submit extensions, submit annual reports, and perform other sponsored program activities as usual. Our team is short staffed, so please attend closely to deadlines and be patient as we work to reply as fast as we can.

Social distance does not mean disconnected

The Office of Research is here to support you, offer advice, research the answer to your questions, and do our best to keep some resemblance of business as usual during this public health crisis. Stay connected via our:

Informational Resources:

Archived Letters: