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Research Lab Reopening Update

Note: This is dated information and may not reflect the current policies in place on campus. Please refer to We Are WPI for the latest information.

May 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank you all for the remarkable ways you have continued to pursue your research while access to campus has been severely limited because of the global coronavirus pandemic. I know it has not been easy, and that you are eager to return to your labs to continue the critical work you are doing. Today I am happy to tell you that we are ready to begin the process of resuming on-campus research.

WPI will mirror the framework issued by Governor Baker earlier this week regarding the phased reopening of businesses and other activities across the state. This will be a thoughtful, careful, incremental process, and labs will need to operate in new ways. We will need your support for developing and implementing reopening plans, specific to your lab and research group, in accordance to state public health guidelines so that you, your colleagues, and your students can be safe. The reopening process may even pause at times, depending on the virus and other factors.

As you will see in the Research Lab Reopening Guidance, we plan to resume research in phases, based on certain access priorities; not all labs will reopen at once. All research activities that can be done remotely should continue remotely. COVID-19 has not gone away, but I hope that with smart, careful planning and the cooperative spirit that is a hallmark of WPI, we will not have to ramp down research again.

Please read the Research Lab Reopening Guidance carefully. This document contains important information about how and when you may return to your laboratories and resume your research, and how WPI can help you do so safely. You will need to fill out several documents and submit them for review and approval; and, together with all members of your group, you will need to take two COVID-19 specific training modules. If you have questions, please contact my office at

Thank you for all the contributions you have made these past months to support and elevate the research enterprise at WPI.




Bogdan Vernescu,

Vice Provost for Research