Safely Conducting In-Person Research

Aloha Kākou UH Researchers and Research Team Members,

We hope you and your ‘ohana are well. Mahalo nui loa for working to keep your participants, research teams, and communities safe.

In response to the ongoing risk of respiratory disease transmission such as SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), and RSV, the UH Human Studies Program continues to require a Safety Plan for all research proposing in-person interaction with participants to prevent the spread of disease in our community.

This safety plan replaces the prior COVID-19 pandemic safety requirements. The prior color-coded impact levels have been removed. In addition to a Safety Plan, new studies will need to use revised consent form templates that have been updated to include a risk statement regarding in-person interaction. The updated Safety Guidelines and Safety Plan instructions are briefly described below.

Updated Safety Guidelines:

The following safety protocols apply to all research involving in-person interaction:

  1. Research team members must wear a well-fitting mask that covers nose and mouth (CDC guidance).
  2. Research team members must screen for symptoms and plan accordingly.
  3. Encourage research team members to follow CDC guidance for respiratory illness prevention such as COVID-19, RSV, and the Flu.
  4. Consider using well-ventilated rooms or outdoor areas for research interaction.
  5. Consider providing a well-fitting mask that covers nose and mouth for research participants.
  6. For in-person research with people who require more protections (vulnerable populations), please describe how you will keep these individuals safe in your Safety Plan. For a complete list of people who are more vulnerable, see CDC.

Updated Safety Plan Information:

An updated Safety Plan which addresses items 1. through 6. in the above Updated Safety Guidelines will be required under the following circumstances:

  • New studies
  • Existing studies that are not currently approved for in-person research.

Existing studies that already included an IRB-approved Safety Plan using the prior color-coded impact levels may continue to follow this Safety Plan and may apply the safety measures described at the Yellow impact level.

Click here for the updated Safety Guidelines and Safety Plan Instructions which will also be available on the Human Studies Program website.

We truly appreciate your commitment to keeping participants, research teams, and our community protected from respiratory disease transmission during in-person research. Please email our office at if you have questions or need assistance.

Mahalo nui loa,
UH Human Studies Program
Victoria, Kristin, Jacob, Janine, and Donna