Current status: Orange, moving to yellow as allowed per guidelines

Community-based research, community engagement and community partnership research activities can begin following the guidelines to transitioning from red level to orange level . These research activities are typically in-person and are conducted off-campus in public and private community venues and field environments.

The planning process of prior to moving to Orange Level will likely vary substantially across research groups, Departments, or Schools, occurring over a period of several weeks for most areas. PIs are strongly encouraged to engage their community partners and research personnel in the planning process.

Download the Guidelines for Community-based Research Ramp-Up in Box.

Orange Level

The orange level is a transition phase which allows the reopening of some in-person community activities, provided that there is a strong justification for in-person interactions. This phase can include research that can follow all the necessary public health guidelines. This phase should be used as a trial period for PIs to resume the minimum amount of in-person activity needed to test the effectiveness of new procedures and safety precautions to reduce risk to researchers and community participants before moving to a larger scale of community activity.

Research should ramp-up slowly, with adequate time to evaluate the effectiveness of the plans following each encounter. Each PI should evaluate how well the plans were implemented, whether physical distancing, universal face coverings, and hand hygiene were appropriately practiced during the community engagements. Plans may need to be modified, or certain activities may have to be curtailed if these elements weren’t able to be done safely.

Yellow Level

At this level, additional community-based research activity can occur, provided that there is a strong justification for in-person interactions, and the plans have been tested, evaluated, and if necessary, modified.


Amanda Cashen, MD
IRB Executive Chair

Johnnie Cartwright
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research & Chief of Staff

Jeanne Velders, JD
Executive Director of HRPO

Clinical Research
Suresh Vedantham, MD
Assistant Dean for Clinical Research

Center for Clinical Studies
Yi Zhang, JD
Assistant Dean and Administrative Director of Clinical Studies