Field and Off-Campus Research And Creative Activities

Our research and creative work includes a wide range of activities including lab-based research, human subject’s research, publicly engaged research and creative scholarship, innovation, and high-impact practices that are at the core of our public urban research university mission. The expertise and invention of our faculty, staff, student researchers, and creative innovators contribute new knowledge, provide cutting-edge education, and contribute to our students’ futures and the public good through discovery and the creating of a highly skilled workforce. The university must strategically reengage research and creative work.

All university-related off-campus research and creative activity (RCA) must be approved to be formally considered part of university duties which fall under university liability coverage and workers’ compensation. In addition, international and domestic air travel is currently suspended and approval for critical activities requiring air travel must be obtained before such travel can be initiated.

Any reestablishment of scholarly and creative works must be balanced with the critical importance of establishing equitable and safe protocols to conduct these activities. To apply to conduct off-campus critical university research and creative activities under university coverage requires the completion of the Field/Off-Campus Application and appropriate approvals before activities commence.

For the purposes of this application and safety plan, travel can fall into two categories: local daytime field/off-campus RCA or overnight travel/off-campus RCA. Note: that this application is used exclusively for research and creative activities and not class-based field trips.

Furthermore, additional approvals are required for off-campus research or creative projects that involve physical proximity and interaction with non-university participants or human subjects. An additional safety review will be required to initiate such interactions for research and creative activities.

Investigators conducting field research will be expected, as a minimum, to adhere to existing safety protocols existing on campus regardless of requirements in place at the field location. If safety requirements at the field location are more stringent than requirements on campus, field researchers will be expected to adhere to these as well.

Application Process

All potential applicants should consider all activities that can be done remotely, and students must complete this process with their faculty advisor(s) before considering a field/off-campus RCA application. A potential applicant should initiate an inquiry to their school or college Research and Creative Activities (RCA) Coordinator. Once an application is submitted it will be transmitted to the research supervisor, if applicable, and department chair, who will send it to the RCA coordinator.


  • Day-only off-campus work may be approved within each school/college by RCA Coordinator and Dean
  • Overnight domestic travel must be approved by RCA coordinator and dean and submitted for campus legal review
  • Domestic flights are currently suspended under university policy and exemptions must be deemed essential and approved through Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the University Counsel
  • All international travel is suspended under university policy. Only critical exemptions are approved though OIA, University Counsel, and the provost and/or chancellor.
  • Off-campus Research and Creative Activities that include human subjects or other non-university participants will be reviewed by RCA coordinators and deans and additional information and safety protocols will be collected for final reviews.

Administrative Requirements

Faculty advisors must collaborate in the preparation and approve of safety plans for students.

All university participants shall sign an Acknowledgement of Risk form prior to travel.

Expected Safety Protocols

  • All Colorado and university safety requirements must be followed
  • Safety requirements in the field/off-site location must be monitored and followed in addition to Colorado/university rules. Local requirements take precedence if there are conflicting rules
  • Masks are to be worn in the presence of all collaborators and participants even in private vehicles
  • Separate vehicles should be used if feasible
  • Eating arrangements should be physically distanced and outdoors if possible
  • Separate lodging should be arranged
  • If air travel is to be considered, a detailed safety protocol including masks, cleaning, and physical distancing must be provided
  • A communication plan should be developed for regular check-ins and in case of emergencies.


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