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July 20, 2020

The UH Mānoa Research Working Group is responsible for developing guidelines for research activities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening of the Mānoa campus for the fall 2020 semester. Much of UH Mānoa’s research activities were able to continue after the pandemic outbreak with the implementation of the Centers for Disease Control recommendations to ensure health and safety in research facilities and labs.

The working group’s full report is available for public review and covers the following research activities:

  • Research labs (wet, dry, equipment-intensive labs, support shops)
  • Behavioral, social, cognitive research
  • Social science, humanities research
  • Clinical research
  • Field research
  • Research at sea (ships, small boats, diving)
  • Animal research

The guidelines for Principal Investigators (PI) and researchers include:

  • Steps to ensure continuity of critical functions by identifying procedures and processes that require regulatory approvals, compliance reviews, and safety protocols (e.g., UH Human Studies/IRB, UH Animal Welfare/Animal & Veterinary Services, UH Biosafety Programs, Diving Safety, etc.).
  • General guidance to ensure safety of research personnel, participants, research setting, and equipment. Procedures and/or practices addressed include facility startup, daily startup, PPE and face covering, density of individuals, disinfection, screening personnel and research participants.

UH researchers are required to follow all current national and university safety and research compliance guidelines including maintaining up-to-date research protocols, appropriate training of research staff, risk assessment of research setting, and hazardous materials management.


  • V. Kameoka (Interim Vice Chancellor for Research)
  • B. Taylor (Dean, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology)

Working Group Members

  • Healani Chang (Associate Specialist, PBRC and Kūaliʻi Council)
  • David Duffy (Professor, Botany, CNS)
  • Victoria Fan (Associate Professor, Center on Aging, School of Social Work)
  • Randy Holcombe (Director, UH Cancer Center)
  • Gary Holton (Professor, Linguistics, LLL)
  • Velma Kameoka (Co-Lead, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research)
  • Sylvia Kondo (University Veterinarian, Animal Veterinary Services)
  • Creighton Litton (Professor, NREM, CTAHR and Director, UROP)
  • Bob McLaren (Interim Director, IfA)
  • Rajeev Mishra (Graduate Student, HNFAS, CTAHR and GSO)
  • Hans Nielsen (Occupational Health and Safety Program Manager, EHSO)
  • James Potemra (Specialist and Manager, Asia-Pacific Data-Research Center, HIGP and MFS-SEC)
  • Victoria Rivera (Director of the Office of Research Compliance, OVPRI)
  • Destin Shigano (Administrative Officer, Lyon Arboretum and Mānoa Staff Senate)
  • Brian Taylor (Co-Lead, Dean, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology)
  • Chad Walton (Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research)
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