Skip to Main Content

Research and Creative Achievement (RCA) at UMBC during COVID-19

Latest Update – April 30, 2021

UMBC is operating at Stage 3 On-Campus RCA Mode 

  • UMBC transitioned into the next level of On-Campus RCA Access effective Monday March 29. 2021, further increasing the possible density in laboratories and studios.
  • Under Stage 3 On-Campus RCA Mode we require a minimum of 150 sq.ft. per individual in any laboratory or studio on campus – a reduction from the prior density of 235 sq.ft. per person under Stage 2 RCA Mode.  Please include those updated space considerations in your On-Campus RCA Activities Request.
  • Any currently active approvals for On-Campus RCA activities will remain in effect through at least May 31, 2021, albeit subject to changing regulations issued by the State of Maryland, USM, or UMBC.
  • Under Stage 3 On-Campus RCA Mode, resuming in-person, on-campus interactions for research purposes is currently not permitted. Please continue to monitor this web page for news and updates.
  • All individuals authorized for On-Campus RCA access under Stage 2 or Stage 3 On-Campus RCA Mode are subject to mandatory COVID-19 Training, Testing, and On-line Symptom Tracking as outlined here.

Access to Campus in Spring 2021 for RCA Activities

Any currently active approvals for On-Campus RCA activities will remain in effect through at least May 31, 2021, but they will be subject to changing regulations issued by the State of Maryland, USM, or UMBC.

  • You are expected to follow all health precautions as posted across campus, including those outlined below.
  • You are expected to follow the UMBC testing requirements as outlined by the group you have been assigned to based on your access profile.
  • You are expected to complete the online symptom tracker every day, seven-days-a-week. 
  • Failure to adhere to these requirements may lead to a suspension of On-Campus RCA access privileges.
________________________________________________________________________
COVID Compliance Card in myUMBC
  • Your current access status, testing and symptom minoring compliance results will be posted to your COVID Compliance Card in your myUMBC profile. It may take up to 72 hours for your results to be posted.
Self-Quarantine and Testing Requirements after Out-of-State Travel
  • Any UMBC community member that has travelled to other US States – with the exception of Maryland’s neighboring states of Delaware, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia – are required to self-quarantine for 10 (ten) days, but can end the quarantine early, once a negative COVID-19 test result has been received and submitted to the UMBC portal using this form.
  • Any UMBC Community member that has conducted international travel is required to self-quarantine for 7 (seven) days after return back to the US, even if a negative COVID-19 test result is received earlier than that. Please keep in mind that if your return to the US is through a state other than Maryland, then you will need to comply with the prior bullet regarding domestic travel.
  • Effective January 26, 2021, international arrivals have to have a negative COVID-19 test before arrival in the US.  Please review the CDC Requirements for Testing and International Air Travel for up-to-date information.
RCA-Related COVID-19 Testing
  • If you are approved to be on campus for the Spring 2021 semester, you can view your testing group on your COVID-19 Compliance Card in your myUMBC profile. A further explanation of the groups and testing expectations is available on this designated UMBC Testing Groups Web Page. You should have been informed via email of the Testing Group you are included under.
  • If you believe that you have been assigned to this group incorrectly, please discuss this with your supervisor or professor and submit this form.
  • If you no longer need access to campus, please complete the opt-out process. Submitting the form does not guarantee that your status will change; you should take steps to remain in compliance while we process your request.
Additional Health Precautions
  • In addition to testing, we ask that our community members continue to take a number of health and safety actions to ensure the continued well-being of our entire campus community. This includes:
    • Physical distancing – all safety measures such as reduced density in labs continue to apply.
    • Wearing a mask in public and outside of your home. This includes your lab or studio area.
    • Regular and thorough hand washing.
    • Avoiding out-of-state travel and gatherings with people outside of your immediate household.
________________________________________________________________________
Mandatory COVID-19 Training

Each individual listed on the On-Campus RCA Activities Request is required to have successfully completed UMBC’s COVID-19 Training by going to Blackboard, choosing “Organizations” from the menu on the left, and choosing “Return to Campus.”

  • Please note that there is a similarly named training available from Student Affairs, but these two training modules are not interchangeable.
Mandatory COVID-19 On-Line Symptom Tracking

Any individual authorized for On-Campus RCA access is required to complete UMBC’s On-line Symptom Tracker every day, seven days a week, including days that you do and do not anticipate being on campus. The form takes about one minute to complete and includes a field to note your body temperature and simple check boxes to indicate any symptoms or exposure. Respondents who indicate possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure may receive a follow-up call or other instructions based on their specific responses.

  • If you plan for On-Campus RCA Activities even once during a week, it is critical that you follow the On-Line Symptom Tracker every day, seven days a week.

Individuals who are not following the COVID Testing requirements or repeatedly are missing the On-Line Symptom Tracker requirements may be subject to temporary suspension of On-Campus RCA access.

Opting out of previously approved On-Campus RCA Access
  • We realize that some of you are not planning to come to campus in the coming months or are unable to comply with the Testing and Symptom Tracking requirements.
  • The RCA team leader should use the Opt-Out process to notify campus officials of your decision to be removed from the approved On-Campus RCA access list.
  • If you no longer need to come to campus you may be removed from the testing and daily on-line symptom monitoring requirements.
  • IMPORTANT NOTICE – If your needs change and you require On-Campus RCA access in the future, you will need to resubmit an updated On-Campus RCA Activities Request following the guidelines in effect at that time.
Opting out of other Access to Campus
  • The RCA Opt-Out DocuSign form will not remove you from other Return-to-Campus approvals.  
  • If you have an approved Return-to-Campus request for teaching or other activities and no longer require access to campus, please use the Opt-Out process to notify campus officials of your decision to be removed from the approved On-Campus access list for non-RCA activities.
  • Under some circumstances you may need to submit both of the Opt-Out forms to no longer receive the daily reminder for On-line Symptom Monitoring.
Off-Campus RCA Activities and Business-Related Travel
  • If you have a need to conduct Off-Campus RCA Activities, please coordinate with your Department Chair and use the Off-Campus RCA Request.
    • We encourage you to keep your UMBC-related Off-Campus RCA activities at an absolute minimum.
    • Documentation from the host site is required to confirm that the proposed RCA activities can be conducted.
    • Carefully consider your travel plans, since a stop-over in certain states may require up to two weeks of self-quarantine. These limitation are subject to change.
    • At the current time, overnight UMBC-related business trips are not being authorized.
    • International travel on UMBC business is not authorized under the current conditions.
    • We are exploring potential exceptions for essential travel requirements.
One-Time Access to Campus
  • If you have a one-time need to visit the campus, please contact your Department Chair AND your College RCA Access Coordinator in advance.
    • Examples would be picking up documents or instruments or rebooting a computer.
  • College RCA Access Coordinators:
UMBC has hosted five Virtual Town Halls – on April 17,  May 8, May 29, June 23, and August 21, 2020, dedicated to the changing framework to relaunch Research and Creative Achievement (RCA) activities on the UMBC Campus.
________________________________________________________________________
Support for Proposal Submission
  • UMBC’s grant support services continue to operate although under teleworking conditions.  Federal agencies have introduced considerable flexibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  For instance, NIH has built in flexibility for researchers and institutions related to grants administration, fiscal issues, and time periods for no-cost extensions, as well as delayed submissions and reporting.
  • Please reach out to your respective program director as soon as possible with concerns and questions.
UMBC is a member of the USM COVID Research & Innovation Task Force
  • University System of Maryland (USM) Chancellor Jay A. Perman assembled a Task Force to leverage and mobilize systemwide research and innovations that will engage policymakers, business leaders, and the entrepreneurial community in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Laurie Locascio, Vice President for Research at both UMD-College Park and UMB, serves as Task Force Chair, with senior staffing provided by USM Vice Chancellor for Economic Development  J. Thomas Sadowski.
  • In addition to USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman, the Task Force includes UMB President Bruce Jarrell, UMCP President Darryll Pines and UMBC Vice President for Research Karl V. Steiner.
________________________________________________________________________
Prior Stage 2 RCA Mode – September 1, 2020 – March 28, 2021
  • Under Stage 2 RCA Mode we are requiring a minimum of 235 sq.ft. per individual in any laboratory or studio on campus. Please include those space considerations in your On-Campus RCA Activities Request.
  • Any currently active approvals for On-Campus RCA activities will remain in effect through at least May 31, 2021, albeit subject to changing regulations issued by the State of Maryland, USM, or UMBC.
  • Under Stage 2 RCA Mode team leaders of RCA activities are invited, in coordination with their Department Chairs or Supervisors, to submit the On-Campus RCA Activities Request via DocuSign to request access to On-Campus labs or studios for RCA activities. RCA team leaders need to submit a detailed plan outlining the health and safety processes proposed for RCA team members to relaunch or expand their RCA activities.
    • Any faculty with previously approved RCA projects under Stage 1 RCA Mode who are requiring a higher lab density are requested to describe their revised plans by submitting an updated On-Campus RCA Activities Request.
    • Any RCA projects previously approved under Stage 1 with no changes in protocols or laboratory density continue to be approved for the Spring semester and do not require a new submission under Stage 2 RCA Mode.
    • All individuals authorized for On-Campus RCA access under Stage 1 or Stage 2 RCA Mode are subject to mandatory COVID-19 Training, Testing, and On-line Symptom Tracking as outlined below.
    • If you have not been previously approved for On-Campus RCA Access, please coordinate with your Department Chair or Supervisor on the On-Campus RCA Activities Request.
    • Please note that this Directive is subject to changes at any time.  We will be in communication by email and will post updates on this website.