Research Level 2 Guidance

March 27, 2020

As you are likely aware, Governor Bullock issued a directive to state-at-home yesterday. His directive noted the critical nature of university education and research and exempted higher education. In light of the directive, the University of Montana is moving to Research Level 2. The research levels can be found here: []. That web page will provide on-going guidance for campus researchers.

As a reminder, here is the guidance for Research Level 2:

  • No new experiments.
  • Only essential experiments allowed. Essential experiments are those whose absence or cancellation would result in significant financial or data loss.
  • All research buildings will be locked and should only be accessed by the PI and lab members designated as Continuity of Operation Personnel, i.e. the minimum number of personnel necessary to maintain operations.
  • Designated personnel to assist UM LAR staff as necessary. New animal orders and protocols will be suspended.

Please note that Research Level 2 does NOT mean that your research program is shut down. The PI or group leader can make the determination about how essential an experiment is, keeping in mind that the safety of each member of the research group is paramount. My office will soon release guidance regarding continued payment of faculty, staff, and graduate student salaries/stipends from federal and non-federal grants and contracts for those circumstances where continued work is no longer possible. Group leaders and graduate students should also recognize that suspending a research project may delay completion of the degree, but that should be of secondary importance. Everyone’s health is our primary concern. If the PI/group leader decides to continue a research project you must satisfy social distancing requirements.

Finally, note that campus buildings are already locked down with access provided only through a single entrance. If you are going to continue working you will need to identify that entrance and ensure that you have the necessary access.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to email me directly at



Scott Whittenburg
Vice President for Research and Creative Scholarship