Human Research COVID-19 Update

August 13, 2021

As you know, the university is requiring that MSU faculty, staff and students be vaccinated with limited exception, and that mask wearing is required indoors in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state. Currently, the university has communicated that the mask requirement will be in place for at least the first weeks of the fall semester. Below are some points for you to consider in your research.

All in-person interactions with research participants by MSU employees, MSU students, or agents of MSU must follow current COVID-19 university requirements and as applicable, any local site requirements including facility (e.g., school, hospital) and city, state, or country requirements. To help you and your research team stay up to date with changes in the requirements, we recommend visiting MSU’s COVID-19 website. Please continue to consider the following when conducting human research that involves an in-person interaction with research participants:

  • Face masks may be required depending upon where the research is taking place.

  • If your research takes place indoors at MSU campus buildings and other MSU facilities in East Lansing and throughout the state, masks are currently required. Please visit the MSU COVID-19 website for the latest requirements and updates. If removal of a face mask by a research participant is necessary for the conduct of the research, please contact Jamie Willard, MSU Biological Safety Officer ( for guidance.

  • If your research takes place at a health care setting, another facility (e.g., school, office), or within a city, county, state, or country with local COVID-19 site requirements, any requirements for face masks must be followed.

  • Even if face masks are not required, any individual who chooses to wear a mask should be allowed to do so.

  • Follow all local site requirements.

  • Collaborators must follow their organization’s requirements.

  • Continue to incorporate key COVID-19 prevention measures.

The Principal Investigator (PI) remains responsible for implementing and monitoring changes to COVID-19 control strategies and assuring that the research team has appropriate staffing, resources, and training to support in-person interactions with research participants.

Please visit the MSU COVID-19 website and the MSU HRPP COVID-19 website for more information. We will continue to update the resources available on the HRPP COVID-19 webpage and provide information relevant to human research.

If you have questions about MSU requirements for face masks or vaccination, please contact the University Physician (Tel: 517-353-8933;

If you have other COVID-19 questions related to MSU human research, please contact Judy McMillan (