The University of New Mexico takes the health and wellbeing of its students very seriously, and while the campus community is learning about the current COVID-19 pandemic, leadership is constantly assessing the situation. The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has determined that it is in the best interest of our students’ health to temporarily restrict their access to our research labs and facilities.

Please note this action affects our undergraduate, graduate and non-degree students only. Access by postdocs, faculty, and staff remains unaffected, and may continue as appropriate during this time of limited operations.

The OVPR recognizes that researchers will need some time to make this transition, though we do need to move quickly to assure the safety and wellbeing of our students. Therefore, students should not be allowed in research laboratories, to work on clinical trials, or perform in-person community-based research effective Monday March 23, at 5 p.m.

Students should continue any aspects of their work that can be done remotely, and I ask their supervisors to help transition as much work online as possible in each individual case.

Please note that there may be isolated instances where students may need brief access to equipment or materials if they are graduating soon, or to conduct training of other lab members in skills held by the students, or other rare cases where they need to have access to the lab. These instances must be time limited and proposed to my Office by your Associate Dean for Research (ADR) or Center Director (CD), so please route any requests through them. 

The Office of the Vie President for Research will assess requests and make exceptions as needed; please note exceptions will be rare. Exception requests should be sent by ADRs and / or CDs to, and should clearly indicate: (i) compelling reasons for requesting access, (ii) provisions for social distancing, and (iii) the duration of access needed.

In any event, if you are paying students to perform work in the lab, please do continue to pay them during this period.

For updated information on current UNM guidelines and procedures relevant to the ongoing situation, visit the UNM Coronavirus website. This is your most up-to-date resource for information on the evolving situation and the University’s actions to protect the pack.

Finally, for questions related to activities in instructional facilities, contact

Thank you for your efforts to safeguard our students, colleagues, and our community.