Department of Chemistry


The information below is correct to the best of our knowledge as of:
Wednesday, January 27, 2021


Q: When and where do I need to wear a mask in Frick?


A: Masks MUST be worn ALWAYS in ALL shared spaces in Frick. Exceptions are explained below.

Because our laboratory has been designed to facilitate the highly collaborative nature of chemistry research, anyone working in, sitting in, or traveling through wet labs, theoretical work spaces, group rooms, shared spaces, elevators, restrooms, and public spaces is required to wear a mask at all times. This includes while at your desks in the labs and group rooms.

Masks may be removed when you are having a meal in one of the areas in the building designated for doing so (while seated at one of the tables in the café; in the conference rooms while properly social distancing and following occupancy protocols; and in one of the seating areas near the bridges while properly social distancing). Please resume mask-wearing as soon as your meal is over.
We understand that there may be times when you need to remove your mask briefly to adjust it or to take a sip of water during your day. This is fine, but you should resume mask-wearing immediately after. As always, it is important that we use good judgement and consider those around us.

Q: Which doors are entrances and which are exits? Which staircases are bi-directional and which are one-way?


A: Please follow the updated signage on doors and staircases.

Protocols are regularly revisited and guidance may change to best suit the safety requirements of the space. Signage in Frick will be updated to reflect any changes.


Q: Can I eat meals at my desk?


A: NO. You should NOT eat at your desk.

At this time, meals should only be consumed at one of the areas in the department designated for doing so:

  • The tables in the atrium allow for one occupant per table. Please leave the tables and chairs in their configuration to ensure proper distancing.
  • The conference rooms allow for three occupants, maximum.
  • Marked seating is also available on the stairway landings, if other spaces are occupied.

As a friendly reminder, with the exception of consuming drinks from travel mugs and otherwise closed-beverage containers, the consumption of food and drink is not permitted in the lab at any time. This is longstanding EH&S policy, pandemic or no pandemic.

Q: Can I sit back-to-back with a colleague in the lab?


A: NO. If you both need to work at the same time, one should move to an unoccupied space.


Q: If I’m not doing experiments, can I come into Frick?


A: If the work you are doing can be done at home, then it should be done at home.

Individual labs have submitted Research Lab Operations Plans for approval by the Dean for Research. These plans detail social distancing, lab occupancy plans and hygiene requirements for each research lab approved to be in Frick. If you have a question about your groups RLOP, please connect with your PI or lab safety leader.


Q: Are undergraduates permitted to use the Frick atrium or conference rooms as study space?

A: No, Frick is not open for undergraduate use for the Spring 2021 semester. 

Seniors and Juniors who have been authorized to conduct thesis and independent work in labs will be granted individual access to the building. 


Q: Do I need to participate in the testing program?


A: YES, you MUST participate in the testing program if you live on campus and/or you are working in Frick or any other campus building for more than 8 hours per week.  
As of November 30, all graduate students in the testing program moved back to a twice-weekly testing schedule.

A supply of tests for the rest of the calendar year has been delivered to you. Remember, if you do not register your testing kit through the web app before dropping it in a drop box, you will not receive a result from that sample.

More information on test kits can be found at Princeton COVID Resources.


Q: Does participation in a weekly testing program mean it is safer for me to gather indoors?


A: NO. Regular testing is not the same as immunity.

Based on public health guidance, a negative test result does not provide assurance that it is safe to gather with others; it only tells us whether an individual tests positive for the virus at the time they submitted a sample. Please continue to follow COVID-19 safety guidance and carefully consider whether to participate in indoor gatherings.


Q: Can I engage in university-sponsored travel?


A: The university has suspended ALL university-sponsored travel. There are some very limited exceptions.

All university travel, except that approved as essential by the department or program chair, is currently suspended. If you have received approval from the department or program chair to travel, you must register your travel using the University-Sponsored Travel Information Enrollment form. You should also complete an online COVID-19 Risk Assessment no earlier than one week prior to your return to campus. You are responsible to comply with any quarantine requirements upon your return to campus.


Q: Can I engage in personal travel?


A: YES, but it is discouraged. If you do, there are reporting requirements.

The university is not imposing restrictions on personal travel; however, our community health will depend on the choices we make each day as individuals to consider the safety of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors. We ask that you strongly consider the associated risks before booking any personal travel.
Graduate students studying on campus, regardless of residence, are required to complete the Personal Travel Information Enrollment form providing details of non-routine, overnight personal travel outside of New Jersey (or the state in which they are residing while studying on campus). Faculty members and staff who are living or working on campus are encouraged, but not required, to register their non-routine, overnight personal travel outside of New Jersey (or the state in which they reside). You should also complete an online COVID-19 Risk Assessment no earlier than one week prior to your return to campus.

The New Jersey Travel Advisory remains in effect for all 50 states. You are responsible to comply with any quarantine requirements upon your return to campus.


Q: What do I do if I see someone not complying with COVID-related safety regulations?


A: Offer a friendly verbal reminder. If that’s not comfortable or not enough, there are other options.

If you see a colleague not following safety guidelines, we encourage you to share a gentle reminder of the appropriate protocols. We are all receiving a lot of information about COVID-related practices, and so we hope to create an environment where reminders about keeping each other safe are welcomed and appreciated.

If your colleague continues not to follow safety guidelines, please reach out with your concerns to Meredith LaSalle-Tarantin, Graduate Program Manager ; Janet Gruschow, Department Manager, or Robert Knowles, Director of Graduate Studies. They will initiate the appropriate department or reporting procedures. You may also choose to report concerns anonymously via EthicsPoint.


Q: What do I do if I have a concern I would like to share anonymously?


A: Click this link: Princeton EthicsPoint

The EthicsPoint site allows individuals to report anonymous concerns regarding possible noncompliance with and/or violation of university policies.