Working with SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19

Duke scholars are working to advance our understanding of COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, from basic science to translational medicine to clinical care—as well as to address concerns related to the pandemic from a variety of disciplines. For the latest information about COVID-19-related advances, visit Duke’s Coronavirus News site.

To ensure the safety of our workforce as we well as to enhance our ability to facilitate critical research, Duke’s Biological Safety Division of the Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) has developed a set of biosafety policies for research activities with SARS-CoV-2.

  • All proposed clinical and laboratory-based research with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or with biospecimens containing the virus, requires prior OESO review and approval. Researchers must complete the COVID-19 Research Notification Form and the required SOP (standard operating procedure) form, including the biosafety level proposed for the work.
  • If the research involves recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, an application for registration must be submitted to the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). For more information, visit the IBC webpage.
  • For human subject research protocol submissions to the Duke Health IRB in iRIS, please check “IBC review.”
  • Please contact the OESO's Biological Safety Division at or call 919-684-8822 with additional questions.

Proposed or current COVID-19-related studies in the social sciences, health policy, epidemiology, etc., must also complete the COVID-19 Research Notification Form as appropriate. The information captured in this form will help Duke to report the COVID-19-related activities on campus to federal, state, and local agencies.