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24.3.2020 10:57

The University of Oulu Guidelines on Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) during the State of Emergency

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RDI work tasks or parts of larger sets of tasks, which one is able to execute remotely, may not be done in the premises of the university.  Please refer to the guideline in Patio: Detailed regulations on working at University premises during exceptional circumstances 18.3.2020-13.4.2020

Work in the premises of the university is allowed in order to secure essential RDI activities:  in which case an interruption may be of critical significance to the upholding of important functions, long-term time series, projects, PhD thesis or for research collaboration.  See: Appendix 1 Table with guidelines on interpreting the essential nature of RDI activities.

All activities on campus require a working distance of three meters as well as distance of three meters between workspaces.

Permit Process

Work at the University requires the Research Unit Leader / Dean to assess the essential nature of the research and to assign a permit in line with the following categories of tasks:  

  • Appendix 1 tasks marked with green: the assessment is made and the permit is assigned by the Research Unit Leader (RUL) (if needed on proposal by the Line Manager), the RUL notifies of his decision to the Dean/ Specialised Research Unit Leader. In the case of University Level Research Infrastructure Units, their Directors will make the decision and assign permits (if needed on proposal by the Line Manager). 
  • Appendix 1 tasks marked with yellow: the assessment is made by the RUL (if needed on proposal by the Line Manager), the permit is assigned by the Dean/ Specialised Research Unit Leader.
  • Should you want to define something new into the table on essential research or assign a permit to execute a task marked in red, a proposal is made to the Rector of Research who will make a decision on the permit. 
  • Information on the persons with assigned permits will be collected through a form. Faculties/Special Research Units will decide on how to best collect the information on permits. This task may for instance be assigned to the RUL concerning his/her unit, or to the Dean concerning the entire Faculty. In the Research Units, the person assigning the permits is in charge of collecting and upholding the permit information. The Specialised Research Units will act accordingly. The Operational Team can request the permit assignor to deliver a report on the status regarding permits.  

Risk assessment

Premises-specific risk assessment

Premises used for RDI activities shall be subject to a premises-specific risk assessment. RUL responsible for RDI authorizations will record the final result of the risk assessment and send it to the Health team of HR ( and to Dean / Specialised Research Unit Leader  (Guidelines for managers).

Risk assessment should take into account:

  • the maximum number of possible close contacts in the workspace
  • how many people need to use the space at the same time
  • what are the normal precautions. Is there reason to do otherwise in exceptional circumstances?
  • what additional restrictions should be imposed during the exceptional circumstances

Personal risk assessment for at-risk group

In principle, a person at risk may not work on university premises 

Before a worker belonging to a risk group can begin work on the University premises, he or she must carry out a personal risk assessment with the supervisor. The supervisor of the employee belonging to the risk group shall record the result of the risk assessment and decide whether the employee can work safely on the premises. When making the decision, one must consult with an occupational health expert who will assist in the assessment of personal risk and the need for protection. The supervisor sends the risk assessment to the Health team of HR ( and to Dean / Specialised Research Unit Leader. The risk assessment shall also be sent to the employee.

If the supervisor has determined that the person at risk can work safely on the premises, the permission does not, however, entitle to daily work.

More detailed university-level guidelines for risk assessment are available here.

Access Control

This guide supplements the University's general safety guidelines for RDI activities.

  • Every manager should take care of not exceeding the maximal limits of the working spaces, so as not to overload the spaces in breach of the University security guidelines.  
  • Every manager must take care that the number of persons working in the RDI essential premises does not exceed the number as advised and that if need be the utilization of the spaces is slotted.  The Managers must see to it that work is executed according to the guidelines at all times.    
  • Persons are allowed to stay in the laboratory or in other premises to conduct essential research only for the necessary time needed, after which work continues remotely.
  • Persons involved in essential RDI-functions, must have a permit to conduct RDI work at the University. 
  • When entering the premises all persons should log in with their personal identification card/flexim. Only one person can pass through the same door opening.
  • When exiting, the door is also opened with the card/flexim (NB: All doors do not have the reader inside). Only one person can pass through the same door opening.
  • Campus Services reports daily door login information (A). The previous day logins are reported the next day on a building-by-building basis.
  • Persons who need permission for RDI work and essential research and laboratory facilities apply for it in accordance with RDI guidelines. Issued permits (B) are reported.
  • Every manager is responsible for ensuring that no unauthorized persons are present or working in the RDI premises.
  • If the employee identifies an excess of persons in the premises, he/she must contact the permit assignor or his/her manager. 
  • In every Faculty, Specialised Units and other Units with essential RDI activities, the number of staff is assessed, and the activities are monitored and evaluated. Reports are submitted upon request and as advised. 
  • Until further notice, the access rights of the staff will remain unchanged in the research and laboratory facilities.
  • Door login information (A) and permissions (B) for those working in the RDI premises are monitored and compared.
  • Deviations are reported to management and are always available, for example for AVI.
  • In addition, spot checks will be carried out on the premises and according to access reports to ensure that the maximum number of persons on the premises is not exceeded.
  • The University teams on Preparedness and Operations oversee the execution of all activities and their follow-up, in addition to the upholding of security. 


  • The RDI guidelines concern researchers, including Postdocs and PhD students, and staff in laboratories and Infrastructure Services. 
  • Campus Teaching Staff and University Services follow separate guidelines. 


Work in the University premises is been assessed as described above. The colour-coded table may be utilized in decision-making (appendix 1). 


The Work Permit includes the following information, which is collected to a table upheld by the assignor.   

  • Name of employee
  • Task and reason for permit (using Appendix 1)
  • Place(s) of work – for the majority of time 
  • Manager
  • RUL decision (green tasks) or ”yellow” tasks as advised in the guidelines
  • The approval by the Dean/ Special Research Unit Leader/ University Level Infrastructure Director, as advised in the guideline. 
  • In exceptional cases the proposal and permit assignment is to be directed to the Rector for Research.
  • Date of Permit
  • Authorization period (by example 13.4.2020)
  • Deviations – in cases of possible breaches, permit suspension.


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