In-lab Training for New Students

As Research Recovery continues into fall quarter and campus activities increase, new trainees are starting their work in shared facilities and laboratories. Research depends on sharing ideas, information, and techniques, and therefore thoughtful engagement of new trainees into the research environment on campus should be encouraged. Lab procedures and protocols, based on county guidance and recommendations from health professionals, should be directed to ensuring personal safety while integrating new trainees into research spaces. The guidelines here are intended to ensure that the research mission moves forward, that new trainees learn what they need to, and that our entire community is safe. Note that some activities as defined below will require special exceptions from the department or dean’s office to ensure that safety and overall building density are maintained at prescribed levels.

Any training or part of training that can be performed remotely should continue to be done remotely. This could include, for example, a combination of instructional videos, Zoom consultations, and virtual oversight for tasks that could be performed with a link to the trainer. However, many research activities require that new members be trained to perform procedures and tasks, and have hands-on training to operate equipment. While some of this training can be done remotely, some must also be completed in person in the lab or research area, sometimes in close (less than 6 feet) contact with another person. Training or the part of training that cannot be performed remotely should be limited to the following activities starting on September 14, 2020:

  • Provide lab-orientation training to new PIs, graduate students, and postdocs
  • Train on-site Stanford researchers on the use of equipment
  • Train junior researchers on advanced techniques

In-person training must follow health and safety rules as stipulated by Stanford in order to control facility population density and minimize the risk of virus exposure and transmission. The density policy, 1 person per 125 sq ft. as of Oct. 5, 2020, must be honored. (Note that this density requirement may change and will be documented on the Research Recovery website).

When training can only be conducted in a manner that does not meet the density requirement, the department and/or the dean’s office overseeing the shared facility can make an exception, providing the trainer and the trainee remain 6 feet apart, or are less than 6 feet apart for less than 15 continuous minutes AND not on a regular/frequent basis, according to EH&S Level 2 COVID-19 risk level.

Trainers and trainees who attend in-person sessions must:

  • Be authorized to be on-site in ORMS and have taken COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices training
  • Report daily symptoms via Health Check
  • Wear masks/face coverings at all times; wherever required, wear full personal protective equipment including lab coat, eye protection, etc.
  • Adhere to 6 feet or greater physical distancing protocols at all times OR request an exception as noted above
    • Personnel may be closer than 6 feet when responding to an urgent injury or illness and providing aid.
  • Disinfect work areas before and after each training session
  • Clean PPE and tools before and after each training session
  • Wash/sanitize hands before and immediately after the training session

Trainers and trainees should discuss issues that arise with those involved, but for broader issues or specific concerns, the following are some available resources:

  • Medical, Pregnancy, or Disability-Related Accommodations: Individuals who do not believe they should perform in-person training because of medical, pregnancy, or disability-related reasons may contact the Diversity and Access Office.
  • Safety Concerns: Individuals who have safety concerns may contact EH&S.
  • For confidential and anonymous reporting, the Ethics and Compliance Helpline is a way to raise concerns.