Undergraduate Research On-Campus Policy

Undergraduates in Residence Performing Academic Research: Undergraduates in residence may be included in on-campus research in the fall, winter and spring quarters 2020-21. Those approved by their PI for previous quarters of research may continue to work in the lab, provided they follow the below guidance. Undergraduates in residence who wish to do research and have not yet been approved must seek approval from their PI, in consultation with their Department Chair or Program Director, prior to beginning work in the lab, and must follow the guidance and considerations outlined below.

Updated Policy regarding Undergraduate Academic Research for Spring Quarter 2020-2021: Beginning April 8, 2021, undergraduate seniors and juniors living in the local area may come to campus to work on a research project that requires access to special facilities. Access to campus resources is limited and students should first check that the facility is currently open. Students with approved access to campus facilities for research will be required to abide by the policy outlined below. In addition, these students will have to follow the COVID surveillance testing policy for undergraduates not in residence and the undergraduate campus compact. The current policy includes the following guidelines and considerations:

  • This academic exception is restricted to seniors and juniors who are currently living near campus (within 150 miles). Approval applies to Spring quarter only. The policy will be revisited for Summer Quarter 2021.
  • Students must be enrolled or on a Flex Term; they are not eligible if they are taking a Leave Of Absence.
  • Students are required to sign the undergraduate campus compact (or accept the alternative administrative accountability system).
  • Students are required to sign up and follow the weekly testing procedures before accessing research sites.
  • Students will only have access to the approved research site, library or other facility. All other campus sites are restricted.
  • Students are subject to the same rules regarding gatherings and in-person meetings as other undergraduates currently in residence.

The application for this exception process can be found here. Undergraduate seniors and juniors applying for this research exception must work with their faculty mentor/advisor to obtain the necessary information before filling out this application. Students who do not may expect significant delays. Submitted requests will be routed to the Research Mentor/Advisor for the research project and Building Manager for final approval.

Decisions about whether a research program can safely accommodate an undergraduate researcher will be made by members of this review group. These decisions will be informed by the following guidelines and considerations:

  1. Undergraduate research that can be done remotely should continue to be done remotely. On-campus research activity should be limited to work involving minimal or intermittent contact with other researchers and the public. These restrictions are consistent with Risk Levels 1 or 2 in the Stanford Workplace Risk Matrix.
  2. Permission to engage in on-campus research is permitted for all undergraduates living on campus and exceptions may be provided to juniors and seniors living in the local area.
  3. PIs should assess the priority of the undergraduate research. This assessment should include the degree to which a student will be able to work independently, without need for close-interaction training by other group members, and how the research would facilitate the educational goals of the student, for example by allowing them to complete an honors thesis.
  4. All stage-specific guidelines relating to the areas in which research will be conducted must continue to take precedence. For example, undergraduates wishing to do work in a laboratory setting will need to follow current specific building and laboratory Standard Operating Procedures.
  5. The building manager and faculty lead will assess the ability to safely include the student given the current guidelines on building density.

Undergraduate researchers must adhere to all general requirements for campus, including:

This policy applies to Spring quarter 2020-21. It will be revisited for Summer quarter.