Mentored Research Policy for Spring 2021
Students who are living on campus in College housing may participate in on-campus laboratory research. The laboratory PI should add the student to the lab re-occupancy form and ensure that all requirements for COVID safety are met (e.g. square feet per person, sufficient fresh/highly filtered air flow, scheduling of common spaces and equipment). Students must be enrolled in a research course/independent study for credit, or must be receiving funding for their research. Please see the general policy statement below.
Note that students who have returned to campus housing this spring are under quarantine ("Level 0") until they have had their third negative test, which will typically be 8 or 9 days after arrival. Thus, on-campus students should not expect to return to labs until January 30 at the earliest.
Enrolled students who are living off campus but are near enough to come to work in labs may be eligible to do so, following the policy listed below. Students must be enrolled in a research course/independent study for credit, or must be receiving funding for their research. Laboratory access for off-campus students will begin no earlier than February 15.
On-Campus Mentored Research Policy for Harvard Undergraduates
The following policy allows enrolled Harvard undergraduate students, including those off campus, to gain access to on-campus, mentored research experiences. The process is tied to compliance with all public health protocols (including whatever level of COVID-19 testing is recommended by the medical advisory group) and building occupancy levels on campus. To participate, a student must be sponsored by a faculty member and comply with all testing requirements and the Off-Campus Community Compact. For students to participate, they must be enrolled in independent study, a research course, or conducting paid research.
- Faculty mentors attest that they are willing to sponsor an enrolled undergraduate (residing on-campus or off-campus) for mentored research using on-campus resources, such as labs (this policy may be expanded to include other on-campus resources, if public health guidance allows those buildings to open).
- Faculty mentors refer students to the Harvard College Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (URAF) to complete the Mentored Research Eligiblity and Registration Form (linked below) to assess student eligibility to participate in mentored research and ensure awareness of the parameters of the Off-Campus Community Compact for off-campus students. Faculty must commit to including undergraduate researchers in their laboratory occupancy plans, as appropriate. Faculty mentors confirm with their department or building administrators that the labs or other resources can accommodate the student given current protocols for safe occupancy and provide access to viral testing.
- Students must commit to participating in a specified COVID-19 testing regimen (currently three times per week for students residing on-campus, and twice per week for Harvard affiliates who reside off campus but regularly work on campus).
- Students must commit to adhering to the community compact for their residential status, including the Off-Campus Community Compact. The compact and compliance with it are overseen by College staff.
- The students and faculty mentors must understand that approval for enrolled undergraduate students to use on-campus resources for mentored research is contingent. It can be revoked if the student does not comply with the testing regimen or adhere to the community compact—or if the public health situation changes.
URAF is the central resource for students and faculty participating in mentored research. Please contact us at email@example.com with questions.
Mentored Research Eligiblity and Registration Form
If you are an enrolled undergraduate student and your faculty mentor has agreed to sponsor you for an in-person mentored research experence, please complete the Mentored Undergraduate Research Registration Form to determine your eligiblity. Please reach out to URAF at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
For information about on-campus laboratory research for undergraduates, please visit the SEAS & FAS Division of Science website.