The safety of UGA personnel and visitors is paramount, and the protection of minors participating in research activities at UGA is critical. There is tremendous value to the intellectual development of minors through participation in supervised research activities in the university setting; however, there may be some risk involved. The Policy on Minors (not Acting as Students/Employees) in Research Laboratories, Clinics and Animal Facilities aims to help ensure the safety and security of minors. The policy designates when minors will be allowed to perform research in university laboratories, greenhouses, clinic areas or animal facilities when not acting as a university student or employee. The policy also aids in ensuring that any potential risks are mitigated.
The policy was developed in collaboration with the Advisory Committee for the UGA Policy for Programs and Activities Serving Minors and is an extension of that overarching policy. Input on the policy was solicited from a faculty advisory group with experience hosting minors in their labs and the Research Safety Committee. The final policy was reviewed and approved by the Research Safety Committee. The Office of Research Safety will operationalize the policy.
The policy will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2022, with an expectation that researchers working with minors will meet the policy’s provisions by the end of the spring semester. Additional communications are forthcoming about how researchers can comply with the policy and where they can get assistance with any questions.