Guidelines for Minors Interning in CLAS Research Laboratories

Associate Dean, Research
Amended Date

Key Contact

If you have questions, please contact the Assistant to the Associate Dean for Research.


These guidelines apply to minors interning in individual laboratories of CLAS principal investigators (PIs) to perform research work in CLAS (hereafter referred to simply as “minors”).

These guidelines do not apply to UI undergraduates who may still be minors when enrolling their first year and who are working for class credit; it is intended for minors, such as high school students, from outside the institution. The guidelines also do not apply to minors who are employed (via an HR process) in individual labs to perform research or to minors who are visitors in the workplace (e.g. children of faculty, pre/post-doctoral) who enter the research area briefly and do not perform work.

Policy Purpose and Description

The University of Iowa is committed to providing a healthy and safe environment for all members of the campus community, including minors interning in Research Laboratories.  These guidelines are intended to: 1) protect both the safety of minors and laboratory staff members; 2) define the alternate approval process in compliance with the minors on Campus Policy (Operations Manual II, Ch 16); and 3) serve as a minimum requirement for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Each department within the College may develop more restrictive guidelines and procedures as deemed necessary.

See the minors on Campus policy for terms and definitions that apply to these guidelines (Operations Manual II Ch 16)

  1. Supervision:
    Appropriate supervision must be provided at all times when minors are in Research Laboratories.  The Principal Investigator (PI), or a qualified person designated by the PI, is responsible for the supervision of minors.  The PI and Supervisor are required to undergo criminal background checks and Minor on Campus training located on the Employee Self Service - My Training: Course #WRM002) prior to directing minors interning in research laboratories.

  1. Prohibited Behavior:
    1. Minors must abide by all University policies and procedures, and College/laboratory rules and procedures. Minors may be removed for non-compliance.
    2. The following behaviors are prohibited by everyone in all University facilities including Research Laboratories:
      1. Inappropriate use of cameras, imaging, recording and digital devices, including use of such devices in showers, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is reasonably expected.
      2. Possession or use of tobacco and possession, use of, or being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs or other nonprescription substances that may be harmful, or medication prescribed to another individual.
      3. Violence, threats of harm to self or others, and sexual abuse or harassment.
      4. Hazing of any kind or bullying, including verbal, physical or cyber bullying. 
      5. The use of any social media for the purpose of intimidating, harassing, taunting, bullying or otherwise bringing harm to another person, including a minor interning in a Research Laboratory, students, faculty, staff or Volunteers.
      6. Possession or use of fireworks, firearms, guns, knives, archery equipment and other weapons, unless being used for an officially sanctioned and approved instructional or research program.
      7. Theft, intentional misuse, or damage to University or another person’s property.  Criminal and/or civil charges may be assessed against anyone responsible for such damage, misuse, or theft.

  1. Safety Training:
    Minors are required to complete all general laboratory safety training provided on-line by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS). Minors and supervisors are required to review project-specific safety procedures that include how to operate instrumentation safely, how to operate eye wash and emergency shower stations, how to call for help if required, how to work safely with solutions, chemicals, and laboratory items.

  1. Restrictions:
    Minors are not permitted to work with and must be isolated from the following:
  • Radioactivity
  • Controlled Substances
  • Infectious agents (organisms requiring BLS2 and higher)
  • Toxins or carcinogens
  • Corrosive or Volatile Chemicals
  • Explosive chemicals or agents
  • Organic Solvents
  • Open Flames
    Minors are required to have eye protection and appropriate personal protection equipment at all times while working in a laboratory.

    may not access, handle or work with or in close proximity to vertebrate laboratory animals without explicit permission by the Parent/Guardian with adequate description of related risk. Work with animals requires appropriate approval from Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (“IACUC”) explicitly for each minor.

  1. Minors permitted without registration:|Minors are allowed in Research Laboratories without any prior registration under the following circumstances only:
    1. They are temporary visitors in the workplace;
    2. They are working for the University as employees;
    3. They are currently enrolled at the University as students;
    4. They have been admitted for enrollment at the University as students for the upcoming semester;
    5. They are attending organized events on campus (e.g., STEM outreach events) or events sponsored by the University or CLAS that are open to the general public;
    6. They are on school/organization trips accompanied throughout the trip by an adult chaperone for their school/organization;
    7. They are attending official admissions events hosted by the University Admissions Office, such as Hawkeye Visit Days;
    8. They are high school students participating in pre-enrollment visitation or recruiting activities governed by NCAA or US Department of Health and Human Services regulations

  1. Required Registration and Process for Minor Interns in Research Laboratories:
    The following documents must be completed, submitted and approved by the PI, the Departmental Executive Officer (or approved designee), and the Office of the Vice President for Research prior to a Minor conducting any intern duties:
    1. Proposed Project Checklist for Minors Interning in Research Laboratories,
    2. Rules for Minors in Research Laboratories,
    3. Parental Consent Form,
    4. Waiver, Release, and Indemnification Agreement,
    5. Emergency Medical Treatment Authorization, and
    6. Potential Hazards in Research Laboratories Information Sheet.
  • Process:
  1. PI notifies Department Administrator of the desire to have a minor intern in the PI’s research lab.
  2. PI and any other day-to-day supervisors are required to undergo criminal background check and training:
    1. Departmental Administrator submits Criminal Background Check request using the CLAS Background Check Request ( which will trigger the CBC forms to be sent to the PI, supervisor, or others with one-on-one contact who will provide oversight to the minor. The Departmental Administrator indicates that the CBC is for Minors Interning in the Research Lab in the “Reason” field of the request form.
    2. The HR Transactional Hub representative who receives the CBC request provides info on how to complete the required minor training to the PI, supervisor, and others with one-on-one contact who will provide oversight to the minor.
  3. After CBC is completed/cleared and verification of training is complete, the PI reviews and obtains appropriate signatures on forms from the minor and parent consent then submits the completed forms to the Department Admin.
  4. Department Admin will obtain signature and approval from the Department DEO.
  5. After Department DEO signs, Department Admin submits completed forms to OVPR. Risk Management to be informed if there are changes or exceptions made to the activities a minor is allowed to perform.




See above.


Forms required are:

  • Proposed Project Checklist for minors Interning in Research Laboratories
  • Rules for Minors in Research Laboratories
  • Parental Consent Form
  • Waiver, Release and Indemnification Agreement
  • Emergency Medical Treatment Authorization
  • Potential Hazards in Research Laboratories Information Sheet

Download all forms here.

Frequently Asked Questions


Related Information


Revision History

Last updated 12/11/22