Minors in Research Operations

To ensure minors are protected at the University of Michigan (U-M) while participating in research activities, departments hosting minors must take an active role in ensuring all policies, including departmental policies, are followed.  The process includes reviewing the risks of the materials and equipment minors will be using and designating a responsible person to supervise minors performing research.

NOTE:  Minors not taking part in a university-approved visit or volunteer role are not permitted within research settings.  This includes instances when an employee office is inside a laboratory space.

Policies Regarding Minors Participating in Research Activities

To prepare for minors to participate in lab research activities, lab directors must obtain authorization from Environment, Health & Safety (EHS).  The Minors in Research Operations Policy explains the restrictions and requirements for minors participating in research activities and provides information about the authorization process with EHS.

In addition to obtaining EHS authorization, Lab Directors must visit the Children on Campus Website for information about hosting minors on campus.  This website provides additional requirements to ensure the programs and activities under the direction and authority of U-M, as well as faculty, staff, and sponsored student organizations, are compliant with SPG 601.34 – Policy on Minors Involved in University-Children on Campus.

Obtaining EHS Authorization

Depending on the level of participation, the following document must be completed and sent to EHS before minors start to participate in research activities.

Send this for to EHS using one of the following methods:

When EHS receives the Work Activity form, EHS staff will review it and then send an Approval form to the appropriate U-M recipients in the hosting lab, as well as the Informed Consent Form to the Parent/Guardian and Minor for digital signature collection.

Once all signatures are collected, EHS will sign off as the final approver and attach the Work Activity Form and the Youth Employment Standard Poster.

Level of Participation and Required Forms

Minors may be involved in research as observers or active participants.  The level of participation determines what policies are necessary to follow in addition to obtaining department approval to allow minors into the research area, and, if specified, perform research activities.

  • Observation Only: Minors will not be conducting any research. However, the supervisor must provide basic training on potential hazards minors may encounter, emergency actions to take, and required PPE before they are allowed into the research area. EHS approval is not required and no documents must be submitted.
  • Performing Research Activities: Lab Directors (faculty/lab managers/supervisors):

Emergency Procedures

All near misses, injuries, accidents and illnesses involving a minor in your research, whether participating or just observing, must be reported.  Appropriate medical treatment may be necessary.  Determine what must be done for each minor and ensure all responsible persons are aware of the procedures.

  • For minors who are being paid to work at U-M, complete the Illness or Injury Report Form and submit to Work Connections.  If medical treatment is required, follow same procedures as for regular U-M employees.
  • For minors visiting or volunteering, refer them to their personal physician or the nearest emergency center depending on the nature of their issue.
  • For all incidents – Complete the Incident and Near Miss Report Form.

For more information, contact Research Health and Safety at (734) 647-1143 or minorsinresearch@umich.edu

Supplemental Information

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