Minors in Research

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 assuring 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.

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 web site 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-Sponsored Programs or Programs held in University Facilities.

Obtaining EHS Authorization

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

NOTE: Allow one week for the Department Head or Chair to review and sign the appropriate documents.  Then, allow EHS five to ten business days after receiving the documents with the Department Head or Chair’s signature to review and approve the forms.

Send copies to EHS using one of the following methods:

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 using hazardous substances or equipment.  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 involving hazardous substances or equipment: 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 Formand 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

Obtaining EHS Authorization Supplemental Information