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Undergraduates in Research Labs during Yellow Level

Published July 1, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We have updated the guidance for undergraduate students working in research labs during the Yellow Level.

Experienced undergraduate students that have worked in a PI’s lab for at least two months pre-COVID, are now allowed to return to that same PI’s lab during the Yellow-Level phase. PIs are not allowed to have undergraduate students in the lab that have not previously worked in their lab. This restriction will be revisited later this summer. The Undergraduate’s hours should be included on the Appendix A of the ramp-up plan (the lab schedule). All undergraduate students returning to on-campus laboratory work must complete the Return to Campus training in Learn@Work before coming onto campus, and complete the COVID-19 self-screening each day.

We do not recommend scheduling undergraduates to work alone in the lab, especially at night or on the weekends, and do recommend having the undergraduate paired with an experienced mentor (graduate student, post-doc, fellow, lab manager, etc).

As before, undergraduates are permitted to participate in research if they are working remotely.

If you have questions regarding Yellow-Level activities, please contact my Chief of Staff, Johnnie Cartwright (

Jennifer Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research
Washington University