Last updated August 31, 2020
Note: These plans are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.

All undergraduates can participate in research remotely. These activities might include reading papers, preparing reports, analyzing data, participating in lab meeting, writing code, developing algorithms, filling out surveys, etc.

Conducting In-Person Research

Faculty who have decided to allow WashU undergrads to conduct in-person research activities within their research group should carefully consider and plan for how to reduce time in close proximity with the students but still provide outstanding training, mentorship, and oversight of their research experience. For example, groups may be able to find training videos for general research techniques, and develop their own videos to demonstrate research group specific techniques.

All undergraduate students engaging in in-person research must be added to the research ramp-up plans and have these reviewed by the entity that is reviewing and approving the plans (in some schools, this is done at the school level and at other, it is done at the department level). The undergraduate students must be provided with a copy of the plans for their research area and any common areas that they will enter. These plans should be reviewed with the student prior to any work beginning. The PI of the research group is responsible for ensuring that the student has been properly trained. The student must agree to follow the safety plans and guidelines.

All undergraduates can engage in the following in-person research activities:  

  • Laboratory based research for credit or pay, as long as their hours are factored into the laboratory schedule and plan approved by the Department or School where the research is occurring.
  • Clinical research for credit or pay, as long as their hours in the clinical areas are factored into the plan approved by the Department or School where the research is occurring. Undergraduates should not be engaging in activities that require close proximity (within 6 ft.) to the research participants.
  • Non-clinical human subjects research for credit or pay, as long as their hours are factored into the schedule and plan approved by the Department or School where the research is occurring. Undergraduates should not be engaging in activities that require close proximity (within 6 ft.) to the research participants.
  • Community based research if the undergraduate is included in the plan approved by the Department/School.
  • Field studies as long as the undergraduate is factored into the plan approved by the Department/School.

University housing will not be available to students for the purposes of participating in research prior to the planned opening of the university housing for the fall semester. 

Participating as Research Subjects

Undergraduates often participate in research in the role of research subjects as part of their education. As long as the Washington University public health guidelines (universal masking when indoors, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, frequent handwashing, disinfection of commonly touched surfaces, daily screening for COVID-19 symptoms) can be followed during the course of the experiment, and the undergraduate is at low risk for developing severe disease according to the CDC guidelines, undergraduates can participate as an in-person research subject. This information should all be documented in the research group’s plans.