Minors in Research Labs Policy

JSNN Policy for Minors as Volunteers (non-paid) and Visitors in Research Laboratories Version 1-2022

This policy is intended to protect minors (defined as individuals under the age of 18), who may potentially be exposed to hazardous materials in research laboratories. Minors under the age of 14 are not permitted to volunteer or work at JSNN laboratories.  

Visiting or touring minors aged 12-17

Minors aged 12-17 touring or passing through the JSNN laboratories must be under the direct supervision of a JSNN faculty or staff familiar with the area’s risks and hazards. High risk research activities must be halted during the visit. Prior to the tour/site visit, minors must receive a basic safety orientation, including both general safety information and any hazards particular to the lab being visited, and must require strict adherence to personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper attire, including closed-toe shoes and long pants, eye protection, and lab coat policies. Site visits requiring entering research lab spaces must be reviewed and approved in advance by JSNN ROEHS.

Minors aged 15-17 working as volunteers

Minors are not allowed to work with hazardous materials/equipment, participate in operations where hazardous materials are present, or where hazardous activities take place except under the following circumstances:

  • PI submits an approval request form (two weeks in advance) to the JSNN Research Operations and Environmental Health and Safety (ROEHS) and receives approval.
  • Minor provides parent/guardian-signed “Parent Guardian Agreement Release for Lab. from
  • Minor provides signed “Minor Agreement Release for Lab
  • Minor receives all necessary safety training modules required by ROEHS and complies with JSNN Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements.
  • Minor only participates in research activities during normal business hours and is always accompanied with an assigned adult supervisor while in the research lab.

Minors are not allowed to work with or around X-ray producing devices or work with hazardous material and equipment. The scope, nature, and details of the minor’s work must be documented and attached to the Lab Safety Plan/Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Both the “Parental Agreement” and “Minor Agreement” forms must be archived with PI/Department and a copy of each form submitted to ROEHS.

By initiating the approval request form, PI also acknowledges that:

  • He/she has read and is familiar with the requirements of this policy.
  • Minor will be supervised by an assigned adult supervisor while in the lab. Minors are not allowed to perform activities alone.
  • Minor will fulfill all required and necessary training.
  • Minor’s safety and the safety of others present in the laboratory is assured.
  • Proposed activities for minors are documented and permitted under the JSNN policies for Minors in Laboratories.

Under no circumstances shall individuals unable to understand safety training be permitted in laboratories. Safety training is tailored toward minor’s safety and includes general awareness about chemical, biological, and physical hazards, radiation safety, and emergency procedures. PIs must provide and document additional lab-specific safety training, including the introduction of their Chemical Hygiene Plan/Lab Safety Plan and conveying the roles and limitations of the minor’s activities.

For further information, please visit:

  1. UNCG Policy Manual, Minors in Research Labs
  2. UNCG Policy manual, Youth Programs
  3. NC A&T POLICY 1111, Protection of Minors on Campus  
  4. NIH NIH POLICY MANUAL, 3015 – Admittance of Minors to Hazardous Areas