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Undergraduate Research in the Laboratory


This policy applies to all laboratories in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences.

Training and Orientation

All new undergraduate students are obliged to receive laboratory safety training before working in laboratories. Online General Laboratory Safety Training is offered by the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences. Students should contact the Laboratory Safety Specialist ( to request training. To use certain laboratory equipment, all undergraduate students must receive specific training. These trainings are arranged in advance with the Principal Investigators (PI) or Graduate Students (Grad).

Laboratory orientations for particular materials, equipment, or operations in a particular workplace area provided by the PI or Grad.

Laboratory Access

Upon successful completion of the appropriate safety training, laboratory access is granted through SU ID card activation. Card activation is done for any particular laboratory through contact with Laboratory Specialist (LS). Laboratory keys can also be obtained from LS.

Laboratory access should not be granted for first- and second-year undergraduates as they should never be permitted to work without a supervisor. All activities will be supervised at all times by a graduate student/post-doc/PI.          

Laboratory access may be granted for third- and fourth-year undergraduates on a case-by-case basis determined by the PI and/or graduate student. The PI and/or graduate student should determine whether or not these students have to be supervised, on a case-by-case basis. This decision should be made according to the student’s competency, hazards present in the lab, concerns related to facility security, and specific projects and duties the student has to perform. 

Working After Hours or Alone

Freshman and sophomore-year undergraduates are never permitted to work after hours or alone in a research laboratory. They must always have an eligible lab user (Undergrad/Grad/Post-Doc/PI) present nearby.

For junior and senior year students, PI approval is needed to work after hours or alone in the lab. In addition to PI approval, supervision is needed (buddy is recommended) for working after hours or alone.

Approval form is completed online by students who intend to work after hours or alone and submitted to PI for approval. Online approval form can be accessed from here.

A new PI approval is needed for any hazardous material, equipment, operation, and/or location change. For detailed information see Working After Hours or Alone Guideline.


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