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Visiting Student Observers – Application for Approval

The approval process differs depending on the age of the observer at the time of initiation of the educational experience.


Applicants under the age of 18 years (Minors)

A minor is defined as any individual who will be under the age of eighteen at the beginning of the visiting student observer experience. For instructions on requesting approval for a minor please see Minors in the Research Lab.


Applicants aged 18 or older:

All requests for visiting observers in Vanderbilt University research labs over the age of 18 must be reviewed through the BRET Office before permission can be granted for these individuals to be involved in laboratory activities. Faculty members who wish to admit such an individual in their lab should follow the application procedure listed below:

Application Procedure for 18 years of age or over:

Before requesting a Student Observer appointment, secure a background clearance. The department will fill out the following form for HR to initiate the background check with the intern:

Background Check Initiation Form

Please download and complete the relevant forms below and return to Aaron Howard in the BRET Office.

Once all required documents are received and reviewed, the BRET Office will provide a Letter of Appointment. The above forms may be submitted to


University Central Departments

Please note that the above instructions are for appointments to VU Basic Science departments. Procedures for appointing Research Interns in University Central Departments are available here.