Guidelines Governing Minors in Laboratories and Appointment Forms

General Release Form

 

Process for Appointment of Minors as Observers in Vanderbilt University Basic Science Research Laboratories

Considering the number and nature of steps in this process, please allow at least 3 to 4 weeks for minors to be approved as Visiting Student Observers.  Lab members who keep compliance up-to-date as a matter of course will certainly speed this process.

 

Definitions related to this process:

Minor: Any individual under 18 years of age.

Faculty Sponsor: A Vanderbilt faculty member who oversees the activity and involvement of the intern or observer while at Vanderbilt.

Designated Supervisor: A Vanderbilt employee who is directly responsible for overseeing the activities and involvement of the intern or observer while at Vanderbilt. The designated supervisor must be thoroughly familiar with the activities in which the person will be involved and the policies that govern that involvement. (See Guidelines Above) The Faculty Sponsor may also serve as the Designated Supervisor.

Observer:  Minors are generally approved only as unpaid Visiting Student Observers.  As a rule, minors are not allowed to be Research Interns (paid).

  • FIRST STEP: The faculty sponsor, or his/her designee, should complete the BRET Placement of Minor-Lab Personnel List and copy to faith.t.bishop@vanderbilt.edu.  This is a list of ALL lab personnel expected to have interaction with the minor during the course of the placement.  Please complete this as early as possible due to the time required for each lab member to train and the turn around time for a background clearance.  The lab/department Designee is responsible for communicating and tracking compliance for personnel on the list. The Designee will notify the BRET office - faith.t.bishop@vanderbilt.edu - when everyone on the personnel list is compliant. 

    Monitoring individual lab members is not done by the BRET Office.

  • The BRET Office will use the personnel list to enter the specific Research Observational Experience into the Protection of Minor (POM) database.  Training and background clearance dates will auto populate as each person is entered.  The Protection of Minors (POM) system will generate emails regarding training and background checks for personnel who lack compliance dates.  Each individual should follow the instructions in the email.
  • Personnel can check their compliance by logging in with the VUnetID at this POM Compliance Check Website
  • TRAINING: All individuals in the lab should have both the Basic 101 Minor Training Module and the annual renewal training. These trainings are part of yearly evaluation for the staff, however, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students (and other non employees in the lab) who have not taken these trainings are now required to do so when a minor is scheduled to observe in a Vanderbilt University basic science laboratory. If your certification is not current, please log into your Learning Exchange account using your VUNET ID https://learningexchange.ea.vanderbilt.edu/#/courses/course/28450 to complete the minor training. (All personnel must first complete the Protection of Minors 101 module before completion of renewal training.)
  • BACKGROUND CHECK: All lab personnel who are working with a minor are required to have a background clearance on file. (These clearances are good for four years)  Please request instructions for your background clearance from PEBC@vanderbilt.edu. When you request your background check, please ask HR to copy the email approval to the BRET office (faith.t.bishop@vanderbilt.edu). 
  • The laboratory mentor/department Designee is responsible for communicating and tracking compliance with the individuals on the personnel list. The BRET Office should be notified when ALL lab members are compliant. 
  • After everyone has complied, the BRET administrator will indicate BRET approval of the observational experience.  Everyone in the lab must be compliant before the minor student may observe in the lab.

  • Meanwhile the Forms located after the Guidelines above and the General Release Form (separate link above)  should be completed and scanned to the BRET Office (faith.t.bishop@vanderbilt.edu) by the department wishing to host the minor.  BRET will email an official approval to the department administrator and/or mentor when all of the above steps have been completed.

Considering the number and nature of steps in this process, please allow at least 3 to 4 weeks for minors to be appointed as Visiting Student Observers.  Lab members who keep their compliance up-to-date as a matter of course will certainly speed this process.

For any questions, please contact Faith Bishop, faith.t.bishop@vanderbilt.edu in the BRET Office.