Guidelines set for offering undergraduate research this fall 2020

Note: This article was originally published in the July 22, 2020 edition of Purdue Today. You can access this article here.

Purdue undergraduate research opportunities will be available during the Fall 2020 semester as either in-person or remote experiences but may be reduced in number or type due to the impact of COVID-19 safety measures on laboratory capacity.

The availability and details of any single opportunity, however, will vary and will be determined by the research program or research advisor (professor or principal investigator) following the Protect Purdue guidance for research, said Amy Childress, director of the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research. 

Theresa Mayer, Purdue’s executive vice president for research and partnerships, said that the enhanced COVID-19 safety measures will reduce training opportunities and equipment access in many shared-user and core laboratories across campus.

Professors and PI’s are encouraged to consult with the laboratory directors and staff to determine the potential impact of the changes before making commitments to undergraduate research that requires these specialized capabilities, particularly those students in the online option, Mayer added.

Undergraduate students in the residential option can participate in any available undergraduate research opportunities, including federal work study programs, Childress said. They also will receive priority consideration for on-campus research opportunities. 

At the same time, undergraduate students in the fully online option may: 

  • Participate in any undergraduate research remotely (not at the research site).
  • Participate in undergraduate research for academic credit via courses that are included in the fully online catalog.  

Undergraduate students in the fully online option may NOT:

  • Participate in undergraduate research supported by federal work study programs.
  • Volunteer in undergraduate research that takes place in person either at an on-campus site or in-person at an off-campus site.

Undergraduate student in the fully online option may participate in undergraduate research on-campus (or in-person at an off-campus site) ONLY IF:

  • Residential students are not available to perform the research.
  • The student has fulfilled every training and certification requirement for on-campus faculty, staff and students as set forth in the Protect Purdue Plan as well as orientation to any safe operating procedures in place for the research operation.

Childress emphasized that it is the responsibility of the faculty member or the PI to ask undergraduate research candidates whether they are enrolled in residential or fully online programs. Priority consideration must be given to residential students. Fully online students must fulfill all Protect Purdue Plan requirements.

The offices of the Provost, Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and Undergraduate Research have worked together to provide these guidelines for undergraduate researchers this fall.

For more information, go to the Office of Undergraduate Research website, email UGresearch@purdue.edu, or call 765-494-6505.

*** It is the faculty member/PI’s responsibility to ask undergraduate research candidates whether they are enrolled in residential or full online programs. Priority consideration must be given to residential students. Fully online students must fulfill all Protect Purdue Plan requirements.

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