As Dartmouth welcomes more than half of the undergraduate student body back to campus this week, we want to be clear on Geisel’s policy regarding the resumption of undergraduate research activities in our laboratories.
Geisel is committed to supporting educational programs in biomedical science for a broad spectrum of learners including undergraduate students. Many of these educational experiences are provided in on-campus research laboratories that are supported by extramural grants.
As you know, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Dartmouth ramped down on-campus research activities in order to promote physical distancing and reduce the number of people on our campus. As local disease prevalence has remained under control, on-campus research restrictions are slowly being lifted. An outbreak of COVID-19 within our research environment would place Geisel’s employed faculty, staff and trainees, as well as vital financial support from these sponsored activities, at risk if another institutionally mandated reduction in personnel density in our space is required to limit the extent of the outbreak.
Thus, to reduce the risk for such a disruption to our core educational and sponsored research programs at Geisel, Dartmouth undergraduate students (and other guests who lack a paid employee role or academic appointment; e.g. high school students) will continue to be prohibited from entering or working in Geisel’s laboratory and educational spaces (this includes the Remsen, Vail, Kellogg, Ruben, Borwell, and Williamson buildings) until we have restored 100% of the personnel density within our spaces without restrictions for our educational and sponsored research programs. Undergraduate students may continue to pursue research activities remotely but may not enter Geisel facilities until further notice.
Our graduate and medical students, faculty, and staff have done an excellent job in complying with our COVID-19 guidelines and helping to keep our community safe during this pandemic. While these undergraduate restrictions may be difficult for some, they are necessary to ensure the safety and continuity of our education and research activities. If you have any questions, please contact the Geisel Dean’s Office.