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Minors in Laboratories

Strict policy governs the presence of minors in UC San Diego research facilities.

A minor is an individual under 18 years of age (California Family Code §6500-6502).

Volunteers who are not affiliated with UC San Diego (as enrolled students, employees or visiting scholars/students) must register either as visiting scholars or through HR as volunteers to be on site.

PI responsibility

Principal investigators and Supervisors, before you permit minors to perform research activities in your laboratory, you must obtain authorization and observe specific restrictions and procedures.

You are responsible for safety in your laboratory and may choose to further restrict or prohibit minors from entering or performing research there.


Compliance with UC CANRA policy and UC San Diego CANRA Procedures is required for each lab with minors. The PI must consult with their department to ensure that employees and volunteers in activities involving minors have completed all required registration and screening actions, signed their CANRA Mandated Reporter Acknowledgement Forms, completed CANRA training, and have reviewed the Safe Supervision of Minors (including the Safe Supervision of Minors Best Practices), prior to the minor coming into the lab. 


This policy governs the presence of minors in any UC San Diego laboratory or shop that uses hazardous chemicals, biohazardous or infectious materials, radioactive materials or radiation-producing equipment, or where there are physical hazards including (but not limited to) compressed gases, high voltage, extreme temperatures, excessive noise, or lasers.

This policy applies to all minors involved in summer internships, volunteering in research projects, and participating in scheduled assignments in a laboratory setting.

The policy does not apply to students enrolled in courses listed in a campus course catalog having a laboratory component or in any of the University of California’s educational outreach programs, including students working on science fair projects.

Restrictions by age group

  • Minors under the age of 14 are not allowed in UC San Diego laboratories, shops, or vivaria other than as part of an approved and supervised tour. This includes minor children related to laboratory personnel.
  • Minors under the age of 18 are not allowed in UC San Diego vivaria unless their participation has been reviewed and approved by the UC San Diego Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the responsible vivarium facility manager based upon criteria established by the campus.
  • Minors under the age of 18 are never permitted in any setting where research involving controlled substances is being performed, even if they are enrolled students.
  • Minors between the ages of 14 and 18 are allowed in UC San Diego laboratories when they:
    1. Are enrolled in courses listed in a campus course catalog or are part of an approved and supervised tour, or
    2. Have written consent from their parent(s) or guardian, adhere to campus requirements for safety training and personal protective equipment, and are accompanied by a trained and knowledgeable campus supervisor at all times.

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