November 17, 2020

Dear Students,

We hope this finds you well. As we head towards the end of the fall 2020 term, we want to share some important information regarding UROP participation.

Current UROPs

  • In-person lab access. Some students living on campus for fall 2020 have had access to on-campus research facilities to conduct UROP research, thesis work, or class projects. Fall term lab access for undergraduates scheduled to depart campus in November will end when in-person instruction for this semester concludes (Friday, November 20). Students affected by this change may continue their fall UROP work on a virtual-basis only through Thursday, December 31.

We are aware of a small number of undergraduate students who will reside in campus residence halls from November 21 through the end of the calendar year. For only those current fall 2020 UROP students already approved to live on campus through the end of the calendar year and approved for lab access as part of a UROP, eligibility for access to research facilities will continue thorugh December 31, 2020.

  • UROPs departing the US. All students currently conducting UROP work (pay, credit or volunteer) in the US and planning to leave the country in November must alert the UROP Office by completing a Remote Location Change Form. Please note the following:
    • Work to be continued abroad in Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, the Crimea region of Ukraine, China (including Hong Kong), Russia, or Saudi Arabia will require review by MIT’s remote international appointment team. Projects in Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, or the Crimea region of Ukraine may not continue until the remote appointment team review has been conducted.
    • UROP-for-pay students departing the US may continue filing weekly timesheets via the Atlas system, through December 31 only. Please note that UROP work conducted in IAP 2021 and after by students outside of the US may not be conducted for pay (credit or volunteer options remain).

IAP UROP

  • UROP in IAP. Note that IAP UROPs require new applications, as well as new updates to Covid Pass to facilitate approved campus lab access before lab access can commence. This holds even if a student is continuing an in-person UROP from fall 2020 to IAP 2021, due to Covid Pass compliance requirements.
  • Students already approved to live on campus during IAP 2021 (January 4 through 29) are eligible to request access to on-campus research facilities through their UROP faculty supervisors. Seniors who live off campus during IAP 2021 can request access to on-campus research facilities through their UROP faculty supervisors. Adding all on-campus students and any seniors living off campus to Covid Access and Covid Pass for UROPs will be administered by MIT. MIT has added a new step since fall 2020 that requires faculty supervisors to contact student-car@mit.edu (see the UROP website for instructions) to receive confirmation of each UROP student’s access eligibility first. Requests should be made by December 15, 2020 to enable issuance of a valid Covid Pass to access research buildings during IAP 2021.

Their access to campus will be dependent upon their compliance with the Institute’s quarantine and regular testing and health attestation requirements. Seniors living off campus who receive approval to participate in UROP over IAP must receive a PCR test from MIT Medical on January 4 and then self-quarantine for at least seven days before testing again and receiving a negative result. This means that the earliest they could start an in-person UROP would be on January 12, 2021.

Spring UROP

  • UROP for seniors after IAP. IAP 2021 ends on January 29. Seniors approved for UROP in IAP and in good standing with all Covid Pass testing and health monitoring requirements may continue their UROP until February 7, 2021. A decision about whether they may continue their UROP in person when the spring semester begins on February 16, 2021 will be made as part of the larger determination about seniors accessing campus that Chancellor Barnhart recently announced: “We will make a decision by the end of the [fall] semester about whether seniors who choose to live nearby can have access to campus facilities in the same way that graduate students who live off campus do now. We will be able to make a more informed determination after we learn more about our ability to manage the health of our community during cold weather, with Covid-19 prevalence on the rise and flu season beginning, and after we see how many first-years, sophomores, and juniors will access campus in the spring.”
  • UROP in spring. Undergraduates may be authorized for spring lab access for in-person UROPs, provided the student has been invited back to campus for spring 2021 and is living in MIT housing. The student’s research project must meet all safety and public health requirements and must be able to be conducted within the confines of MIT’s limited campus constraints. The student must meet all requirements for in-person UROPs, including securing approval from the faculty sponsor/PI and the Student Covid Access Request Team. MIT has added a new step since fall 2020 that requires faculty supervisors to contact student-car@mit.edu (see the UROP website for instructions) to receive confirmation of each UROP student’s access eligibility first.

Should you have any questions or need additional information on any of the above points, do not hesitate to contact the UROP Office.

Michael Bergren
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)