Safe and Inclusive Off-Campus Research Planning

Before submitting sponsored research proposals that involve off-campus, off-site, or "field" research, Michigan Technological University requires that the PI complete and keep on file a Safe and Inclusive Field / Off-campus Research Plan for that project using this template: Safe and Inclusive Fieldwork / Off-Campus Research Plan. This plan must address potential risks associated with physical hazards likely to be encountered in the field as well as any potential risks for personal harm resulting from assault, harassment, or discrimination. Each research team member who will work in the off-campus site(s) must be trained in all key elements of the plan and be given a hard or electronic version of the plan. The plan will be a living document updated as circumstances change and team members get added. At this time, these requirements and template meet federal sponsor requirements, including those of the National Science Foundation.

It is Michigan Tech policy that we all comply with civil rights statutes that prohibit various forms of discrimination in employment and in educational programs and activities on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, genetic information, or marital status, disability, or veteran status. In developing their off-campus research plan, researchers must identify and evaluate the potential hazards/risks associated with work in their off-campus research site(s) and describe how they will mitigate or eliminate those hazards and risks.

As a resource in developing their plan, we strongly encourage researchers to draw on the strategies described inSafe Fieldwork Strategies for At-risk Individuals, their Supervisors and Institutions. This article provides examples of risks research team members have faced during off-campus research and describes effective strategies to mitigate these risks.

As you develop your off-campus research plan, please ensure that your plan is grounded in:

  • Fostering an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive research team by treating everyone with respect and promoting physical and mental health and safety,
  • Valuing team members' similarities and differences,
  • Adherence to all University policies and procedures, federal, state, and local laws, including permitting regulations.

Your plan, including training required of team members, must be designed to ensure that it is clearly understood by all team members that the following behaviors will not be tolerated:

  • Physical or verbal abuse and assault,
  • Sexual misconduct,
  • Discrimination, harassment, or bullying on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, height, weight, genetic information, marital status, disability, or veteran status,
  • Intimidation, threats, retaliation, and coercion,
  • Behavior that endangers the health and safety of oneself or others,
  • Illegal activity, including possession or use of federally illegal substances.

Your plan must describe how the following types of behavior by team members during project work will be addressed:

  • Abuse of any person, but not limited to harassment, stalking, bullying or hazing of any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; or
  • Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly.

Key Michigan Technological University Policies

Creating safe and inclusive working environments for off-campus or off-site research is consistent with the fundamental principles and practices of existing policies and codes of conduct established by the University to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. 

Reporting an Incident or Concern

Concerns about harassment or discrimination occurring in an off-campus or off-site working environment should be reported via established University reporting channels or via one of the forms linked below.  

  • Incidents or concerns related to discrimination based on sex, sexual misconduct or sexual harassment may be reported online using the Title IX / Sexual Misconduct Reporting Form  or by contacting the Title IX Coordinator at titleix@mtu.edu or 906-487-3310.
  • Students may report incidents or concerns through the Dean of Students Incident Reporting web page.
  • Employees with concerns other than those covered by Title IX may be reported online using the Discrimination and/or Harassment Reporting Form or by contacting the Equal Opportunity Officer, Beth Lunde-Stockero blunde@mtu.edu 906-487-3310.
  • Following an investigation of sexual misconduct, harassment or discriminatory behavior, Michigan Tech will report to NSF, NIH, and other granting agencies the findings of the investigation as well as any administrative actions resulting from the violation of this policy by a PI or co-PI. 

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion