Volunteers and Research Conduct

Research Volunteers (including all undergraduates) involved in the conduct of research must be processed through the "Clinical UCLA Health Sciences Volunteer Program"-3t users.


Step 1: Read the "Eligibility Requirements," if eligible;


Step 2: Read "What a Volunteer Can and Cannot Do," if still interested;


Step 3: Please complete the new SOD form, you may indicate whether this position would be for UCLA Students, Non-UCLA Students, or both):

The Principal Investigator (PI)/Faculty or Inviting Supervisor may instead have the SOD forms be completed by Staff to be signed by them later.


Click for Individuals who are 18 Years and Older (Completed by Staff)


Step 4: Go to the UCLA Health Volunteer Department's Webpage for more details & to sign up, they will take over the Volunteer process from here:

            - 3t Volunteers: https://www.uclahealth.org/volunteer/clinical-ucla-health-sciences-volunteer-program


If you need assistance with the Volunteer process, please contact Lily Zhang at: Lilyzhang@mednet.ucla.edu


Once you've completed the Volunteer On-Boarding process, please contact BMC MR Lead Technologist Trent Thixton at:  BMCtechs@mednet.ucla.edu to initiate the BMC MRI Safety Certification Process.



To reflect the new requirements related to undergraduates and other volunteers, the following BMC policies are now in effect:


1. No undergraduate or volunteer who has not completed the required UCLA Health Sciences Volunteer Program onboarding process should be present when research is being conducted in the BMC. This is true even if the individual has previously been BMC safety certified. 


2. If an undergraduate or other volunteer has completed the School of Medicine onboarding process, they must be under the direct supervision of a paid UCLA employee who is also a member of your staff at all times.  BMC technologists can never be designated as the supervisor of your undergraduates or volunteers. 


3. It is the PI's responsibility to assure that the volunteer's supervisor is a paid UCLA employee who has a current and valid UCLA employee ID number. It is also the PI's responsibility to assure that the supervisor is aware that he or she is responsible for the volunteer's actions and that the supervisor is qualified and authorized (e.g., by his or her own direct supervisor) to provide supervision to undergraduates and other volunteers. 


4. We will continue to safety train and certify undergraduates and volunteers, but reserve the right to prioritize non-volunteers when offering training slots. For MRI training, volunteers may attend the initial orientation and take the written quiz while their onboarding process is underway (the referral for onboarding should be submitted before any safety training). However, undergraduates and volunteers will not be advanced to in-person orientations or final walkthroughs until the BMC has received documentation of their successful completion of the onboarding process. The criteria for successful completion of MR safety training will not be modified, so if a volunteer later transitions to non-volunteer status, MR safety certification will remain valid after this transition. A detailed flowsheet for MRI safety training that has been updated to include specific instructions regarding volunteers is available at  http://bmap.ucla.edu/services/safety_training/mri_safety/


For the neuromodulation laboratory, full safety certification may in some instances be deemed incompatible with the constraints placed on volunteers, and a two-tiered certification approach may be necessary.  A flowsheet for safety training in the Neuromodulation laboratory that includes the special steps needed for volunteers is at http://bmap.ucla.edu/services/safety_training/tms_safety/


5. Undergraduates and other volunteers are no longer eligible to have personal biometric access to the laboratories and other rooms where research is conducted. Existing access to those areas will be revoked. We will continue to offer biometric access to the building. This policy helps assure that volunteers cannot conduct research without a supervisor being present.


6. BMC staff are not responsible for assuring that your staff and volunteers conform to the approved job descriptions for volunteers. However, we reserve the rights to:

            a) bring violations to the attention of the supervisor and/or the PI

            b) eject unsupervised volunteers and/or revoke their safety certifications

            c) respond to failures to adequately supervise volunteers by prohibiting the supervisor from future supervision and/or by revoking the      

                supervisor's safety certification

            d) notify the Direct Referral program of actions taken under b) and c) above


7. Undergraduates and other volunteers are not permitted to work in the mMR (PET/MR) Laboratory due to radiation policies.  


8. In the event that an undergraduate also has a paid position with the University (e.g., a work-study student) and their involvement in the conduct of research studies in the BMC is entirely encompassed by their paid UCLA job description, they are not considered a volunteer and are not subject to the volunteer restrictions. However, any additional or subsequent unpaid work in the BMC would be subject to the volunteer restrictions.


9. PI's are responsible for assuring that the undergraduates and other volunteers who work on their projects have been onboarded specifically for their laboratory. If a volunteer changes laboratories (or volunteers independently in a second laboratory), a new Direct Referral form must be submitted, approved and provided to the BMC before working on projects conducted by the new laboratory. PI's should check with the Direct Referral program for guidance in complex situations where the supervisory chain between the volunteer and the designated BMC PI is amibiguous or uncertain (e.g., collaborations between two different laboratories, etc.). 


10. None of the policies above are meant to apply to volunteers who are in the BMC as IRB consented research subjects.


11. None of the policies above apply to UCLA graduate students, except that a graduate student who is not also a paid UCLA employee (i.e. does not have a current valid UCLA employee number) cannot supervise a volunteer.  NOTE: Visiting graduate students can not be onboarded or work with study participants.  


12. No exceptions to the above policies will be made for situations where the Direct Referal program declines to review a volunteer referral (e.g., because the PI is not affiliated with UCLA). Being an official volunteer at another institution is not an acceptable substitute.


13. Current and/or previously paid full/part time UCLA employees are not allowed to volunteer within the SAME department and will not qualify to be onboarded. “Per policy, previous/current UCLA employees are not permitted to volunteer (not UCLA SRP) in the same department or supervisor (conflict of interest and per labor relations) regardless of location and duties.”