- High-Risk Destinations
- Traveling with Technology
- Field Research Safety Abroad
- Safety Hazard Information
Traveling to High-Risk Destinations
The State Department monitors conditions around the world and assigns each country a Travel Advisory with important security information. The Travel Advisory appears at the top of each country page, with a color corresponding to each level. In addition to the overall Travel Advisory, specific locations within a country may have additional advisories in effect.
The University of Chicago's working assumption is that travel to countries or regions with a US Department of State Level 3 or Level 4 Advisory is not permitted for undergraduate participants. We also use as indicators the advisory levels published by the Centers for Disease Control and our emergency provider, International SOS. Thus, if the country or region to which travel is contemplated is listed as Level 3 or 4 in the State Department’s travel advisories OR has a warning level 3 from the Centers for Disease Control OR has an International SOS risk rating of High or Extreme, travel is assumed to be prohibited. Undergraduate students may petition for an exemption to this policy. For additional information and resources, undergraduate students should review the Study Abroad Travel Advisory Policy or contact Eric Benjaminson.
Undergraduate students may petition for an exemption to this policy. The following items will be needed for the Study Abroad Risk and Security Assessment committee (SARSAC) to review requests for an exception:
- Travel advisory meeting to discuss the petition process. Please email Eric Benjaminson at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
- A one- to two-page written petition detailing the proposed activity to be conducted in the desired country. The petition should address the risks of the locale and present a thoughtful plan to address adversity that might arise. Students are advised to include information about prior travel, language skills, local support resources (embassy, friends, family, etc.), and other experiences that will inform the proposed travel. The petition must also give a reasonable justification that the experience cannot be obtained in another country or region that does not bear a Level 3 or Level 4 Advisory.
- A Waiver, signed by the student and a parent or legal guardian.
Traveling with Technology
International Travel with electronic devices requires special precautions. Remote devices and the information they contain should be protected while accessing the Internet or not physically under your control. IT Services has developed travel tips within the U.S. and abroad with electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Travelers must also be aware of the technical data residing on these devices as traveling with such technical data could be a violation of U.S. Export Control regulations. Consult URA’s International Travel Memo describing the Export Control considerations for travelers. Any questions should be directed to Stefan Jellicoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Field Research Safety: Beyond the Lab
Safety Teams provide expert guidance and training on the handling of hazardous materials. Laboratory personnel are ultimately responsible for the application of knowledge and safe practices gained through consultation with our staff. Complete our Field Hazard Assessment Tool for an individual risk assessment.
The Chemical Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling and disposal of all hazardous chemical substances. Some examples of hazardous chemical substances include: carcinogens, neurotoxins, and corrosive materials.
The Biological Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling and disposal of all hazardous biological materials. Hazardous biological substances may include viruses, toxins, and pathogenic organisms.
The Radiation Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling, disposal, and monitoring of all radioactive materials. Radioactive materials are defined as any material that spontaneously emits ionizing radiation. The team also oversees the best safety practices for the use of X-rays and lasers.
Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be provided to researchers, utilized and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition whenever deemed necessary by reason of hazards, processes or environment. Instructional laboratories are required to determine the appropriate PPE for the lab work being done and ensure compliance with this policy by the students.
Principal investigators should use this form to communicate procedures for responding to emergency situations to field researchers.
Both the Office of Research Safety and Environmental Health and Safety offer a variety of safety related training courses that provide the information and resources you need to establish and maintain safe practices in your work environment. Find recommended trainings here: ORS Trainings and EHS Trainings.
Field Research Safety: Beyond the Lab
Environmental Health and Safety provides services and support for efficient, effective, and compliant work practices, while promoting a culture of shared responsibility by students, faculty, staff, and visitors for a healthy, safe, and environmentally sound educational and research community at the University of Chicago. Before you depart, learn more about potential hazards and how to stay safe.
Safety Talks provide detailed information on potential field research safety hazards as well as clear guidelines on prevention.
Personal Protective Equipment
All personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be provided, utilized, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition whenever deemed necessary by reason of hazards, processes, or environment. Click here for the full policy.