Per School of Medicine Dean's Office:

The School of Medicine (SoM) views the opportunity to volunteer in a laboratory as a very important educational experience, introducing volunteers to the workings of a research laboratory and often helping them to explore possible future career choices. The SoM encourages faculty to provide such opportunities to individuals seeking a lab experience and welcomes those who meet the requirements of the SoM Lab Volunteer Policy.


The SoM lab Volunteer Policy clarifies who is authorized to volunteer in SoM labs and outlines procedures for departments to screen and engage lab volunteers. This Policy collects requirements from Federal and State regulations and UW policies that apply to lab Volunteers. SoM departments that engage lab volunteers must follow this Policy.

Definition of Volunteer

Volunteers may serve in SoM labs with departmental supervision and under the following circumstances that define a "volunteer" under state and federal law:

  • Volunteer service is unpaid, with no coercion or pressure to serve
  • Volunteers should have no expectation of receiving pay or other tangible benefits including future positions at the University
  • Volunteers may be reimbursed for actual expenses necessarily incurred in performing assigned or authorized duties, but may not receive additional compensation including a stipend
  • Volunteer service does not displace a current or previous paid position and is not substantially the same as a paid position
  • A volunteer does not currently and did not previously hold paid employment performing the same tasks

See WA Dept of Labor and Industries Employment Standards Administrative Policy ES.A.1 defining volunteer

Required Documents