Contact Us
Taylor Hall - First Floor
(610) 526-5167

Mailing Address:
101 N. Merion Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Office Hours
8am - 5pm
Monday - Friday

Research Associates and Laboratory Research Associates

Research Associates (RA) and Laboratory Research Associates (LRA) are non-employee affiliates of the College. The Provost's Office sponsors two types of affiliations, Research Associates and Laboratory Research Associates.  

If approved by the Provost’s Office, the affiliate is granted certain campus privileges, such as use of the Bryn Mawr College libraries, on-campus parking, and limited Bryn Mawr computing access. 

LAs and LRAs enter into a contract with the College and must to comply with the College’s guidelines, policies, and “Principles of the Bryn Mawr College Workplace.”

RAs and LRAs have a unique status in the College academic environment.  As neither students nor employees, RAs and LRA may fall outside the academic and administrative structure with regard to supervision, insurance coverage, training, and records. 

To the extent that LRAs work in laboratories or other facilities which present special hazards, their status presents special liabilities and concerns related to injury, property damage, regulatory compliance, accountability, and work with students and staff.

This policy was created as a framework for affiliating persons as RAs and LRAs with Bryn Mawr College. 

Definition, Application and Scope

RAs are defined as persons engaged in academic work at the College who are neither employees (staff, faculty, students or others receiving salary under a College-administered grant) nor matriculated students of the College.

LRAs are defined as persons engaged in academic work at the College who:

  • are neither employees (staff, faculty, students or others receiving salary under a College-administered grant) nor matriculated students of the College, and,
  • are engaged in laboratory operations, shop activities, field investigations, or other activities deemed to present potential exposures to hazards in excess of those ordinarily encountered in library, classroom or office environments.

Examples include:

  • Visiting professors who are actively employed or affiliated with other institutions and afforded access to facilities here.  Their work may include any combination of independent research activities, assisting/collaborating with students, and instruction.  Their activities at the College may or may not be officially recognized as part of the work for which they are paid by the institutions that employ them.  This category would include faculty working here under a joint major/degree program established between the College and other institution(s).
  • Visiting professors here on sabbatical from other institutions.
  • Persons engaged in independent research who are not affiliated with another institution, including former employees or students who work here as guests on an informal basis.
  • Persons employed in the private sector who work with faculty or who use space here under a lease agreement.
  • Persons contracted by academic departments to perform services (which, for LRAs, involve their presence in laboratories).

There are exemptions:

  • Authorized visitors, working under the direct supervision of a faculty member, engaged in a defined activity for a brief period of time (not to exceed one week).  This includes students from the TRI-CO, coming to use equipment for purposes outside the scope of a Bryn Mawr course in which they are enrolled.
  • Persons or firms working under Facilities/Purchasing contracts to perform such tasks as installation, repair or maintenance of instruments, equipment, and facilities.

Campus Privileges

RAs and LRAs receive the following campus privileges:

  • Bryn Mawr College and Tri-College Library borrowing privileges
  • Access to Bryn Mawr College Computing Services
  • Bryn Mawr College campus parking pass
  • A listing in the College’s campus directories.

RAs/LRAs may be affiliated with a faculty member’s laboratory, but should not be assigned dedicated office space.

RAs/LRAs do not receive computers through the College’s cascade. 


1. Nomination and Authorization

Each prospective RA/LRA must be nominated by a member of faculty, approved by the Department Chair, Program or Center Director, and authorized by the Provost.  The Provost confers the affiliation in an appointment letter, which identifies:

  • the specific privileges extended,
  • the term of the agreement,
  • the requirements for supervision and training, and for indemnification,
  • any campus privileges, such as an email address and library borrowing privileges.

The prospective RA/LRA must countersign the appointment letter and return it to the Provost.

The Provost’s authorization may be revoked for any reason, solely at the discretion of the Provost.

2. Departmental and Faculty Supervision

A reporting relationship to a faculty member in the nominating department must be established.  The designated faculty member/supervisor will conduct regular reviews of activities.  This supervisor will also coordinate the RA/LRA use of departmental space/resources with students, fellow faculty members, and other departments, such as Housekeeping and Facilities Services, who require access to the RA/LRA’s space and equipment. 

For LRAs, the designated faculty member will conduct regular reviews of activities, equipment set-ups, and process flows, with emphasis on safety, health and environmental aspects of the work.

3. Establishment of Records

For each RA/LRA authorized by the Provost, a confidential file shall be established.  The file shall include:

  • Personal identifiers, such as home address and phone number(s), and emergency contacts,
  • Copies of any agreements, waivers, indemnifications, leases, etc. established with affiliated institutions or employers,
  • Health information, provided via a signed questionnaire, that identifies medical conditions relevant to physical restrictions and emergency care. 
    • For LRAs, the questionnaire inquires as to allergies, ability to wear protective equipment, use of contact lenses, and other conditions relevant to working in the laboratories under routine and emergency conditions.

Each RA/LRA must complete a Non-Employee Information sheet with Human Resources.

4. International Scholars

International scholars being sponsored by Bryn Mawr College as RA/LRAs must process all immigration paperwork through the Office of International Programs. RA/LRAs are non-employees.  Therefore, the College does not pay any immigration-related expenses. 

5. Indemnification / Hold Harmless Agreement

RA/LRAs are required to enter into an indemnification/hold harmless agreement.  The terms of the agreement may vary with the circumstances of each RA/LRA’s affiliation with other employers or institutions.

6. Proof of Insurance

Before beginning activities at the College, RA/LRAs concurrently employed by other institutions/facilities will be required to establish and document coverage under their employer’s workers’ compensation, health, and general liability insurance policies.  The coverage must remain in effect for the duration of their activities at the College.

RA/LRAs who are not otherwise employed or matriculated at another institution will be required to provide documentation of personal health insurance.

7. Safety Training and Coordination (LRAs)

LRAs must contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office (Safety Office) within a week of their arrival on campus to schedule a meeting to review the College’s emergency response systems and each LRAs processes, materials, and waste disposal procedures. 

LRAs operations, work areas, and storage areas will also be subject to inspections by the Safety Office.  Compliance with College safety rules and applicable regulations is required; failure to comply may result in termination of the Provost’s authorization agreement.

Upon completion of activities at the College, each LRA must arrange a close-out meeting with the Safety Office to identify and account for any materials left behind.

Each LRA is required to attend all safety training programs as identified by the Department Chair or Safety Office.