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Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Graduate students completing field research

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst:
Reducing the Risks of Off-Campus Research


Monday, March 4, 2019
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Student Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Download the Off-Campus Research Planning Guide

Symposium Details

Whether it’s a week at an archive, a month at sea, or a year in the field, every research trip involves risks. When problems arise, the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one often boils down to planning: did you anticipate this sort of problem? And if so, how do you plan to deal with it?

During the session, participants will be presented with real case studies of graduate students who have encountered problems “in the field” – ranging from accidents and illnesses to assaults and imprisonment. With the help of peer facilitators, participants will discuss how they would have dealt with the problem before learning how the issue was ultimately resolved by the people involved.  Participants will have time to visit resource tables with additional information.


By the end of this workshop, students will walk away with:

  • An understanding of why safety plans are important for off- campus research activities
  • A list of some potential problems they themselves might encounter “in the field”
  • A resource list of campus- based services that can assist before, during, and after a problem occurs
  • A script for talking with advisors about issues of safety and risk management
Topics covered during this symposium will include sensitive issues, including but not limited to violence and sexual assault. Participant discretion is advised.

More Information

If you have questions about the Fieldwork Safety Symposium, please email Teresa Dillinger at