Frequently Asked Questions about Background Checks for Sponsors of Minors in the Research or Clinical Setting

Who must have a background check?

Yale’s Policy on Minors Participating in Research or Clinical Activities requires background checks for the sponsoring faculty member and the minor’s direct supervisor (if other than the sponsoring faculty member).

Who requests the background check?

The person whose background is being checked must request the background check.

Who performs the background check?

HireRight, Inc., the same company that performs pre-employment background checks for Yale.

How do I request a background check?

When you apply for approval of an internship at, you will be asked to provide contact information for yourself and another faculty or staff member (if any) who will be acting as the minor’s direct supervisor.  Within 48 hours of completing the request, you and the other faculty or staff member (if any) will receive an e-mail directly from HireRight requesting additional information and authorization to conduct the check.  HireRight will not start the check until it has received the information and authorization.

What information is included in a background check?

At a minimum, background checks performed for Yale include a Social Security number verification and a criminal history check (including sex offender registries) in all jurisdictions where you have lived.  Yale may also request a motor vehicle records check if you are expected to transport a minor.

Who pays for the background check?

The School of Medicine will cover the cost of background checks for YSM faculty and staff members, and the Provost’s Office will cover the cost for faculty and staff members in FAS.

How long does it take to perform a background check?

Normally, results are available within two to ten days after receipt of authorization to conduct the background check.

Who sees the results of a background check?

HireRight will send the background check results to Yale’s Office of the General Counsel, which may review the information with a representative of Yale Human Resources.  You will then be told if you have passed.

How does Yale protect my privacy?

Yale policy and state and federal law recognize a subject’s right to privacy and prohibit Yale employees and others from seeking out, using, or disclosing background check information, except within the scope of their assigned job duties.  The Office of the General Counsel serves as the office of record for background check results and maintains strict confidentiality.

What happens if I do not pass the background check?

There is a process for disputing the results of a background check, and you will receive instructions on how to do that if you do not pass.  If the results of your background check do not meet Yale’s criteria and you do not successfully dispute the results, you will not be able to work with a minor.

What if I am a Yale employee and I have already had a background check?

You will still need to provide contact information on the internship application form. If Yale’s records show that you have already had a background check, you will be notified, and a background check will not be repeated. However, if you need a motor vehicle record check for your program, and that was not part of your pre-employment check, it will have to be performed.

Do I need to repeat a background check periodically?

You will need to repeat a background check if you have been absent from Yale for more than six months.

What if I have never lived in the United States?

Yale can only complete a background check for someone who has either lived or worked in the United States and has a U.S. Social Security number.  Those who have never lived or worked in the United States must pass a federal background check to obtain a work visa, and this government background check meets Yale’s requirements. 

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?