Please read below for the most recent notifications from the IFR relating to COVID-19

May 26, 2023

We have updated our COVID-19 Practices for the Summer 2023 field season with expert guidance from risk management and health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and IFR’s Medical Director, Dr. Kurt Eifling.

Summary of updated COVID-19 Policy for Summer 2023:

  • All IFR students must complete a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and receive the most recent booster dose recommended for them by CDC, if eligible, prior to traveling to the field school destination.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to wear an N-95 or surgical mask while traveling to their program and while taking public transportation. You should bring your own PPE for travel and  the duration of the program, if masking is required at your specific program.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and/or  you have been exposed to COVID-19, tell your program director(s), maintain distance and separate living quarters to prevent transmission, wear a mask indoors and take a COVID-19 rapid test.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 during the program, tell your program director(s). You should follow local protocols and recommendations for isolation, distancing and masking. While in the US, please follow CDC recommendations:

Please read our full policy on our COVID-19 Practices page.

November 17, 2022

We have updated our COVID-19 Practices with expert guidance from risk management and health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and IFR’s Medical Director, Dr. Kurt Eifling.

January 21, 2022
In light of a changing COVID-19 landscape, including the rapid spread of more contagious Delta and Omicron variants, and in accordance with the recommendation of national medical experts, IFR has made three main changes to our COVID-19 Practices:

  1. IFR now requires a vaccine booster shot for all those eligible to receive one.
  2. No exemptions will be made to the vaccination and vaccine booster shot requirement for any reason.
  3. IFR no longer allows leisure travel during the program unless written approval by the program director(s) is granted prior to booking and departure. 

May 2021
Due to widely available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States and in response to the strong recommendation of national medical experts, IFR policy now requires that all field school students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to traveling to their field school.

April 3, 2021
Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5-6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting for your program when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

November 1, 2020
IFR has begun enrollment to our 2021 field schools! All prospective applicants should carefully review IFR COVID-19 Practices before choosing and applying to a program. Programs will be opening on a rolling basis until late January as our field school directors can confirm they can operate according to the IFR COVID-19 guidelines.

June 12, 2020
Important message for students who enrolled in any of the 2020 IFR field schools: Enrollment for the Master Class in Field Research is now open.

June 4, 2020
We hope that you and all those whom you love are staying healthy and safe as we all reflect on the urgent need for transformation in our society.

In April 2020, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, IFR canceled our Summer 2020 field school season and laid off our staff. Since then, IFR’s Board of Governors has been managing the organization, monitoring the pandemic, and working hard to deliver value to our students and field school directors.

We have tried to reach every student enrolled in a 2020 field school, but we have not heard back from everyone. If you enrolled and paid a deposit or tuition for a 2020 field school, please get in touch with us at

IFR is offering enrolled 2020 students who defer to a 2021 field school a range of opportunities, including a six-week Master Class featuring live access to many of our exceptional field school directors. IFR recently began rehiring key staff members in order to bring this beneficial, exclusive opportunity to our enrolled students, details of which will be linked to this website next week. Expect to hear more from our team in coming weeks, including our plans for a limited Winter 2021 field season and Summer 2021 field season.

We are grateful to our stakeholders for your patience during this challenging time. We look forward to seeing some of you in our upcoming Master Class, and can’t wait until we can share a transformative live field school experience with all of you.

IFR has been transforming individuals and communities through experiential education and field research since 2011. Our concern for the safety of students, staff, and the communities in which we work guides everything we do.

April, 2020
The IFR Board of Directors and staff have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 summer field school season, including both international and domestic programs. This decision is necessary to ensure the well-being and safety of our students and faculty. As we have been monitoring the COVID-19 crisis over the past few months, we considered the unpredictability of travel and necessity of adhering to our strict field school standards and protocols.

We have communicated this decision to our field school directors and other partners across the globe. IFR’s goal remains to provide the highest quality field schools to students for generations to come. IFR supports scholars, researchers, local students, and people of communities-in-need in countries around the world. They will be hit hard by the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IFR is already hard at work to increase the number of Winter, 2021 programs, and we plan to offer a full range of programs in Summer, 2021. We know the IFR will emerge from this challenge stronger and better. We are eager to celebrate a decade of great field programs in 2021 and return to actively supporting our global network of researchers and communities local to field sites.

At this time, all applications to our Summer, 2020 programs have been put on hold and will not be processed. However, we invite everyone to stay tuned for next year as we are looking forward to a strong roster of 2021 programs that offers the best of this season and more.

With gratitude,

The IFR Team