Guide for Animal Users

New IACUC Protocol Submission

ARO must be used for all new submissions

Protocol Modifications

For Modification of a protocol pre-ARO

  • Download the form (Word)
  • Complete and send to the IACUC as for a new submission.

For Modification of an ARO protocol

The IACUC has the purview of requesting a new protocol submission if the requested modification is too substantial.

Grant Review Program

  1. For NIH, AHA, and other Grants as requested by the agency, the IACUC must review your grant and assure the proposed work is consistent with what is described in approved IACUC protocols before funding is released.
  2. Once you have received a fundable score, complete the IACUC Grant Review Form
  3. You will be required to submit additional protocols such that all experiments proposed in the NIH grant have been approved through the IACUC review process.

Letter of Scientific Merit

If your project is being funded by departmental funds, industry, or any other source that does not conduct a peer-review as a means to determine funding, a scientific review must be conducted at the School, Department, Division or Center as appropriate.  Before the protocol will be reviewed by the IACUC, you must submit a letter certifying that the project was reviewed by your unit and was judged to to have  scientific merit.

This letter must be on departmental letterhead, state the name of the PI, the title of the protocol, and be signed by your dean, departmental chairperson, division chief or chair of the scientific review committee. Please either e-mail a PDF of the letter along with your application or fax it to 412-383-2020

Training Requirements

Training requirements must be met before any individual can be added to a protocol. Information regarding training can be found here.

Common Issues that Delay Protocol Approval

  1. Not all personnel listed on the protocol have completed mandated training and EHS requirements
  2. The protocol is not clearly written so that it is understandable to reviewers.
  3. The number of animals requested is not adequately justified, or animal numbers are inconsistent in different sections of the protocol.
  4. Pain and distress categories are not appropriate.
  5. For large animal protocols, the “Search for Alternatives” is not conducted appropriately (two databases must be consulted and narratives must be clearly based on the literature uncovered during the search, NOT ANECDOTAL INFORMATION).

Common Compliance Problems

  1. Protocol approval lapses (note: you will receive monthly reminders from the IACUC beginning 90 days before protocol expiration). Every year you will be required to submit a short Annual Renewal Form (sent to you from IACUC Office with renewal reminder). Every 3 years, a new protocol submission is needed.
  2. Personnel begin working with animals prior to completing required training, and being added to a protocol via submission of a Protocol Modification Form.
  3. Procedures on animals deviate from those described in the protocol (note: to make changes to procedures, all that is required is submission of a Protocol Modification Form).
  4. Animals are taken from housing areas to use sites that are not listed in the protocol.
  5. Animals are maintained in a use area > 12 hours without approval from the IACUC or without following the correct procedures (see Approved Investigator-Managed Use Sites and Housing Areas policy at: