Frequently Asked Questions

What is ARO?

ARO is a web-based system designed to manage animal research protocols and the protocol review process at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Who will use ARO?

Anyone who submits and edits protocol applications, works with animals on a protocol, or reviews IACUC applications.

How do I obtain login credentials for ARO?

You should use the same login address (University of Pittsburgh email address) for ARO that you use for logging into the system for web-based training (the HSConnect system). All users who have completed the standard animal investigator training courses on the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) platform (Responsible Conduct of Recearch (RCR) and Working with Large and/or Small Animals in Research Settings) should have access to the system. However, only PITT faculty members and senior staff members have the ability to initiate a new protocol submission.

Can students login to ARO?

Once a protocol is approved, any person listed on the protocol can read the protocol online by logging into ARO. However, students will be unable to initiate a new protocol application in the system. As a security feature, only University of Pittsburgh faculty members and senior staff members can initiate a new protocol application.

Can my graduate student help me complete an online protocol application?

Yes. At the beginning of the protocol form, a section is available to designate protocol editors. Any personnel added to this section will have the ability to edit the protocol prior to submission. Thus, although a faculty member would need to initiate the new protocol, others can be designated to assist with entering information.

What is a protocol administrator?

Many faculty members request that a senior staff member be copied on emails pertaining to their protocol. The ARO system simplifies this process. Anyone designated as a "protocol administrator" will receive emails sent through ARO.

I am unable to login to ARO—what do I do?

If you cannot login to the system, please make sure that your training is current by logging into the training system ( If training is current, please contact the IACUC Office for assistance (412-383-2008).

Will I be able to track the status of protocols that are under review?

Yes. ARO offers real-time access to review and approval status in just a few mouse clicks.

Will I be able to designate someone to coordinate the submission and review of my protocols?

Yes. While only the principal investigator may submit a new protocol, a coordinator may be assigned to submit responses to questions and annual renewal applications.