The Assurance of Animal Care

The IACUC committee reviews all research, teaching and diagnostic protocols that involve the use of live vertebrates (fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, or mammals) irrespective of source of funding (departmental, public, or private) or purpose (biomedical, biological, agricultural, wildlife, testing, education, diagnostics, etc.).

In other words, if you are planning to use a live vertebrate for any purpose, you must submit your protocol via IRBNet for review by UAA's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

Housing in the Vivarium

NEW Request form for use of housing space in the Vivarium. This form is a prerequisite for anyone seeking funding for animal research and would like to house their research animals in the Vivarium.

If you have questions about reserving space in the Vivarium, please contact the Vivarium Manager at 907-786-4441 or uaa_vivarium@uaa.alaska.edu.

Submitting a New Protocol

IACUC submissions, including revisions and renewals, are now via IRBNet. The IACUC protocol form, personnel form, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and other authorized forms are available on IRBNet. Please visit the IACUC's IRBNet Resources Web page prior to submitting a proposal.

The approved IACUC protocol in IRBNet is, in essence, the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) for your work using live vertebrates. The protocol must be kept current with respect to changing techniques, objectives, and personnel. The protocol must be readily accessible in your lab or office and every individual working on your project must read and understand the protocol. All captive wildlife or laboratory animals used under this protocol must be identified by the IACUC number. This number must be on every surgery record, the animal management records, pathology records, and you must provide this number to have pharmaceuticals dispensed from veterinary services.

You will need to submit a brief annual report on activities conducted under this protocol.  A reminder will be sent automatically by IRBNet.

Submitting a Modification

The IACUC requires all modifications to existing Assurances be submitted for review and approval using the appropriate forms on IRBNet. Wondering if you need a modification? Check the Definitions of significant changes. Please follow instructions on the Modification Request Form, submit it and a revised Assurance to the committee on IRBNet. Remember, changes to protocols cannot be implemented without prior IACUC approval.

Confirmation of IACUC review and approval

You must let the IACUC Chair or the IACUC Administrator know if you require a confirmation letter indicating that the UAA IACUC has reviewed and approved your protocol. Provide the agency name and, if necessary, the name of the program director/chair with the address and fax to ensure that the letter is properly addressed. Approval letters are issued via IRBNet.

NIH Policy:  Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare instituted a "Just-in-Time IACUC Review" for all National Institutes of Health proposals involving use of animal subjects that started October 1, 2002. On the NIH proposal submission date you need not submit an IACUC protocol for review and approval until you have received an award announcement. This helps both the investigator and the IACUC since reviews are limited to funded NIH research only.  This is a change in policy that only affects NIH proposals. Please read the following announcement regarding this policy so you understand your requirements. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-064.html

NSF Policy: To be safe, check with the individual program director regarding their requirements.  From the NSF GRANT PROPOSAL GUIDE, Instructions for Proposal Preparation: For proposals involving the use of vertebrate animals, sufficient information must be provided within the 15-page project description to allow for evaluation of the choice of species, number of animals to be used, and any necessary exposure of animals to discomfort, pain or injury. All projects involving vertebrate animals must have approval from the organization’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) prior to the issuance of an NSF award. The box for “Vertebrate Animals” must be checked on the Cover Sheet with the IACUC approval date (if available) identified in the space provided. If the IACUC has not reviewed the proposed work, the proposer should include the date at which the review is scheduled to be completed.

Other funding agencies: Be sure to check requirements well in advance of submission!

Use of Prescriptions and Controlled Substances in Research

Veterinary Services will not dispense pharmaceuticals needed for research unless they are listed on an approved Assurance of Animal Care form. Regardless of source, you are expected to adequately store and maintain appropriate records for all pharmaceuticals. Animal treatments can only be conducted under supervision of the UAA Attending Veterinarian or a veterinarian designated in your approved Assurance of Animal Care form. Contact the IACUC Chair or Compliance Administrator for more information or if you need controlled substances for research unrelated to animal use.