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Frequently Asked Questions

Please consult the OLAW FAQ website for a more detailed list of questions and answers related to the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy). The following are the most relevant to UAA with UAA IACUC specific answers.

  • What activities are exempt from review? NONE! Any activities involving the use of live vertebrate animals (captive or free-ranging) must be reviewed by the UAA IACUC.
  • Can non-UAA researchers use UAA research animals or animal facilities? Yes, provided a Memorandum of Understanding and/or Facility Use Agreement is executed with UAA, and the UAA IACUC approves a Research Protocol. Arrangements are made through a UAA faculty member, Dean/Director, animal facility supervisor and/or building manager. Anyone using vertebrate animals at a UAA facility MUST hold an approved Research Protocol with the UAA IACUC (no exceptions).
  • I am a Research Associate - do I need an approved Research Protocol? You must have a UAA IACUC approved Research Protocol any time you are involved in a project with ties to UAA, e.g. funding is channeled through UAA, a UAA student is using the project for his/her thesis research, or you are using UAA animals/animal facilities. If you are unsure, contact the UAA IACUC Chair.
  • I am a graduate student - do I need an approved Research Protocol? Your Advisor/Principal Investigator (PI) must include your project on an approved Research Protocol through a modification or a new protocol and list you as personnel on that protocol. If there are multiple PIs, please contact the UAA IACUC Chair to determine who the responsible PI should be on the Research Protocol.
  • My project involves the use of animals at another university's animal facility. I have submitted a protocol to that university's IACUC. Does the UAA IACUC need to review this work too? Yes, if you are a UAA student, staff or faculty member or working on a project with ties to UAA, you must hold a UAA IACUC approved Research Protocol covering the work with those animals.
  • My project involves the use of captive animals housed at a facility that is not registered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) nor holds an Animal Welfare Assurance from the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Can I conduct my research there? It depends on a few factors, such as do the animals fall under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and/or do any funds to support the research come from a federal agency or non-profit that subscribes to the PHS Policy (e.g. NIH, NSF, NASA). You should contact the UAA IACUC Chair prior to submitting a Research Protocol for approval and beginning your research at the facility to determine whether you may conduct your work at the facility.
  • I filed a Research Protocol Application but the staff in the animal facilities did not reserve an animal room for me. Why not? Protocol review by the UAA IACUC is separate from arranging space and staff assistance in any UAA animal facility. You must contact the supervisor of the animal facility in which you wish to house animals to arrange for animal rooms and caretaker or technician assistance/support.
  • I want to use animals for a lab course. What do I do? Use of animals in teaching requires UAA IACUC approval. The faculty member of record should submit a Research Protocol Application to the UAA IACUC for each course in which animals will be used. All sections of a single course should be included on the same Research Protocol Application.
  • I am just catching fish and killing them to collect tissues for my study. Do I need an approved Research Protocol? Yes, the capture and euthanasia of fish are covered activities under PHS Policy.
  • Grants and Contracts is holding up my proposal because I do not have an IACUC protocol number! Why? The Office of Sponsored Programs is required to ensure that any proposal using live vertebrate animals has been reviewed and approved by the UAA IACUC prior to accepting an award, and in some cases, even before submitting the initial application. If you believe that your proposal does not require an IACUC approved Research Protocol, it is your responsibility to contact the UAA IACUC Chair, and provide the necessary information for the Chair to be able to make a determination if IACUC review is required.
  • Does the IACUC have to review proposed animal research activities at the time of grant award if the animal research activities will not be conducted until year 4 or 5 of a grant? Yes, UAA IACUC must review and approve a Research Protocol prior to receipt of the grant award and the conduct of any PHS-supported animal activity. A brief description of animal activities to occur in the 4th and 5th years should be included in the initial Research Protocol Application with a more detailed procedure included in a later modification and/or the 3-year renewal. The OLAW FAQs have a more detailed response on this issue.
  • The agency I am submitting a proposal to has requested a letter from the IACUC. What do I do? Contact the UAA IACUC to request a letter, and include the name of the individual and/or agency to whom the letter should be addressed. Provided you have an approved Research Protocol, The UAA IACUC will issue a signed letter confirming that approved Research Protocol.
  • I am collecting tissues from animals killed by subsistence hunters during authorized subsistence hunts. Do I need an approved Research Protocol? No, PHS Policy does not cover the use of dead animals or parts of animals, unless (1) killing the animals is for the purpose of obtaining or using their tissues or materials, or (2) project-specific antemortem manipulation of animals prior to killing them is occurring.
  • I am hiring a hunter to kill animals for the purpose of scientific collection. Do I need an approved Research Protocol? Yes, you must have an approved Research Protocol prior to any take.
  • I am using chick embryos. Do I need an approved Research Protocol? No, as long as the embryos are euthanized prior to hatching.
  • I am doing surgery in the field. Do I need an approved Research Protocol? Yes, although the study is being conducted on free-living wild animals in their natural habitat, you are conducting an invasive procedure which falls under the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR).
  • Can the IACUC stop my research project after a protocol has been approved? Yes, the IACUC can suspend activities if animals under your care experience a high morbidity/mortality rate or if the University receives complaints. The IACUC with the PI reviews the situation and, if required, make modifications to the protocol. OLAW and USDA, if an AWA regulated species, must be notified if any suspension of activities occur. Suspension of a protocol to correct unforeseen problems is not a problem for the PI and does not question his/her capability. A PI only runs into problems if they are conducting unapproved protocols or they have been negligent in their animal care.
  • I do not have an approved protocol but want to get my animals. Can I? No, animals may not be purchased from vendors or collected from the wild until you have an IACUC approved Research Protocol and/or Capture & Transportation SOP. If time is crucial, please contact the IACUC Chair.
  • I disagree with some of the current requirements and want to do something about it. Who do I talk to? You are welcome to submit questions, comments and recommendations about the UAA Animal Care Program to any member of the UAA IACUC or to the Executive Director, Compliance. If you have an issue with the AWA, a federal statute, the AWAR, a Code of Federal Regulations, or PHS Policy, you can influence animal welfare requirements more by getting involved in your professional society and providing comments to OLAW, NIH and/or Animal and Plant Inspection Service, USDA.
  • Do IACUC's use Designated Member Review (DMR) to review animal study protocols subsequent to Full Committee Review (FCR)? The UAA IACUC utilizes DMR following FCR as a Standard Operating Procedure in accordance with NOT-OD-09-035. The OLAW FAQ page has a more detailed response on this issue.
  • Do research studies and/or veterinary clinical trials conducted with privately owned animals, such as pets, require an IACUC approved Research Protocol? Yes, PHS Policy and AWAR do not distinguish between animals owned by the institution and privately owned animals. Remember that animals, which are typically thought of as pets, e.g. cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, are covered under both PHS Policy and AWAR. Informed consent of the pet owner must be secured prior to the conduct of the research.