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IACUC Process

General steps to the IACUC review process

In general, the IACUC protocol review process is similar to the peer-review process. Upon reviewing a new protocol, the IACUC will decide to approve, recommend revision, approve with minor corrections, or reject the protocol. The timeline needs of the researcher does not play a role in the result of the IACUC review. If corrections are needed prior to protocol approval, they must be made and reevaluated prior to the onset of animal use. Many IACUC protocols are good for 3 years (excluding USDA regulated animals, which are good for 1 year), so researchers are urged to submit protocols well before any estimated research start dates.

Step 1. Research the ethical treatment of animals.  Helpful guides include:

Step 2. Complete the "Working with the IACUC training" and any applicable animal model/course training, and obtain a certification.  The training can be accessed through

Step 3. Acquire all necessary forms.  These can be accessed through

Step 4. Complete the application form and any necessary addendums.  It is very important that all questions/sections are answered completely and clearly.  If any questions arise, contact the IACUC chair.  Try to avoid the use of technical jargon but provide a clear and easy to follow narrative of all major procedures.  When specific procedures are to be performed, adding citations is suggested.  

Step 5. Carefully review your application prior to submission.  Check every part of the application to ensure it is completed.  This document is a legal record of your research protocols and should be of sufficient detail that a federal auditor can see clearly what was being done and that it had been approved.

Step 6. Submit the application through  Be sure to attach any necessary permits and training certifications.  

Step 7. Wait for communication from the IACUC.  The IACUC will meet as needed.  Protocols should be submitted at least several weeks prior to the planned start of any research.

Step 8. Upon approval, renew approvals as necessary and notify the IACUC of any protocol changes prior to implementation.  Once your protocol is approved, you will receive an approval letter with the protocol # and expiration date of the protocol.  If your research continues beyond the expiration date, you must submit a new protocol (with the option of selecting a renewal with no changes).  If procedures or animal numbers change, you must notify the IACUC.