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Scientific Merit Review

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) does not review proposals for scientific merit, but does require that each proposal be reviewed and approved for scientific merit before IACUC approval is given for animals to be used. This review may be conducted by the Departmental Review Committee (DRC) of the Principal Investigator (PI), the NIH or one of the other agencies on the List of Funding Agencies That Conduct Acceptable Scientific Merit Review. Full Committee applications must include documentation of current scientific merit review and approval from one of the listed agencies or from the appropriate DRC.

Departmental Review: If a Departmental Review Committee provides the scientific merit review, the PI must document this by submitting the Scientific Merit Review Form to the IACUC which includes signatures from three departmental review committee members, or an adaptation thereof, as long as the three signatures are included. Departments may refer to the Departmental Review Guidance Document for information on conducting scientific merit review. If you have questions, please contact your department chair.

Upload your completed scientific merit review form directly into the "documents" section of your RIO protocol or email to: iacuc@ucsf.edu.

NIH Review: If the study is NIH funded, provide a copy of the vertebrate animals section of the NIH grant application and a copy of the grant award letter. The NIH requires the IACUC to perform a protocol grant comparison to ensure that the activity in the grant matches the protocol. Provide the grant number in Section A. Funding of your RIO application. Upload the NIH documents in RIO or email to: iacuc@ucsf.edu.

Note: If the proposal has been submitted to the NIH and scientific review is pending, the PI may submit the application "as is" for review by IACUC, but approval to release animals will not be granted until the results of NIH review are received in the IACUC office. Alternatively, PI's with pending NIH grants may submit a completed Scientific Merit Review Form to the IACUC.

IACUC List of Funding Agencies That Conduct Acceptable Scientific Merit Review: To propose adding a funding agency to the IACUC List of Funding Agencies That Conduct Acceptable Scientific Merit Review, send the agency name (and address, if available) by email to iacuc@ucsf.edu.

If you have questions, please call the IACUC Office at 415-476-2197.