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THE INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE (IACUC)

TEN TIPS

FOR SPEEDING UP APPROVAL OF YOUR IACUC APPLICATION


1. Allow enough time for processing of your application. When submitting a Full Committee application (a new application or third renewal of an existing protocol) via RIO, you should allow approximately 8-10 weeks from the time your application is submitted until approval. This allows enough time for veterinary and editorial prereview, revisions and resubmission of the revised protocol, assigning Committee reviewers and sending the application to them one week in advance of an IACUC meeting.

2. Please read through the entire application before filling it out. Carefully read each question and the instructions particular to that question before responding, answer all applicable questions, and be clear and complete while restricting your responses to the relevant sections of the application. Note that there are sections of the application that require you to click on additional boxes to add details, (e.g. in Section I, “Monitoring Details” for Anesthetic Agents).

3. Make sure that the funding information is correct. The issue of previous or pending scientific merit review is critical to the review of the study. No study can be included on an agenda for review until this issue is addressed. If federal funding has been obtained, please submit a copy of the grant award statement or the Summary Statement as evidence of peer review. If federal funding is pending, or if departmental funds are being used to support the study, then scientific merit review must first be obtained by the Departmental Review Committee. Or, scientific merit review may be obtained by one of the agencies on the IACUC List.  Documentation of scientific merit review can be scanned and e-mailed  to iacuc@ucsf.edu or faxed to 502-7991).

4. Make sure the Objectives section is written in non-technical, lay language.This is for two reasons: a) Not all members of the committee have the same level of scientific background; some members are nonscientists; b) If information must be released to the public about a particular study, this section is critical for explaining to the public the purpose of the study. It must be written in such a way that a nonscientist can understand why you are performing your animal research.

6. In Section D, be sure that all personnel are trained, or will be trained to perform the procedures in your protocol.For each person listed, check the roles he or she will perform on this protocol. Answer the 2 questions about surgery, if applicable. Also complete the two yes or no questions and the two text boxes describing training and experience and save the changes on each page. Be sure that everyone’s BRER training is up to date. Also note that all personnel are required to update the online MHS health questionnaire every year.

7. Make sure that information is consistent throughout the protocol.The rationale for doing the experiments should be explained in the Objectives, the numbers for these same experiments should be justified in Section C, the procedures for these experiments should be described in chronological order in Section G, and the Adverse Effects and Monitoring of these same experiments should be stated in Section J.

8. Make sure the dosages of anesthetics and analgesics are correct and consistent. If you are uncertain, check with a veterinarian about the proper doses before submitting your application and follow his/her advice; you may also check the Formularies on this web site. The best way to make sure that doses are consistent is to specify doses only in the appropriate table in Section I.  It is acceptable to leave specific doses out of Section G.

9. Describe clearly and in chronological order all procedures to be performed using animals so that the members have a clear picture of what will be done in the study. Often the best descriptions include a sequential breakdown of the experimental activities identifying the group/s of animals to be used in each.

10. Make sure that you have proper approvals to use experimental agents and other regulated materials that are included in your application. If necessary, contact OEH&S at 476-1300.  For approval to use human stem cells in animals, contact GESCR at 476-9134.