Investigator Educational Session Materials

Statistical Justification

The 3Rs – by Michael FW Festing, Ph.D., D.Sc., CStat., FSB., this site provides an interactive short course on experimental design for research scientists working with laboratory animals. The aim is to reduce the number of animals which are used, improve the quality of the science and save time, money and other scientific resources.The 3Rs - Reduction module is for informational purposes only.  There is no test for this training module.

Literature Search for Alternatives Guidance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Public Health Services (PHS) mandate that every animal care and use protocol, which uses procedures that have the potential to cause more than momentary pain and/or distress to the animal (pain level D&E), document a "Search for Alternatives to Painful Procedures” for EACH potentially painful/distressful procedures proposed in a protocol. PIs may ask a librarian for help conducting their searches. Library support for searches for alternatives to animal use and/or procedures which cause more than momentary or slight pain and distress to animals is available through the Dana Health Sciences Library.

If researchers choose to conduct searches on their own, the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) recommends a two-phase approach to searching the literature. They designed a worksheet to assist researchers, information specialists, and IACUC members to determine if alternatives exist and whether the protocol unnecessarily duplicates previous research.

IACUC Inspections

The IACUC inspects all the institution’s animal housing facilities at least once every six months using the “Guide”, the “Ag Guide” and the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations (AWAR) for guidance.  All animal housing facilities are inspected, including: satellite facilities (containment areas outside of the central animal facilities where animals are housed for more than 24 hours and cared for by researchers), areas in which surgical or behavioral manipulations are performed, animal study areas (locations where animals are held for more than 12 hours), and standard holding facilities.  As of 2023, facility inspections are conducted on a staggered schedule semiannually. Each area will be inspected no more than 6 months between visits, including a 30 calendar day flexibility per NOT-OD-21-164 that avoids forward drift of inspections year to year.

The IACUC office will notify you via email at least 4 weeks in advance of an inspection in your area. 

Preparation Resources 

Inspection Guide: Laboratory Semi-Annual Inspection Checklist

List of Common Findings