The University of Vermont (UVM) is committed to the humane care and use of animals in activities related to research, testing and teaching. There are two separate organizational components at UVM designated to ensure appropriate implementation of all aspects of the animal care and use program:

  • IACUC - The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is UVM's central review body for matters relating to the care, use and treatment of animals in these areas and is located in the Research Protections Office.
  • OACM - The Office of Animal Care Management, with the University Veterinarian as its director, is responsible for the oversight of all animal care and use and for ensuring compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

Initial Submission

Forms Needed

Full Review

  • A full committee review is required for all protocols with pain levels of D or higher.
  • The IACUC uses a primary/secondary reviewer method for full Committee reviews.
  • The primary reviewer is always a scientific representative of the Committee and is responsible for presenting a summary of the protocol at a fully convened meeting along with any concerns or points requiring clarification and/or stipulations.
  • A secondary reviewer is usually assigned by the IACUC Chair.  The secondary reviewer adds any additional concerns.
  • The University Veterinarian then outlines any additional issues and then the review is opened for discussion by the Committee. 
  • All Committee members are provided relevant materials and have access to all other documentation related to the study.
  • The IACUC is required to ensure that all research described in a grant application or proposal is entirely consistent with any corresponding protocol(s) reviewed and approved by the IACUC.  Any discrepancies must be resolved prior to the start of the project.
  • The IACUC works with Sponsored Project Administration to establish that an appropriate connection is made between the application and the protocol being reviewed.

Designated Review

  • Protocols that meet the criteria for designated review are posted to allow all IACUC members an opportunity to review. 
  • If no member calls for a Full Committee review, the IACUC Chair will assign one Committee member and the University Veterinarian to complete the review. 
  • The reviewers’ comments and clarifications and/or stipulations are resolved with the investigator. 
  • The Designated IACUC reviewer or the IACUC Chair may at any point call for a Full Committee Review.
  • The IACUC is required to ensure that all research described in a grant application or proposal is entirely consistent with any corresponding protocol(s) reviewed and approved by the IACUC. 
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved prior to the start of the project. 
  • The IACUC works with Sponsored Project Administration to establish that an appropriate connection is made between the application and the protocol being reviewed.

Executive Review- Protocol Identical to Previously Approved Protocol

  • To be considered identical or substantially similar, the project must have the same hypothesis, specific aims and animal model.
  • The chair alone (or his/her designee from the Committee) reviews and approves actions in this category.
  • This category captures review of actions that do not require an actual Committee review, e.g., minor amendments, some continuing reviews, previously approved protocols that have been resubmitted or identical protocols submitted to different funding agencies, protocols with no direct animal use, or when funds will be used for salary support only on a previously approved protocol.
  • The IACUC is required to ensure that all research described in a grant application or proposal is entirely consistent with any corresponding protocol(s) reviewed and approved by the IACUC. 
  • Any discrepancies must be resolved prior to the start of the project. 
  • The IACUC works with Sponsored Project Administration to establish that an appropriate connection is made between the application and the protocol being reviewed.

Animal Products

  • Animal products are defined as material obtained from a USDA slaughterhouse, animal byproducts, or shared animal products from other investigators. 
  • These projects do not require IACUC review.

Commercial Farms

  • When a UVM faculty member contracts or arranges to utilize animals on a commercial farm for purposes of research or teaching, the IACUC must determine that the specific farm is committed to providing a high standard of animal welfare.
  • Commercial farm operators are encouraged to follow best management practices.
  • Prior to the submission of the Animal Use protocol to the IACUC, the farm owner or manager must complete the PDF icon assessment checklist (PDF) such as the National Milk Producers’ Federation (NMPF) FARM program or other and provide a copy of the assessment checklist to the Principal Investigator.
  • The completed farm assessment must accompany the IACUC protocol submission.
  • Based on the level of invasiveness of the planned research and the completed farm assessment, the IACUC will evaluate the suitability of the collaborator farm, determine whether a farm inspection is warranted and, if so, whether that inspection will be carried out by IACUC members or by Committee designees.
  • PDF icon Policy and Procedures for Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (PDF).

Animal Research with Biohazards

  • Any projects proposing to utilize recombinant DNA or infectious agents, requires review and approval from the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).
  • The IBC is charged with reviewing all research projects and activities involving recombinant DNA (as outlined in the “Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules”) to assure that specific practices for constructing and handling (i) recombinant DNA molecules and (ii) organisms and viruses containing recombinant DNA molecules are followed.
  • A representative of the Office of Environmental Safety serves on the IBC, as does the Director of the Department of Risk Management, the University Veterinarian, the Radiation Safety Director, and faculty in the College of Medicine with particular expertise in infectious agents.
  • For more information visit the Institutional Biosafety Committee and the UVM Radiation Safety Office.

If your project utilizes biohazardous materials, you must have approval from both committees (IACUC and IBC) prior to beginning the project.

Ongoing Submission

Continuing Review

There are requirements for continuing review in both the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regulations on Animal Welfare. 

Animal welfare regulations require a continuing review at least annually for USDA-covered species and according to PHS Policy Section IV.C.5, “The IACUC shall conduct continuing review of each previously approved, ongoing activity covered by this Policy at appropriate intervals as determined by the IACUC, including a complete review in accordance with IV.C.1.-4. at least once every three years.”

The IACUC developed the following processes to meet the requirements of both of the above. 

It is the policy of the IACUC to review all vertebrate animal research appropriate to the degree of pain involved, but not less than once per year. 

Each protocol continuing beyond every three-year point will receive complete de novo review (triennially).

The purpose of continuing review is to monitor:

  1. the status of the protocol;
  2. verify that completed activities were conducted in accordance with the approved protocols;
  3. solicit information about activities projected for the coming year; and
  4. changes in key personnel and whether mandatory training is complete.

Forms Needed

Amendments

  • Review of any changes to previously approved research is required by regulation and is an essential element of the ongoing review of research involving vertebrate animals.
  • Regulations mandate that changes cannot occur until after review and approval.
  • The IACUC recognizes that research is a continuous process and that changes in the conduct of the research are necessary.
  • However, no changes to an approved protocol should be implemented until the IACUC has reviewed and approved the changes. 
  • An PDF icon Animal Use Protocol Amendment Flowchart (PDF) has been developed that categorizes amendments and shows the path of IACUC review that each category of amendment may take.
  • The determination of whether a proposed amendment is “significant” vs. “minor” falls to the IACUC chair, in consultation with the University Veterinarian, as necessary.

Forms Needed

PI or Key Personnel Changes

  • Changes to protocol personnel or PI require an amendment to the protocol. 
  • The IACUC has a specific form, Request for Change in Personnel, to make these changes. 
  • Note:  Make sure any new personnel have completed the required training.

Forms Needed

Addition of Commercial Farms

  • When a UVM faculty member contracts or arranges to utilize animals on a commercial farm for purposes of research or teaching, the IACUC must determine that the specific farm is committed to providing a high standard of animal welfare.
  • Commercial farm operators are encouraged to follow best management practices.
  • Prior to the submission of the Animal Use protocol to the IACUC, the farm owner or manager must complete the PDF icon assessment checklist (PDF) such as the National Milk Producers’ Federation (NMPF) FARM program or other and provide a copy of the assessment checklist to the Principal Investigator.
  • The completed farm assessment must accompany the IACUC protocol submission.
  • Based on the level of invasiveness of the planned research and the completed farm assessment, the IACUC will evaluate the suitability of the collaborator farm, determine whether a farm inspection is warranted and, if so, whether that inspection will be carried out by IACUC members or by Committee designees.
  • Responsibilities of each party are further described in the PDF icon Policy and Procedures for Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (PDF).

Forms Needed

Protocol Closure

  • It is the responsibility of the investigator to notify the IACUC when a project is completed.
  • Projects that have been completed, withdrawn or terminated are closed immediately upon notification.
  • The Office of Animal Care Management is notified by the IACUC of all closures.
  • All animal use on a specified protocol is stopped and no further purchase of animals can be made under the specified protocol number.
  • Notification can be done at time of continuing review or off cycle with an email to the RPO staff.

Submission Forms

All IACUC submissions will be required to be submitted through InfoEd by December 1, 2017. Currently, the forms must emailed to the IACUC Office by 4:30 on day of deadline.

 

Educational Resources

Required Training

Laboratory Animals

  • As of November 1st, CITI will replace all Blackboard IACUC training modules. 
  • Active PIs and key personnel as listed on IACUC protocols will be required to complete the CITI training within the next six months.  To complete the trainings, log into CITI using the instructions found on our CITI Program Training page. 
  • The training includes general lab animal training AND species specific training (e.g. mouse, rat, guinea pig, etc…).
  • If you have an associated IBC protocol, you will also be required to complete the new CITI IBC training (see IBC training requirements below).
  • Refresher training is now required to be completed every 3 years.  Reminders of this requirement will be forwarded as your training nears expiration.
    • Note for Animal Science students: Department of Animal Science students working to develop individualized programs with their faculty advisor will continue to take the Animal Science web-based training.  Students will not be required to complete CITI training. The Animal Science training is very specific to farm, laboratory, zoo and companion animals, their interaction with human society and the contribution of animal products, such as milk and meat, to the world food supply.

IBC Researchers

  • As of November 1st, CITI training will replace current online biosafety trainings located on the Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) website.
    • Note 1:  This change in the online training does not affect the requirement for all key personnel working with BSL-2 to attend classroom training as provided by the ESF Safety Class Signup page.
    •  Note 2:  EH&S, in some instances, requires that OSHA Blood Borne Pathogen training be completed on an annual basis.  A blood borne pathogen module has been included in the list of optional CITI modules.  Please be sure to check with EH&S at safety@uvm.edu to see if this is a requirement for you.
  • Active PIs and key personnel as listed on IBC protocols will be required to complete the CITI training within the next six months.   Log into CITI using the instructions found on our CITI Program Training page. 
  • The training includes modules specific to biosafety levels.  Personnel working on BSL-1 protocols must complete the BSL-1 Basic Course and personnel working on BSL-2 protocols must complete the BSL-2 Basic Course AS WELL as the classroom training.
    • Note:  While it is not required, the Committee encourages PIs and key personnel to complete the higher level BSL-2 training as it is a more comprehensive training including all BSL-1 information.
  • If you have an associated IACUC protocol, you will also be required to complete the new CITI IACUC training. (see IACUC training requirements above).
  • Refresher training is now required to be completed every 3 years.  Reminders of this requirement will be forwarded as your training nears expiration.

Animal Science Student Training

Department of Animal Science students, with assistance from faculty advisors, develop individualized programs that lead to rewarding careers in a wide variety of occupations.

These programs apply to farm, laboratory, zoo, and companion animals; their interaction with human society; and the contribution of animal products, such as milk and meat, to the world food supply. 

Classes follow the Animal Science Training.  This training is appropriate for the required classes.  If the role of the student, however, involves responsibilities not typically required of the class, such as husbandry or procedures with the animals, the student would be required to take additional training as appropriate.

The UVM Veterinarian should be contacted by the instructors for guidance.

Guidance Materials

Statistical Justification

1.  In this module, PDF icon UVM Statistical Module (PDF), Dr. Shelley Naud, Research Biostatistician and consultant to the IACUC, describes different methods of justifying animal numbers. Justification may be statistical (a power analysis), based on tissue yield (for in vitro studies) or on projected student numbers (for animals used in teaching). Dr. Naud gives examples of different means of justification and describes statistical concepts which can be helpful in justifying and/or reducing animal numbers required in a project.

2.  The 3 R’s – by Dr. Michael Festing, 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 3 R's - Reduction module is for informational purposes only.  There is no test for this training module. 

Institutional Certifications

aaalac

The University of Vermont is an AAALAC accredited institution. AAALAC International is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs.

The University of Vermont received continued Full AAALAC accreditation on July 11, 2016.

You can find information about AAALAC in the “resources” section and may refer to the presentation about PDF icon Preparing for an AAALAC International Site Visit (PDF).

Occupational Health & Safety

  • An occupational health and safety program is a required part of the overall animal care and use program.
  • The focus is maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. 
  • UVM's Department of Risk Management has contracted with an outside firm to provide occupational health monitoring for all UVM personnel who work with animals.  This firm, Champlain Medical, is located in South Burlington, 802-448-9370.   
  • All personnel working with animals are required to complete a baseline risk assessment form prior to working with animals.
  • Subsequent health reviews are required annually utilizing an annual update form. If, however, you have health concerns prior to any review you should contact Champlain Medical immediately.
  • As the assessments are received at Champlain Medical, each person’s responses are evaluated by an occupational health physician. Those persons who are designated to be at risk for work-related disease will be contacted by Champlain Medical to make an appointment for a physical examination.


        The baseline and annual forms can be found on our Forms page.