Subject: Changes in IACUC review (annual renewals & lay terminology)

To all principal investigators and instructors using animal subjects:

This notification serves to inform you of recent important changes in Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review of applications for vertebrate animal use.

  1. The NCSU IACUC office has been informed by USDA and OLAW officials that all IACUCs are required to allow their members the opportunity to request discussion of annual protocol renewals for USDA regulated species. Until recent changes were implemented, our IACUC procedures for review of these submissions were not compliant with this requirement. Per NCSU policy regarding animal use, we apply federal review requirements to all live vertebrate species. As such, it is imperative that you respond in a timely manner when you receive an expiration notice indicating that you need to submit an annual renewal form. If you wait until a few days prior to your expiration date, we can no longer guarantee that your renewal can be approved before your protocol expires. Such situations will result in lapses of IACUC approval and a requirement for submission of a complete application for vertebrate animal use in order to renew approval. Per federal regulation, no IACUC may extend approval of a protocol beyond its expiration date without satisfying review requirements.
  2. Two sections (A1 & A2) of the application for vertebrate animal use should be completed in terminology understandable to members of the general public. The reason for this requirement is to allow non-scientist members of the IACUC (whose membership on the IACUC is required by federal law) to make informed decisions regarding their review of your requests for permission to use live vertebrates in your research and teaching. Effective immediately, the IACUC will no longer accept descriptions in these sections that are not compliant with the requirement for lay terminology. The IACUC does not need to know the details of your in vitro experimental procedures, nor is a lengthy scientific justification for the work needed. Basically we need to know what will be done to the animals, the level of pain and distress, how you will monitor and deal with pain and distress, etc. One example of information we don’t want: You intend to delete a specific gene in a specific tissue using the flox technique. All we need to know is that you are deleting the gene and why that is important. Cutting and pasting information from specific aims and experimental plan descriptions in grant applications is not acceptable. When submitting an application for vertebrate animal use, please compose your responses to Sections A1 and A2 as if you were writing to an audience of college graduates with non-scientific degrees.

Your cooperation with our review process is appreciated. Please contact the IACUC Office if we may be of assistance to you.