IACUC Policies and Guidelines

The following items are Appalachian resources to help with policies, guidelines and recommendations regarding animal care and use.


Guidelines for approval of an IACUC submission

Appalachian’s Occupational Health and Safety Requirements for individuals working with live, vertebrate animals in research, teaching or demonstration (effective July 1, 2014):

  1. Complete the required CITI training module. For information on how to take this online course, see the training instructions on the Research Protections web page.
  2. Complete the species-specific training module for each species you plan to work with. Some of these species (Mice, Frogs, Toads, Rats, Hamsters, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Zebrafish) are on the CITI site and you can add the modules to your training list. Others are in the IACUC Community AsULearn site, under the Species Specific Training block.
  3. Fill out the appropriate Health Risk Assessment form and send to iacuc@appstate.edu.
    1. Students who have paid their student health fees should use the Student form.
    2. Everyone else should use the Faculty/Staff form (includes students who have not paid the health fee).
  4. The Health Risk Assessment is screened and if any follow up is needed, you will be contacted by the Environmental Health, Safety & Emergency Management office.
  5. It is your responsibility to complete any follow up requests.
  6. You will not be cleared for working with animals until you have completed your required training and your completed Health Risk Assessment form has been reviewed and cleared.

Because this is a new requirement, we have some Q & A below.

Things to consider when drafting your protocol review request:

Understanding what the IACUC considers when reviewing a protocol request can be beneficial for PIs to make the review process easier, but also to encourage careful considerations by the PI when designing the research. The following are some of the main focus areas considered by the IACUC during a review:

  1. No duplicative activities to previous experiments (requires a thorough search).
  2. Careful consideration of species and numbers requested; only using the minimal # of animals while maintaining the integrtity of the research. Justifiable rationale for using live animals.
  3. Qualifications of personnel.
  4. Procedures are designed to minimize pain and distress. All procedures are clearly understood and thoroughly documented.
  5. Housing and care, including veterinary care, of animals are clearly identified and addressed.
  6. Research and humane endpoints are identified and planned.

The IACUC follows the guidelines for review and animal use approval using regulations from the USDA (Animal Welfare Act), the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, The Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the FASS Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia.

For more information on review criteria, visit our Regulations page, or our Forms page and download the Reviewer's Checklist.

Q & A about the new OHS requirements:

Why are we doing this?

The main reason is to be compliant with the regulations, which require basic elements of an Occupational Health and Safety program for individuals who work with live, vertebrate animals (here is a summary of the requirements).  Our process is very similar to others in the UNC system.

The second reason is this is the right thing to do.  We did not have a consistent way to ensure our researchers—especially our student researchers—were aware of potential health and safety risks related to working with animals, or that they considered their own health status and how it could be affected.

Who has to do it?

Effective July 1, 2014, the requirement will be verified during IACUC reviews as follows:

  • New protocols: All new protocol applications sent to the IACUC on or after July 1 will have the training requirement for everyone listed on the protocol. Also, students who have paid their student fees must complete the Health Risk Assessment form and send to iacuc@appstate.edu.
  • Personnel changes: All students who are added to existing protocols on or after July 1, and who have paid their student fees, must complete the training and Health Risk Assessment form and send to iacuc@appstate.edu. All new faculty/staff added to existing protocols will need to complete the required training.
  • Existing protocols: When you send in your annual review and/or protocol amendment for an existing protocol on or after July 1, you will have the same requirements for all personnel as a new protocol.

Note: Faculty, staff and students who have not paid their fees will also be required to complete a health assessment. 

Is this a medical evaluation?

No, the Health Risk Assessment does not ask for your health history or personal medical information. It is assessing potential risks based on the species, environment, and possible exposures with which you will be working, and compares them to any self-identified conditions you may have. This does not serve as/replace a physical exam or other medical evaluation. It is designed to flag possible health concerns.

Can I use my own doctor?

Yes, you can use your primary care physician so long as you 1. Incur the costs yourself, and 2. Provide the completed and signed last page of the form to the Environmental Health, Safety & Emergency Management office.

What if I choose not to complete the recommendations?

You will not be cleared to work with animals on an IACUC protocol until your training is complete and your Health Risk Assessment is cleared and on file at EHS & EM.

Do I have to do this for every protocol?

No, as long as you cover all species you work with in your training and Health Risk Assessment, the process only needs to be completed once. If you change species or your health condition changes, you will be required to complete the appropriate species specific training, and update your Health Risk Assessment as appropriate.

As a faculty PI, how do I know if my students are cleared?

Your students are responsible for meeting the requirements. The IACUC administration will notify you whether a student is cleared at the time of protocol approval. You are also free to inquire about the status of a student's clearance by emailing iacuc@appstate.edu.

Is there a cost involved?

There is no cost for health assessments. If a follow up requires a vaccination or other recommendation that could incur a cost, the decision about how to cover the cost will be determined on a case by case basis between the individual, the department, and EHS & EM. 


Director of Research Protections
Robin Tyndall

Assistant Director of Research Protections
Monica Molina

Assistant Director of IACUC and IBC Programs
Shante' Mathes

Compliance Coordinator
Dennis Gabriels

QEP Global Learning