Animal Subjects Research

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The Washington College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) ensures that all research involving animal subjects conducted by Washington College employees or students follows federal laws, regulations, and policies. The IACUC protects the investigator and WC by making sure we are compliant and humane in our research protocols. The IACUC also protects the animals in research by looking out for their welfare according to regulatory laws and guidelines. Essentially, it is our responsibility to care for the animals and make sure they do not experience unnecessary pain or distress. The animals cannot speak for themselves or provide informed consent so the responsibility for their welfare falls on us as responsible scientists.

The IACUC reviews every protocol involving animal subjects to ensure procedures comply with regulatory guidelines and every effort has been made to adhere to the 3 Rs of animal research: Reduce animal use to the bare minimum necessary for the scientific goals of the project, Refine procedures to improve research quality and animal welfare practices, and Replace animals in research with non-animal alternatives whenever possible.

IACUC approval is mandatory prior to obtaining or using animals for any research purpose at Washington College. The IACUC welcomes investigator questions, provides guidance as needed on humane practices, and provides excellent care in our on-campus facilities.

Submission and Review Guidelines

All protocols are subject to full committee review, although some may be eligible for designated review when the committee agrees it is appropriate. Please allow at least two to four weeks for protocol review by the committee. You will receive an action letter from the Chair of the IACUC when the review is complete. The most recent revision of the official Protocal Submission FORM” must be used for submission of new proposals or addenda to an approved protocol. Digital/electronic copies (MSWord or PDF formats) of the completed forms and any appendices should be submitted via e-mail to the Chair of the IACUC (

The primary investigator (PI) will receive an action letter detailing the outcome of protocol review and the IACUC's decision. In some cases the IACUC may determine that more extensive discussion of a proposal is required, that the PI must provide additional information regarding their proposal or that the proposal must be revised and resubmitted for review.

Student research projects must list a faculty supervisor as the PI for the project. Students and all other personnel on the project should be listed as Co-Investigators. Students are encouraged to work with their faculty supervisor and/or the IACUC Chair while developing their project idea and proposal. Projects conducted during periods when classes are not normally ins ession (i.e., during the summer or over the winter break) may take additional time for review.


Before beginning work with laboratory animals, please fill out the Laboratory Animal Allergy Initial Questionnaire form and return to the Director of Health Serivces ( All investigators are required to complete appropriate CITI ethics course(s), including Working With the IACUC and any species-specific modules relevant to submitted protocols. CITI course certificates should be submitted along with the Protocol Submission Form. CITI completion certificates are considered valid for three years from the time of completion.


An important duty of the IACUC is to maintain a record of all active research protocols. Therefore, projects that have been previously approved by the IACUC must be re-submitted for renewal whenever the research project is repeated or every three years, whichever comes first. The investigator should re-submit the proposal using the most receent revision of the official “Protocol Submission FORM” along with a cover letter or email with the original approved protocol number and a biref justification for replication or continuation of the project.

Normally, the Chair will determine if there have been substantive changes that warrant a review by the full membership of the committee. Protocols that have expired after three years must be reviewed by the committee. Otherwise, the Chair is authorized to renew a previously approved proposal. The Chair will notify the full membership of the IACUC whenever a renewal is authorized in this manner.

Animal Welfare Concerns

Whistleblower Policies and Contacts: Washington College regards the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing to be an integral component of continued progress in health, science and education. The College expects all of its animal facilities and programs to maintain the highest standards of animal care and use, and to be operated in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. Concerns regarding violations of these laws, regulations and guidelines should be reported to the contacts listed in the document below.

Completed electronic forms and appendices should be submitted via e-mail to:

On an annual basis, use the following forms:

In the event of an injury, please use the following forms:

In the event of a change in your protocol or an unexpected outcome, use the following forms:

Laboratory Animal Welfare Exchange


American Association for Laboratory Animal Science


Science Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW)

Foundation for Biomedical Research

Lab Animal

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research

Tutorial: PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals

The Guide for Care and Use of laboratory Animals

Definition of Pain and Distress and Reporting Requirements for Laboratory Animals: Proceedings of the Workshop Held June 22, 2000 (2000)

Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals (1997)

Methods and Welfare Considerations in Behavioral Research with Animals

Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare

Ornithological Council: Guidlines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research

USDA - Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service - Animal Care

US department of Veterans Affairs - Use of Animals in Research

On-Line IACUC Training; Facilities Inspection