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Frequently Asked Questions

  • All research, teaching, display, and husbandry involving the use and/or care of live vertebrate animals, regardless of funding source.

    • Any BYU faculty member, staff member, graduate student or undergraduate student conducting research involving the use of live vertebrate animals. Note: Student researchers are required to have a faculty sponsor as the PI
    • Any BYU faculty member teaching a course that involves the use of live vertebrate animals.
    • Any BYU faculty or staff member who is responsible for maintaining a display of live vertebrate animals.
    • Any BYU faculty or staff member who is responsible for live vertebrate animal husbandry.
  • Field studies of free-living, wild, vertebrate animals in their natural environment may be exempt from IACUC approval if the study does not:

    If all of the above conditions are met, and there are no other requirements for IACUC approval (such as by a funding source), then a Field Study Exemption Form may be completed and submitted through iRIS. The IACUC chair or other IACUC member designated by the chair will determine the exemption status of the study.

    • “Involve an invasive procedure, harm, or materially alter the behavior of an animal under study” (9 CFR 1.1 – Animal Welfare Regulations).
    • Involve the capture, handling, housing, transportation, treatment, or euthanasia of animals.
    • Cause excessive disturbance of animals due to study activities.
  • Complete the appropriate Animal Use Application and submit it to the IACUC secretary. All forms can be found and submitted on the iRIS website.

    Animal Use Applications fall into one of 5 categories:

    • Laboratory: Studies involving use of animals breed in captivity for purposes of research, purchased laboratory animals (e.g., mice from Jackson labs), or lab animals transferred from another lab.
    • Breeding Colony: For specific use when maintaining a breeding colony that will provide animals to other laboratory studies. No experiments are allowed on breeding colony animals. Animals must be transferred from the breeding colony to another IACUC approved Lab protocol to conduct procedures beyond genotyping and husbandry. If breeding animals, pregnant dams, embryos, etc. are needed in your studies they should be described, included and counted in the corresponding Laboratory Protocol to which they are transferred.
    • Wildlife Study: Studies that involve catching, capturing, or otherwise performing procedures on wild animals for your study; even if you are just catching wild animals to bring them back to the Lab.
    • Exempt Field Study: For limited situations where you are conducting an observational study on free-living wild animals in their natural habitat without conducting invasive procedures or materially altering the behavior of the animal. This would include catch, tag, and release studies if the capture and tag methods are minimally invasive. If you are receiving NIH or NSF federal funding, you cannot use the field study exemption.

    Review Process
    All protocols are first reviewed by an Initial Review Team (IRT), which includes the following: University Veterinarian, Animal Care Manager, IACUC Statistician, Risk Management & Safety Officer, and Scientific Librarian.

    After IRT review, the following applications are sent to Full Committee Review (FCR): those with E pain category, new applications with D pain category, all applications with USDA covered animals, and applications from investigators that are new to the IACUC process.

    All other applications are recommended for Designated Member Review (DMR). Unless full committee review is requested by a committee member (for any reason), the application will be reviewed by at least one member of the IACUC, who will have the authority to approve, require modifications, or request full committee review.

    You will be notified through email if your protocol is approved or if it requires modifications and re-submission to the IACUC.

  • IACUC protocols are valid for a period of three (3) years.

    Annual continuing review is required for all USDA covered protocols.

    Triennial review or significant changes to a protocol require submission of a new protocol using the iRIS system.

    Any proposed modifications to an approved protocol must be approved by the IACUC prior to implementation. To request a modification, an Amendment Request Form must be submitted through iRIS. If changes are significant, a new and complete Animal Care & Use Application may be required.

    When a project has been completed or a protocol terminated, prior to the expiration date, the IACUC secretary should be notified.

  • Training for Reseachers, Teachers, Graduate Students, Undergraduates Conducting Research, and Support Staff

    The BYU IACUC uses the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative Program (CITI Program) to provide online training to animal researchers at BYU. This training program will be required for all personnel to be added to a protocol and all research personnel listed on new or renewal protocols. New researchers and new/renewal protocols will not be approved until these training requirements are met.

    The CITI Program provides training that is essential for all researchers and investigators working with animals. Emphasizing the appropriate handling, care, and use of animals, the courses are designed to help meet training mandates of regulatory agencies and improve technical knowledge. The different training courses include a number of modules, with a quiz at the end of each module. Passing the quizzes with at least 80% fulfills the requirements of a course.

    All students and faculty must comply with the CITI training program before working with animals. The link can be found on the IACUC webpage under the heading Training/Education.

  • Many changes to Animal Use Applications can be reviewed and approved via the Designated Member Review (DMR) process, by which all IACUC members are informed of the amendment via email and given 72 hours to call for a full committee review. If none of the reviewers call for discussion at a fully convened meeting, the amendment is assigned to an IACUC member. The IACUC Member performing the DMR has the authority to approve or require modifications to the amendment prior to approval. A DMR reviewer may not disapprove an amendment, but may request a full committee review if he/she has significant concerns about its contents.

    Examples of revisions that may be reviewed via the DMR process include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Change of PI
    • Significant change in age of animals (ex: adults to neonates)
    • Increasing dosage levels or administration frequency
    • Increasing blood sampling times or volumes
    • Modification of the conventional environmental or husbandry practices
    • Minor increase in number of animals
    • Replacing or adding another standard anesthesia/analgesia or euthanasia method
    • Adding or replacing a strain of animal
    • Decreased invasiveness of procedure leading to decreased pain or discomfort
    • Adjusting experimental endpoint for earlier termination of the study
    • Decreased dose levels or decreased dosing frequency of animals
    • Reduced blood sampling quantities or frequency
    • Changing a survival surgery to a non-survival surgery
    • Minor modifications in surgical techniques that do not lead to an increase in clinical consequences
    • Adding a subgroup for an additional time point, with no additional clinical consequences

    All change requests approved in this manner will be presented for informational purposes at the next fully convened IACUC meeting.

    Some amendments, due to their complexity or potential increase in clinical consequences, require assignment to a full IACUC meeting. If you have questions regarding whether your revision qualifies as administrative, DMR, or full board, please contact the IACUC office.

    The amendment form can be found on the IACUC website, under the IACUC Links, then under the heading Forms.

  • The University Attending Veterinarian (UAV) has the authority and responsibility to see that the welfare and health needs of animals are paramount for all animal research at BYU.

    The UAV will provide comprehensive veterinary care for all vertebrate animals used by the University in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), and the NIH Guide. The UAV has overall responsibility and oversight for all laboratory animals on the BYU Provo campus.

    The UAV has the authority and responsibility to modify any care provided these animals if, in the UAV’s opinion, the care the animals received is not compatible with the regulations (USDA and PHS) or is not in the best interest of the animal. The UAV can be contacted by telephone at (801) 422-2262 or by email at

  • In order to get access, personnel need to do the following:

    1. Complete CITI training.
    2. Be approved on an IACUC protocol.
    3. Complete BYU ABSL training.
    4. Complete a Vivarium Walkthrough with the PI or a senior lab member. (Bring student ID card and ABSL certificate to the walkthrough).

    Click here for a step-by-step guide to completing these steps. You can also contact the IACUC secretary for help with this process (801-422-3022).