Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Science

Federal law requires that academic institutions such as RIC in which live vertebrate animals are used in research and/or teaching must establish and maintain an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). It is the charge of this committee to oversee all aspects of animal care and use on campus in order to ensure compliance with provisions of the Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service policy on humane treatment of animals.

Federally Mandated IACUC Functions:

  • Review at least every six months the institutional programs for humane care and use of animals in teaching and research activities.
  • Inspect at least every six months all of the animal housing and use facilities using the USDA Regulations/Guide for appropriate standards as a basis.
  • Prepare and submit semi-annual reports of IACUC activities, facility inspections, and program reviews to the Institutional Official.
  • Submit reports on animal utilization activity to federal oversight regulatory agencies including the USDA and the National Institute of Health's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).
  • Review and investigate any concerns involving the care and use of animals and suspension of previously approved animal activity if it is determined that the activity is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Education and training of personnel who actively participate in research or teaching activities involving the handling and use of live vertebrate animals.

For any questions regarding operation of the IACUC, meetings or other matters please contact the IACUC chair. To submit research protocols to the IACUC, please proceed to the Manage Protocols page. For information on training and health forms related to animal handling at Rhode Island College please proceed to the IACUC Training and Health Forms page.

To report a concern regarding animal use and/or care at Rhode Island College contact the IACUC chair. You may also send an anonymous letter to the IACUC chair at:
Rhode Island College, IACUC Chair 
Horace Mann Hall 314
600 Mount Pleasant Ave. 
Providence RI, 02908

Committee Information

For New Research

All protocols must be submitted digitally for veterinary pre-review prior to committee review. Prior to new or full protocol review investigators/instructors must consult with the attending veterinarian (Tiffany Borjeson, DVM).

All activities affiliated in any way with RIC, which involve use, maintenance or transport of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds or mammals must be approved by the IACUC.

Prior approval must be obtained before animals are purchased or any such activity is initiated.

Individuals wishing to conduct such activities must complete an Application For Use of Vertebrate Animals For Research or Teaching.

Depending on the nature of the experimentation proposed, the Application also may require submission of one or more appendices. If so, use one or more of the following links to access complete and submit the form to Dr. Steven Threlkeld, Chair of the Rhode Island College IACUC:

Principal investigators should plan to complete and submit a hard copy of the application and any associated appendices to the IACUC chair at least one week prior to the scheduled meeting. The attending veterinarian should be contacted two weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting. The committee currently meets four times each year. Substantial lead-time is required when seeking federal funding for animal-related projects, because evidence of IACUC approval typically must be submitted with the application. Therefore, investigators submitting grants involving the use of animals should consult with the IACUC chair and attending veterinarian early in the grant writing process.

Approved protocols require yearly continuing research review and a three-year full review as mandated by Federal Public Health Service Policy. Renewal and three year full reviews must be completed no later than the date of expiration in order for the study to be in compliance with federal regulations. Federal regulations do not allow for ANY grace period for renewal.

Investigators and instructors are responsible for accurate and timely protocol submission.

For Continuing Research

For principal investigators/instructors whose animal care protocol has been submitted, reviewed and approved by IACUC in the manner above, a yearly Continuing Review Form must be submitted to continue research.

The continuing review form must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC no later than the date of expiration in order for the study to be in compliance with federal regulations. Again, federal regulations do not allow for ANY grace period for renewal.

Note: Do not submit the Continuing Review Form unless you have an already-approved animal care protocol.

For Completed Research

Principal investigators whose animal care protocols have ended or research has been completed prior to the expiration date of the approved protocol must submit a Protocol Closeout Form indicating that the research has been completed. All animals used in the final year of the proposal must be reported for the third/final year of an approved full protocol as is required for the yearly continuing review.

IACUC Training

All individuals who handle live vertebrate animals under the following conditions must complete online training modules through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).

  1. Graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants participating in courses in which they are required to direct and assist students in laboratory activities utilizing live vertebrate animals.
  2. Graduate and undergraduate students utilizing live vertebrate animals in their independent research activities either in the laboratory or field setting.
  3. Faculty and staff members planning to utilize live vertebrate animals in teaching or research activities and lab animal technicians caring for or maintaining animal facilities.

These individuals must complete the CITI training module “Working with the IACUC”.

Once the required training is completed send a copy to the IACUC chair (chairIACUC@ric.edu).

The IACUC chair and/or attending veterinarian should be consulted for recommendations of additional training modules needed for the use of specific species. For example, “Working with Rats in Research Settings” or “Working with Mice in Research Settings”.

To access the CITI program, please log in here: https://www.citiprogram.org/

To register for the first time through Rhode Island College, enter “Rhode Island College” in the “Select Your Organization Affiliation” box. Follow the subsequent prompts to set yourself up as a learner.

Animal Handler Health Forms

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All health documentation paperwork must be completed PRIOR to handling of live animals. All individuals who handle live vertebrate animals under the following conditions must complete Animal Handler Health Documentation.

  1. Graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants participating in courses in which they are required to direct and assist students in laboratory activities utilizing live vertebrate animals.
  2. Graduate and undergraduate students utilizing live vertebrate animals in their independent research activities either in a laboratory or field setting.
  3. Faculty and staff members planning to utilize live vertebrate animals in teaching or research activities and lab animal technicians caring for or maintaining animal facilities.

Should an injury or illness resulting from animal handling activity occur, you must complete an Animal Handler Health Form – Injury Report.

All forms must be submitted to Rhode Island College Health Services. A copy of any injury report should also be forwarded to the IACUC chair. ​

Rhode Island College entrance

Committee Chair

Dr. Eric S. Hall

Associate Professor