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The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) must approve any use of live vertebrate animals in research and teaching at Central Washington University. The IACUC has the broader goals of (1) reducing the number of animals used and minimizing any discomfort they may experience, (2) helping researchers seek alternatives to animal-based models, and (3) protecting the health and safety of those involved in research with animals. Responsibilities of the IACUC are federally mandated and include (but are not limited to) reviewing protocols, inspecting animal care facilities, ensuring all research personnel are appropriately trained, and investigating/reporting noncompliance. Committee members include a veterinarian, practicing scientists experienced in research involving animals, a nonscientist, and a community member who represents the public interest.

IACUC Basics

What do I have to do to use vertebrate animals in research and teaching?
To start, you need to submit a protocol application describing the proposed activities, specifying the number of animals to be used, and justifying the use of a vertebrate animal for your work.

Why do I have to do this?
As a society, we have a responsibility to protect animals from unnecessary stress and suffering. To this end, federal regulations mandate that all institutions have an IACUC to review all use of live vertebrate animals in research and teaching.

Who needs to submit a protocol application?
All faculty, students, or staff conducting research or teaching that involves live vertebrate animals must have prior IACUC approval.

When do I have to do this?
Approval of a protocol application must occur prior to the start of an animal research project. Generally, an application should be submitted at least two to three weeks prior to the project’s start date. Course-based projects should be submitted at least one week prior to the project’s start.

How do I start the protocol application process?
Go to the IACUC forms website:

Requirements for Animal Research
(Being implemented Fall 2015)

To perform activities with live vertebrate animals, a number of requirements must be met:

  • Obtain medical clearance through CWU's Occupational Health and Safety Program
  • Complete training requirements (may vary based on specific animal species used)
  • CITI Program online courses
  • Hands-on training of specific procedures (often with a faculty mentor)
  • Review the National Institutes of Health Animal Welfare Assurance document
  • If required, obtain relevant permits (e.g., state permits for collection/handling of animals)
  • Obtain approval from the IACUC for research and teaching projects
  • Submit a final report once research is completed

For further information, contact:

Dr. Jason Irwin, Chair

Leslie Lotspeich, Program Coordinator

Central Washington University
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7510