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IACUC

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know if my research project institutional (i.e., IACUC) reviews?

Any use of live, vertebrate animals requires IACUC approval prior to the start of the project. If, however, your research will be conducted at another facility (i.e., one not affiliated with CWU), AND that facility has its own IACUC, you  may not need additional approval from CWU's IACUC. Please check this website for further information or contact the IACUC Chairperson (Dr. Jason Irwin, 509-963-2884, iacuc@cwu.edu.

2. Do student research projects require institutional review and approval?

Yes. We have instituted an "expedited review" process to facilitate gaining approval in time to complete class projects within a typical quarter. If your research is for a class project, please select 'Expedited review requested' on the front page of the Clearance Form and state that this process is requested because the protocol is for a class project. We encourage you to submit your protocol as early as possible in the quarter to ensure a timely approval, as the committee may have questions or clarifications that need to be addressed before approval can be given.

3. How do I begin the IACUC review process?

Animal Use Clearance Forms are submitted via an online database system. Please see the "Forms" link on our homepage to begin the submission process. Submission by student researchers will be sent to their faculty supervisor for approval prior to being reviewed by the IACUC.

4. I am on a tight timeline to get my research done. How long does the IACUC review process take?

During a normal quarter, you should hear back from the committee in approximately one week from the time your protocol is received by IACUC staff. Between quarters or during holiday periods, this may be longer, depending on IACUC member availability.

If you have requested Expedited Review, you should hear back from the committee within 3 business days from the time your protocol is received by IACUC staff.

Please note that when you hear from us, it may be with requests for clarification or modification rather than an immediate approval. You can facilitate prompt by ensuring that your Clearance Form is filled out completely and accurately, that the information provided is understandable by individuals outside of your field, and that your project is consistent with federal guidelines for animal care and use. If you have questions about federal guidelines, you can contact the IACUC chairperson (iacuc@cwu.edu) for information on materials relevant to your project.

5. What factors do IACUC members consider when reviewing my research proposal?

Of foremost concern is whether any animals will be harmed, or whether the potential for harm exists, as a part of your protocol. "Harm" includes, but is not limited to, physical pain and/or injury, death, and psychological distress. If animals may be harmed, you will need to document that alternative methods have been considered but are not appropriate, and why; that steps have been taken to minimize the harm; that the scientific merit of the project outweighs the harm to the animals; that any methods of euthanasia (if relevant) meet with federal guidelines; and that the minimum number of animals are used that will allow you to conduct your research with reasonable statistical power.

6. Is it possible that the IACUC will deny approval of my research proposal?

Yes. However, in the past we have worked with Principal Investigators when concerns have been noted, and typically been able to resolve the issues and eventually issue an approval. Your cooperation as part of this process is, of course, vital.

7. What if I want to change some of my study procedures after the IACUC has already approved my research?

You must notify the IACUC if you intend to make changes in you research protocol. Our website contains a Protocol Modification form, along with examples of what constitutes significant changes.

8. What if I need to add other investigators or research assistants after the IACUC has already approved my study?

The change or addition of personnel who will be responsible for working directly with animals may constitute a significant change. If you have questions about whether your personnel additions fall into this category please contact the IACUC chairperson.

9. Once I have received IACUC approval, how long is it valid?

IACUC approval is valid for one year. If your project will extend beyond that, you must submit a request for continuation prior to the one year anniversary of your approval. A request for contiuation merely involves submitting another Clearance Form and selecting either 'Continuation (no change)' or 'Continuation (with change)', instead of 'Initial Submission' on the front page. The remainder of the form should be filled out as usual, but must include any changes to the original protocol, and incorporate any clarifications that were originally requested by the committee. Discussion should include status of the project to date, as well. But must include any changes to the original protocol, and incorporate any clarifications that were originally requested by the committee. Discussion should include status of the project to date, as well.

10. Whom should I contact for more information about the IACUC review and approval process?

Dr. Jason Irwin, Chair of the IACUC
509-963-2884
iacuc@cwu.edu