Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee

The Towson University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) ensures compliance with all regulations and ethical principles governing the use of animals in research. 

What is the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee?

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees the animal care and use program on the Towson University campus by providing a humane and compliant environment for all animals in research and teaching.

The IACUC’s policies and procedures are governed by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy, 1985), and National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare’s (OLAW) Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Refer to the IACUC Procedures (PDF) document to learn more about the IACUC's responsibilities, PI responsibilities, lab maintenance expectations, training requirements, grant procedures, disaster preparedness, and more. 

Do I Need IACUC Review and Approval?

Any activity on the Towson University campus that involves animals in research, training, or testing MUST be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.

This includes any activity used for teaching purposes, field research conducted with wildlife, and external collaborations.

If you are unsure if you require IACUC review, please consult the committee by contacting the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research (OSPR).

The Process

New Applications

The IACUC meets semi-annually during the fall and spring terms. IACUC applications are accepted for review on a rolling basis; however, if a full committee review is required, your application will be reviewed during one of the scheduled semi-annual meetings or, if needed, the committee may be able to schedule an additional meeting. You will be notified if a member of the committee requests full review during the initial review process of your application.

Any research activity that will be conducted on campus must complete the TU Animal Study Proposal Form (DOCX). This includes activities conducted for teaching purposes.

Research or teaching observations conducted in the field (off campus, wildlife) must complete the Field Research on Live Vertebrates Form (DOCX). If students will participate in such research, the corresponding Field Research Liability Waiver (PDF) must also be completed by each participating student.

For studies that do not require full committee review, please allow at least 4-6 weeks for processing and review.

Modifications 

Amendments

Any modifications being requested for an existing, approved IACUC protocol must complete the Application for Modifications to an Approved Protocol Form (PDF). In addition, the original approved application must be attached utilizing track changes for the IACUC to clearly see where these modifications have been made to the protocol. Make sure to include any applicable references. 

Addendums

If attaching an addendum to an existing protocol, Principal Investigators (PIs) must complete the Application for Modifications to an Approved Protocol (PDF) and attach a separate Word document detailing what additions are being requested for the protocol. Make sure to include any applicable references.

Renewals

IACUC protocols are approved for up to a period of 3 years. OSPR will contact PIs ahead of the protocol’s expiration date to confirm if the protocol will be renewed for an additional 3 years.

To renew a protocol, PI’s must complete a new and updated TU Animal Study Proposal Form (DOCX). Please note in your application that this was a previously approved study and that you are requesting renewal, as well as note any changes or additions you would like to make to the renewal.

Although OSPR and the IACUC will contact investigators prior the expiration date, it is ultimately the PIs responsibility to monitor the status of their protocol and prepare for its renewal on time. Failure to submit necessary documentation on time may result in the protocol being put on hold.

Annual Reviews

All IACUC approved protocols must submit an annual report once the anniversary date for approval approaches.

Please complete the Annual Progress Report as completely as possible and submit to the IACUC for review and filing.

Unanticipated Events and Animal-Related Concerns

The IACUC must be notified immediately in the event that any animal-related concerns are raised by the PI or other institutional employees. If a concern has been identified, please refer to the Reporting Animal Health Problems S.O.P for proper reporting procedures, and complete the Animal Health Evaluation Report (PDF). The IACUC veterinarian (or backup veterinarian) must be contacted prior to taking action for a medical reason of any kind. Copies of the form must be emailed to the attending veterinarian and to the IACUC, at 

The IACUC will review the concern on an individual basis and, if warranted, take appropriate corrective actions to ensure that laboratory animals continue to receive humane care and use in accordance with the highest ethical standards, laws, regulations, and policies.

Further, the IACUC strongly believes that the rights of whistleblowers and individuals who report allegations of mistreatment or non-compliance with IACUC regulations must be protected. Please do not hesitate to share any concerns of animal welfare with the IACUC should you observe any such behavior. 

Forms

New and Existing Protocol Forms

Field Research Forms

NOTE: The Field Research Liability Waiver is for use in classes where field research with wildlife animals is to be conducted. This form covers appropriate topics such as zoonosis training, information regarding vaccinations, and more. Faculty should have students complete the form prior to engaging in research, and must keep all signed copies on file. The IACUC reserves the right to request that PIs use this form after reviewing research proposals. 

Safety Documents 

Animal Health Reporting

Email copies to both the veterinarian and OSPR. 

veterinary services

IACUC Veterinarian 

The IACUC is required by the Animal Welfare Regulations (AWRs) and the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy to have as one of its members a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with direct or delegated authority and responsibility for animal activities at the institution. 

It is strongly suggested that Principal Investigator(s) consult the attending veterinarian when developing their research protocol. The attending veterinarian for Towson University’s IACUC may be consulted for guidance on the selection of species, ability of the animal facility, surgical procedure, and more. 

To contact the attending veterinarian, please

Towson University's IACUC strongly suggests that any animal researcher utilizing controlled substances in their research obtain a license with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). There is no registration fee, and it includes a simple form for completion.

Acquire a DEA License
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