What are the roles of the IACUC in Review of NIH Vertebrate Animal Research?

Guidance on Clarification on the Roles of NIH Scientific Review Groups (SRG) and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) in Review of Vertebrate Animal Research has been published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on September 1, 2010, NOT-OD-10-128 which includes the following:

Institutional Responsibilities

  • “An institution that elects to proceed according to “just-in-time” procedures for IACUC approval bears the responsibility for supporting the decisions of the IACUC”.
  • “Under no circumstances may an IACUC be pressured to approve a protocol or be overruled on its decision to withhold approval”.
  • “The PHS Policy requires that modifications required by the IACUC be submitted to the NIH with the verification of IACUC approval, and it is the responsibility of institutions to communicate any IACUC-imposed changes to NIH staff”.

Investigator Responsibilities

  • “It is incumbent upon investigators to be totally forthcoming and timely in conveying to the IACUC any modifications related to project scope and animal usage that may result from the NIH review and award processes”.
  • “Should an institution find that one of its investigators disregards his/her responsibilities, the institution may, for example, determine that all animal protocols from that investigator be subject to IACUC approval prior to allowing that investigator to submit an application”.

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