Welcome to Arkansas State University!

Role and Goals

Although the Animal Welfare Committee's (AWC) work is guided by the 3 R’s principles (Replace, Reduce, Refine), its role is not to supplant the role of the A-State Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and it has not been conferred any authority. The AWC is a facilitator, a sort of liaison between Biology faculty/students and the IACUC. Its goals are to:

  1. Help you determine if you need an IACUC protocol or Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
  2. Offer guidance in preparing protocol/SOP for IACUC
  3. Identify the appropriate space and conditions to house captive animals

Current facilities to house animals in Biology

ABI Animal Facility
If you need to house animals or use animals housed at the Arkansas Biosciences Institute (ABI), the AWC can help you coordinate with ABI but does not have any authority.

Insect Research Facility+
This corresponds to rooms 261-272 in Lab Science West.

You may contact the committee to inquire about the use of these facilities.
To contact the committee, information is listed below under AWC contact information.

Do you need an IACUC protocol or an SOP?

Definition of an Animal
An animal is defined by the Public Health Service policy, as any live, vertebrate animal used or intended for use in research, research training, experimentation, or biological testing or for related purposes. This definition includes animals used in teaching activities. Note, however, that studies involving the use of fertilized eggs and embryos are exempt until hatching. With this definition in mind, you may follow the decision tree below to determine if you need an IACUC protocol, an SOP, or both.

Decision Tree

If you need to submit an IACUC protocol, see resources below to prepare your protocol and the certificates of completion of training you will be asked to attach. The protocol submission is done through CayuseIRB. Note that A-State also uses Cayuse424 for grants, so if you have a Cayuse account for grants, you can use the same username and password to access CayuseIRB. If this is your first time using Cayuse (IRB or 424), you will first need to contact the Research and Technology Office to help you set up an account. 
Note that once approved, your protocol is valid for three years. Cayuse typically sent a notification to remind you to renew (if needed) 90 days before expiration and every week after the initial reminder.

Required training to use animals for research, teaching, or husbandry

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program maintains a compilation of courses that are regularly updated.

If you use vertebrates for research or teaching, the minimum required is “Working with IACUC - Investigators, Staff, and Students”. The course may appear as “Investigators, Staff, and Students” only. Also, note that the CITI questionnaire makes it look like this course is relevant only for individuals working with lab animals, but it is actually also required for people working with wild animals.
If you conduct research (with vertebrates, other animals, or no animal), you also need to complete “Responsible Conduct of Research - Biomedical Sciences”. Each course contains about 15 modules, each taking between 10 and 30 min, so make sure to give yourself time.
Depending on your goals and the animal taxon you intend to use, you may need to complete more than these two courses.

Here is how to locate and take these CITI courses:
1. Self-register for a CITI account at http://www.citiprogram.org 
2. Select Arkansas State University, check the boxes “I AGREE to…” and “I affirm that I am an affiliate…”, and continue to create your username and password.
If you already have an account, login, go to View Courses, and click on Add a course (in the Learner tools) at the bottom of the page.

When the questionnaire opens, choose the following boxes
Question 1: I need to do Laboratory Animal Welfare.
Question 2: N/A. I have not completed the Basic Course for my learner group yet. (Question 1 will enroll you in the Basic Course.
Question 3: Not at this time
Question 4: Skip
Question 5: "Working with the IACUC Course" is required if you plan to use lab animals in your work.
This question will populate the Working with IACUC - Investigators, Staff, and Students course. This is also here that you can determine which other course may be needed, e.g., I work with Frogs, Toads or other Amphibians; Minimizing Pain and Distress.
Question 6: Biomedical Sciences. This question will populate the Responsible Conduct of Research course.
Question 7: Not at this time.
Question 8: Not at this time. (At least not for animal use purposes, unless your research is abroad.)

Note that CITI will not notify when the expiration of your training approaches. It is valid for three years and your completion report indicates the expiration date. As a courtesy, the AWC will send a general reminder to all faculty/students who use animals to check the validity of their training every October.

Templates and examples of IACUC protocols and SOPs

Note that template documents are just to help you prepare but the submission is an online form to complete in CayuseIRB.

Template and guidelines to submit a new IACUC protocol
Template and guidelines to submit an IACUC protocol renewal application
Template and guidelines to submit a request for modification for an existing IACUC protocol
Guidelines to submit an SOP
Example of IACUC new protocol for research with wild animals

Example_New protocol_research_wild_B11 section
Example of IACUC new protocol for research with lab animals
Example of IACUC new protocol for teaching with wild animals
Example_New protocol_teaching_wild_B11 attachment
Example of IACUC new protocol for teaching with lab animals
Example of IACUC renewal
Example of IACUC modification request
Example of SOP 
Example of check card

AWC contact information

Sudeepa Bhattacharyya

Andrew Sweet

Nate Stephens