Welcome to the University of Texas at Austin!

The IACUC office and ARC are both here to help researchers with any animal research related needs. The content of this page provides basic information for PIs and researchers who are new to the process.

IACUC Related Questions

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is a federally mandated committee that oversees its institution’s animal program, facilities and procedures. It provides a framework for compliance with federal policies, guidelines and principles related to the use of animals in research, teaching and testing. The IACUC is a self-regulating body, which derives its existence from two sources:

  1. The Animal Welfare Act and its amendments, which are administered by the USDA through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and
  2. The Health Research Extension Act and its amendments, which are administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).

Accredited by AAALAC LogoIn addition, The University of Texas at Austin is fully accredited by The Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC), a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. It is made up of more than 980 institutions in 44 countries. UT Austin has been fully and continuously accredited since 2001.

According to PHS Policy, the IACUC must be comprised of a minimum of five members, including:

  • a veterinarian with program responsibilities
  • a scientist experienced in laboratory animal procedures
  • a non-scientific member
  • a non-affiliate/ community representative (a person who has no other affiliation with the organization other than sitting on the IACUC committee.)

Some of the most important IACUC functions are to:

  • Review and approve proposed activities that will involve animals as well as any significant changes in IACUC-approved proposals that may arise later.
  • Inspect all animal facilities (including satellite facilities) at least every six months.
  • Monitor the institution’s program for humane care and use of animals; evaluate compliance with the AWA, PHS Policy and other requirements and report to the responsible institutional official and federal agencies as described in their respective rules.
  • Investigate legitimate concerns or complaints received from facility personnel or the public.
  • Suspend an activity involving animals if the activity is not conducted in accordance with the AWA and PHS Policy as approved by the IACUC.

As a new animal researcher or student, you must complete a series of steps with the IACUC and ARC in order to be able to work with animals.

  1. Gain access to eProtocol and complete mandatory training for working with animals.
    • If you cannot login to eProtocol IACUC with your UT EID, then email IACUC@austin.utexas.edu to get access. Once you can login to eProtocol IACUC, begin the required training. See the Mandatory Training for Working with Animals webpage for more information. You cannot be added to an IACUC protocol until all required training is competed.
    • The Orientation module is required for all UT Austin animal researchers and gives an overview of UT Austin’s animal care and use program, compliance, facilities, etc.
  2. Gain access to ARC facilities once your animal use protocol has been approved.
  3. Request specialized training from ARC staff (optional) and/or receive protocol specific training from experienced lab members.
  4. Familiarize yourself with UT Austin IACUC and ARC Policies, Procedures and Guidelines.

Click here to be redirected to the eProtocol IACUC webpage.

PPE requirements differ based on what species or drugs and chemicals you are using. In centralized facilities, PPE requirements are posted on the animal room doors. It is the responsibility of the PI to post PPE requirements on satellite laboratory doors. Please check with EHS to see if extra precautions should be taken in addition to the standard requirements. Refer to the IACUC Guideline #18, Guidelines for the Use of Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment in Animal Research and #19, Guidelines for the Use of Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Personnel Working with Non-Human Primates at UT-Austin, for more information.

AURFs are to be used to register collaborative projects and contracted studies with UT Austin IACUC where no housing of live animals or activities with live animals take place at the University of Texas at Austin. AURFs are needed when the research project funding is sponsored by the University of Texas or UT Austin affiliated personnel will be working with animals at another institution. Researchers wishing to engage in animal use projects meeting these criteria where no activities with live animals will be performed at the University of Texas at Austin should identify appropriate performance sites which are qualified as to the following standards:

  • The performance site must provide facilities that are appropriate to the selected species. The performance site must meet specifications outlined in the Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (“the Guide”).
  • The collaborating institution must maintain or be willing to file an animal welfare assurance statement with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • For USDA covered species: The collaborating institution must maintain an active registration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

You DO NOT need to register with the IACUC via AURF if the research activities fall under the following categories:

  • Researcher receiving residual tissue samples that are an excess product of a live animal activity.
  • Researcher receiving deceased animals or animal products that are generated regularly at an animal production facility and not specifically designed or tailored to the researcher’s need. Additionally, the researcher must have no ownership of the animals (e.g. antibodies ordered from a catalog, in stock animal research models not specifically bread for PI’s research).

If you have questions about if your work needs to be registered, please contact IACUC@austin.utexas.edu.

When submitting a new AURF in eProtocol, you must attach copies of the host institution’s IACUC approval letter and approved protocol, as well as any grant application information for federally funded projects. Prior to submission of an annual review for an AURF, the PI should attach the latest approved copy of the host institution’s IACUC protocol along with the most recent approval letter from the collaborating performance site.

ARC Related Questions

The Animal Resources Center (ARC) oversees the care and use of vertebrate animals utilized as part of the research and teaching activities of the University and serves as a source of expertise and support for investigators and the administration on all issues related to laboratory animals. They accomplish this by:

  • Providing quality care for research animals.
  • Ensuring that the animal care program continues to meet the standards for continued AAALAC accreditation.
  • Overseeing the orientation and training of individuals involved in animal research.
  • Providing technical services and specialized training in support of ongoing research projects.
  • Working closely with other groups in the University to assure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations and policies regarding animal care and use.

Click here to be redirected to the eAnimal Ordering webpage. Please see the Animal Research FAQ page for more information.

Click here for more information on how to request access to ARC facilities.

Click here for the most current rate and billing information.

New work cannot begin until an IACUC protocol is approved at UT Austin. New PIs may contact the Animal Resources Center to discuss using the ARC holding protocol to cover the transfer if there are urgent extenuating circumstances that require animal shipment before protocol approval.