Guidelines for IACUC Approval

Step 1: Training Required for Research or Teaching Involving Live Vertebrate Animals

Effective 6/1/19, all faculty, staff and students conducting research or teaching that involves live vertebrate animals must complete the necessary CITI training prior to IACUC approval.

Visit the CITI Program website and click on the "Register" button located in the blue log in box to the right of the homepage. If you encounter any difficulties in the registration process, refer to the "First time registration on the new website" section and follow step-by-step instructions on how to register for CITI training.

When you register, you will be asked to identify your learner group which determines the training modules you will have to complete. This is based on the nature of your research activity. The options are:

  1. IACUC members
  2. Faculty/staff researcher
  3. Student researcher
  4. Faculty/staff researcher conducting field work
  5. Student researcher conducting field work
  6. Animal technicians

You must earn a cumulative score of 80% after completing all of the modules for your particular learner group. Please note, the online training can take up to several hours to complete. You are able to save your work, exit, and return to the training at a different time.

If you need more information or have questions, please contact a member of the IACUC Committee at

Step 2: Submitting Your Research Proposal for IACUC Approval

Please fill out the St. John Fisher University IACUC Protocol: Application for Approval of the Use of Vertebrate Animals [pdf] form.

There are three possible outcomes to the review of a proposal:

  • Approval – A protocol that has been approved by the IACUC requires no further action by the investigator before the research may commence.
  • Conditional Approval/Request for Modifications - The IACUC may request revisions to a proposal. The investigator will receive written details describing what additional information is required and the revised protocol will be reviewed an additional time with the possibility of approval if all modifications have been addressed, or sent back until all additional modifications have been addressed.
  • Negative Decision – A protocol that has been disapproved by the IACUC may not be initiated. The investigator will receive written details describing the reasons for denial of approval, and will be given an opportunity to make alterations to their proposed study/methodologies in an effort to have their submission approved. An investigator may also challenge the findings of the committee, however unless the committee is satisfied with the proposal, the research may not be conducted.

Per federal regulations, animal research protocols may be approved for a maximum of three years.

The investigator is required to wait for approval from the IACUC prior to initiation of the research study. Using animals prior to approval of your protocol can lead to suspension of your research project and future animal usage.

If a protocol is approved, the Investigator/course instructor will receive an approval letter and/or email from the chair of the IACUC. The chair of the IACUC will also request their signature and supply them with a copy of the approved and signed protocol form.