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Submit Application Form

Here is a link for submitting a protocol application in Topaz. Here are instructions on how to submit a protocol in TOPAZ Elements. If you want to view the questions on the Protocol Form and draft your submission in Word, view the Forms page.  The IACUC office no longer accepts Protocols in Word form.  Whether or not you are brand new to research using vertebrate animals, be sure to check out our page on Getting Started, for important information on the responsibilities of being a Principal Investigator. IACUC Meetings in 2015 are on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. Except for January, IACUC Meetings in 2016 will be held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

Protocol Submission Deadlines for 2015 and 2016 IACUC Meetings

Meeting Month

Deadline to submit protocol for required pre-review**

Deadline for Protocol Submission to the IACUC Office by the Principal Investigator

IACUC Meeting Date

August 2015

August 5, 2015

August 12, 2015

August 26, 2015

September 2015

September 2, 2015

September 9, 2015

September 23, 2015 

October 2015

September 23, 2015

September 30, 2015

October 14, 2015

November 2015

October 28, 2015

November 4, 2015

November 18, 2015

December 2015

November 18, 2015

November 25, 2015

December 9, 2015

January 2016

December 23, 2015*

January 6, 2016

January 20, 2016

February 2016

January 20, 2016

January 27, 2016

February 10, 2016

March 2016

February 17, 2016

February 24, 2016

March 9, 2016

April 2016

March 23, 2016

March 30, 2016

April 13, 2016

May 2016

April 20, 2016

April 27, 2016

May 11, 2016

June 2016

May 18, 2016

May 25, 2016

June 8, 2016

July 2016

June 22, 2016

June 29, 2016

July 13, 2016

August 2016

July 20, 2016

July 27, 2016

August 10, 2016

September 2016

August 24, 2016

August 31, 2016

September 14, 2016

October 2016

September 21, 2016

September 28, 2016

October 12, 2016

November 2016

October 19, 2016

October 26, 2016

November 9, 2016

December 2016

November 16, 2016*

November 30, 2016

December 14, 2016

† September IACUC meeting moved to September 23rd. It was formerly September 16th. 
*Two weeks for pre-review for these months due to University holidays.
**Researchers are encouraged to submit documents for pre-review as soon as possible (even prior to the required pre-review deadline) to allow ample time for communication with the reviewers. What is meant by “pre-review”? The Principal Investigator should submit their animal use protocol to their department’s IACUC representative by this date, and indicate that you would like to submit your protocol to the IACUC in one week. The IACUC representative may request modifications, and those modifications should be made in the protocol before you submit it to the IACUC office. If you are doing any pain category D or E procedures, please simultaneously submit to the IACUC representative and the Veterinarian for comments. 

Information you need to know when filling out the Protocol Form:

  • University policy and federal law require the review of projects for humane treatment of vertebrate animals. At the University of Colorado-Boulder, the review is conducted by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  • Principle Investigators and course directors must obtain approval from the IACUC before initiating any research, testing or instructional project involving the use of vertebrate animals. The IACUC's principal areas of concern are housing and husbandry, health status, measures to minimize pain or discomfort and the adequacy of training or experience of the personnel when using the animals.
  • Approved applications are valid for the specified project for a period of three years. 
  • Any changes you may wish to make to your protocol after its approval MUST be approved by the IACUC before you actually perform those changes. Only those species listed in the approved application may be obtained. Only those procedures listed in the approved protocol or approved addenda may be done. You receive a “Certificate of Approval” from the IACUC when your changes or application have been approved.
  • Before submitting an animal protocol you must make arrangements for animal housing and care. Contact the facility manager for your department to make these arrangements.
  • Investigators are requested to categorize their use of vertebrate animals based on the discomfort or pain involved. The University uses the USDA pain category designations. Please click here for USDA Pain and Distress Categories. There is no category A.
  • Consideration should be given to methods that result in a lesser degree of unavoidable pain or discomfort. Use of the smallest number of animals consistent with meeting the scientific or educational objectives is mandatory.
  • Minimizing animal pain, wherever possible, is important both ethically and legally.
  • The IACUC views justifying animal use as being very important. Therefore, you must thoroughly justify the number of animals to be used. This justification might include the number of animals used in pilot studies, the number which will not respond to a particular treatment thus inflating the number needed for an experiment, an estimate of the number of animals which might not survive a surgical procedure, etc. It is unacceptable to propose using a large number of animals without a thorough justification of those numbers. As part of that justification, you should provide an itemized list of the animal numbers by experiment (including the number of both experimental and control animals).
  • If you are using methods, chemicals, or drugs which are potentially hazardous to yourself or other personnel working with animals, it is necessary to state in detail what steps you will take to minimize risk. Call Environmental Health and Safety (303-492-6025) for advice on these matters.
  • If the project is not to be reviewed for merit by an external body, then the chair of the department must review the application for scientific/educational merit and sign the protocol.
  • Help is available in filling out the application:
  • For specific questions about completing the protocol which includes anesthesia, justifying the number of animals, euthanasia or other technical questions, email
  • For general questions about submitting a protocol or guidance on regulations, contact the Interim Director of the IACUC Office at 303-492-4787 or email

Step 1:

Fill out your Protocol Application Form. See the helpful hints above for guidance as well as some of our other Resources on anesthesia, analgesia, euthanasia, etc.  Here are instructions on how to submit a protocol in TOPAZ Elements.

Step 2:

Make sure that all the personnel you wish to add to your protocol have taken IACUC Basic Training, have been enrolled in the Occupational Health Program, and have updated training documentation. You will need to send the training documentation to the IACUC Office with you application.

Step 3:

Three weeks prior to the IACUC meeting at which you want your protocol discussed, email your protocol application to the IACUC member representative for your campus department for pre-review. Additionally, submit your protocol to the Institutional Veterinarian for pre-review in Topaz Elements for USDA-covered Pain Category D and E.

Step 4:

After the pre-review, and at least 2 weeks prior to the next IACUC meeting, submit via Topaz Elements to the IACUC Office with your protocol form, updated training documentation for your personnel, the grants that cover the protocol, and any permits that may be necessary for you to conduct your work. This information MUST be received at least two weeks prior to the next IACUC meeting.

During the IACUC meeting, there can be four outcomes for your protocol. First, your protocol could get approved. Second, your protocol could need modifications, and then it will be approved. Thirdly, your protocol could get deferred to a future meeting because the modifications are so extensive. The fourth outcome is that the IACUC can withhold approval of your protocol. If your protocol is approved, you will receive a certificate of approval via email. If modifications are required, you will receive a modification letter via email, make the changes, and email back to the IACUC Office. You cannot begin work on your protocol until your Certificate of Approval is in hand.

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