Requirements for Conducting Animal Research

  1. ​Everyone named on a animal use protocol (including students, lab techs, and visiting scholars) are required to complete the following Animal Care and Use Trainings via the CITI Program:
    • Working with the IACUC: Investigators, Staff and Students
    • Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats
    • Working with (TBD) in Research Settings (Complete the training course(s) for the species listed in your protocol. For example, if the protocol proposes the use of mice and rats, all named personnel must complete both Working with Mice in Research and Working with Rats in Research Settings. Personnel working with wildlife must complete the Wildlife Research course.)
  2. Complete the Occupational Health & Safety Training for Animal Researchers.
  3. Complete the Disclosure of External Professional Activites (DEPA) Form.
  4. Be listed on an approved protocol in eProtocol.
  5. Submit a Facility Access Application to the Office of Animal Resources.
    • OAR will contact you once you have completed your required trainings and have been added to an approved protocol to arrange an orientation at the facility. To check the status of your applicaiton, contact OAR.


  • Submit an Amendment in eProtocol and receive approval before making any changes to an approved animal use protocol.
  • Submit a Continuing Review form in eProtocol at least two months before the anniversary of your protocol approval. Do the same thing two months before the anniversary of the second year of your protocol. If you fail to submit your annual review form in time, the IACUC will ask you to halt your research.
  • Submit an eProtocol Incident Report form within 72 hours to the IACUC Director if an incident occurs that is not listed on your approved protocol. For any issue of health or welfare of the animal, contact the Institutional Veterinarian or other veterinary staff member.
  • Be prepared for semi-annual inspections or other post-approval monitoring. Make sure you dispose of expired chemicals and drugs. Be accessible to the IACUC during the inspections.
  • Keep appropriate records such as training documentation for yourself and all your personnel, and surgery records for your animals.
  • All key personnel administering protocol submissions or training should be on the IACUC mailing list. If you need to be added, please contact

You must minimize potential pain and distress in animals by:

  • Being trained in proper animal handling
  • Choosing alternatives to live animals whenever possible
  • Providing for proper housing and behavioral needs of the animals
  • Follow appropriate guidelines for procedures that are likely to cause pain or distress
  • Knowing how to determine if the animal is experiencing pain or distress.
  • Utilizing appropriate anesthetics and analgesics for painful procedures, or justify to the IACUC why they cannot be used
  • Use aseptic technique and proper procedures when performing surgery
  • Provide appropriate post-procedural care
  • Perform euthanasia of animals using approved methods
  • Contact the Institutional Veterinarian or other veterinary staff member when there is a sick or injured animal, or you have a question about animal health.

You must be aware of the hazards you are working with.

Make sure you receive the appropriate safety training through Environmental Health and Safety. Be sure to communicate with the Office of Animal Resources regarding any hazards you are using in the animal facilities, as this impacts OAR staff as well. Take responsibility to make sure everyone who handles your animals is safe and understands their risks.

You must be aware of animal use regulations and guidelines.

Familiarize yourself with the various regulations and guidelines that affect animal use at the University of Colorado Boulder.

You must follow the Animal Care Program policies and procedures.

Principal investigators must keep track of the number of animals they use against each protocol. (Quick Reference Guide for Tracking Your Animals)

  • To report animal usage, complete the Animal Usage Form.
  • To order animals, complete the Animal Order Form in eAnimal Ordering.
    • Animal Order forms must be received by noon on Wednesdays in order for the order to be placed in time for animal arrival the following Monday. 
  • To import animals, complete the Import Form in eAnimal Ordering.
  • To transfer animals, complete the Animal Transfer Form
    • Transfer requests to transfer animals that are not naive will have to be considered on a case by case basis by the IACUC. 

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Other helpful suggestions:

  • Read the protocol and addenda you are listed on to know what has been approved.
  • Know your risks (read MSDS, SOPs, and know how to report injuries)
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as appropriate
  • Report animal welfare concerns