Animal Research and the ACUC Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding animal care or the ACUC at WVU?
A. ACUC Chair: Albert Berrebi, Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology
Q. How do I login to the ACUC Sharepoint system?
A.You can login at https://teamwork.wvu.edu/sites/ResearchOffice/ACUC/default.aspx using your WVU MyID and password as your credentials. Please note that you must be given access to be able to login.
Q. What is the PHS Animal Assurance Number?
A. The PHS Animal Assurance Number is A3597-01 . The approval period for the assurance is March 1, 2009 to February 28, 2013. For a copy of the approval letter Click Here .
Q. How do I access Sole (for IACUC Members)?
A. Go to https://sole.hsc.wvu.edu/. Enter your master id and password to log in. Select Animal Care and Use Committee under courses and sites. Select the Site Content on the left hand side of the page. Select the agenda you wish to view.
Q. Do I need ACUC training?
A. Everyone working with animals must receive basic regulatory training. This is available at https://www.citiprogram.org. Additional training may be required depending on what species and procedures you are using. The attending veterinarians are responsible for this.
Q. What types of experiments need ACUC approval?
A. WVU requires ACUC approval for all work with live vertebrates.
Q. What about dead animals or animal parts?
A. If the animals are specifically raised for you, then you may need a protocol. If you are obtaining animals or tissue that were already dead (rat livers from a supply house, steaks from the supermarket, game from DNR) then you do not need an ACUC protocol. However, all work with wild mammal tissue needs a biosafety protocol Biosafety.
Q. Where do I get an application form?
A. From the WVU ACUC web page: Protocol Submission. It changes from time to time due to changes in federal regulations. We do not accept protocols on expired forms, so get download a new copy every time you submit a protocol.
Q. How long does it take to get ACUC approval?
A. Protocols are reviewed at monthly ACUC meetings. If there is an urgent need for approval, the ACUC Chair can call a special meeting.
Q. When are the meetings and when is the deadline for submitting protocols?
A. The meeting is the first Wednesday of every month. The deadline is the 15th of the month.
Q. My grant is for five years but the protocol says that I can only get approval for three years. How do I get an extension?
A. The three year limit on animal protocols is explicitly stated in the Federal regulations. We cannot give any extension at all, even for one month. You must file a new protocol. Since the ACUC has already reviewed and approved your study once, hopefully it will be re-approved without any problems.
Q. My Chair/Dean/colleague is out of town and I can’t get their signature!
A. You can submit the protocol without signatures (even email it) as long as it gets to Research Compliance by the deadline. The ACUC will review the protocol, but it will not be approved until you submit a completed signature page.
Q. Why did it take four months to get my protocol approved?
A. The most common factor that delays approval is that the ACUC decides that the protocol needs revision. Then approval will not be granted until these concerns are satisfactorily addressed. The ACUC, the Chair, the veterinarians, and the Research Compliance staff are all willing to advise you on preparing your protocol to avoid these delays. We cannot anticipate everything that might arise in the committee meeting, but we can always identify the major problems. Ask for help!
- Numbers: Make sure that the numbers add up and that the reasons for using all of the animals are clear. The numbers in the protocol total (section 8), experimental design (14) and justification for use of the number of animals requested (31) should all be the same.
- Euthanasia (20): You must either use an AVMA approved method or provide justification for an alternative method. If you want to use an alternative method, talk to the attending veterinarian before submitting the protocol.
- Literature searches (26): We are required by the USDA to get two of these for all studies other than those that are Category A. If you want help in designing the searches, contact the veterinarian, the ACUC Chair, or Research Compliance.
- Justifications (28, 29): Federal regulations say that cost is never a justification; therefore never state that you chose to use a species because it is the cheapest alternative.
Q. I need to change my procedures/ add personnel/ get more animals.
A. Submit an email memo to Research Compliance detailing the changes.