Get Started with Live Vertebrate Animals

The use of animals for research, teaching, or testing is subject to Cornell Policy 1.4 and NY State and Federal laws and regulations. Before purchasing animals or using animals for research, teaching or testing you must have an approved IACUC protocol.

PI Eligibility

Due to the level of accountability and responsibility involved in conducting work with live vertebrate animals, the Cornell Institutional Animal Care and Use (IACUC) policy mirrors the PI eligibility policy outlined by the Office of Sponsored Programs, but recognizes that in certain teaching, outreach or research activities, the role of PI may be appropriate for individuals with other University appointments.

Policy 340: Principal Investigator Eligibility for Protocols Involving the Use of Vertebrate Animals
 
a. Ordinarily, only full-time members of Cornell faculty and senior research appointees may serve as Principal Investigators on IACUC protocols. These include the following titles:

  • Professor/Clinical Professor/Research Professor
  • Associate Professor/ Associate Clinical Professor/Associate Research Professor
  • Assistant Professor/ Assistant Clinical Professor/ Assistant Research Professor
  • University Professor
  • Senior Scientist
  • Senior Scholar
  • Research Scientist
  • Principal Research Scientist
  • CARE Veterinarians

b. In addition to individuals with the titles listed above, the IACUC will consider individuals with the following titles to be eligible to serve as the Principal Investigator on an animal care and use protocol, primarily for teaching and demonstration protocols and minimal risk research protocols (USDA Pain Category C or less). Individuals seeking to be the PI on a higher risk protocol (USDA Pain Category D or E) will require approval of the IACUC Chair and the Attending Veterinarian or designee.

  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer
  • Extension Associate/Senior Extension Associate
  • Research Associate/Senior Research Associate

c. Emeritus faculty or faculty with Visiting, Adjunct, Courtesy or other appointments, and members of the Cornell staff, will ordinarily not be allowed to serve as a PI on an animal use protocol. In order for the IACUC to consider the eligibility of such individuals to serve as a PI on an animal use protocol, the form in Appendix A must be completed and sent to the Director of ORIA. The IACUC will consider such requests on a case by case basis, depending on the proposed animal activities and the rationale for the request.
 

  • The use of animals for research, teaching, or testing is subject to Cornell Policy 1.4, and NY State and Federal laws and regulations. Before purchasing animals or using animals for research, testing or teaching, you must have an approved IACUC protocol.
  • Your animal protocol can be approved only after you, and personnel working with you, have completed required training.
  • The IACUC Office, CARE, and collaborating units are there to help you administer and manage your animal work.

Here is a guide to help you get started planning your animal activities:

  • If you know the facility in which you would like to house your animals or conduct animal procedures, find out who the manager is for that facility. Talk to them to find out if you can use that facility and what requirements and permissions are necessary. If you are not sure, contact CARE for help.
  • Discuss with CARE the types of animal procedures you would like to carry out, particularly if they are invasive procedures, requiring surgery, or extended restraints.
  • Call the IACUC Office (255-3749) for assistance regarding your animal protocol.
  • If your animal activities involve the use of controlled substances, consult Environmental Health and Safety EHS. Some common controlled substances are human chorionic gonadotropin, buprenorphine, fentanyl, ketamine and pentobarbital. Here are current regulations of controlled substances in New York State.
  • If you plan to use biohazardous agents including recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids, infectious agents, blood borne pathogens, etc, talk to the IBC Administrator to learn about the requirements of the Cornell’s Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). No work with biohazardous agents can begin until approved by the IBC. You may also wish to consult with the Biosafety Officer for guidance.
  • Talk to your department administrator about the procedure for ordering animals. - What do they need, how much in advance? If you have a particular vendor in mind, there may be procurement procedures that might take time. How long does it take to get the animals? Where will you keep them once they are here? You may need to plan the timing with your IAUCC approval and facility readiness, so that the animals can be used when you need to, rather than waiting for the administrative and compliance procedures to be completed.
  • Plan your application submission around the IACUC schedule to ensure that you can start your work when you need to. Plan for at least 6-8 weeks for the approval of your animal protocol. If you are also planning to use biohazardous materials or controlled substances, it may take longer.
  • Check out IACUC policies, Animal Care and Use Procedures (ACUPs), and Animal Biosafety Procedures (ABPs) to make sure that you understand any special requirements for your work. If you have any questions about any of these, consult with the responsible offices to get clarification.
  • If you are collaborating with an external organization in your animal work, call the IACUC office for help.
  • Do you have or plan to apply for external funding for your animal work? If so, you must ensure that the animal procedures proposed in the funding proposal are approved by the IACUC.
  • The IACUC may require a combination of online and hands on training before personnel can start working with live animals. It might save you and your personnel time, if some of the training requirements were completed early on. Consult with CARE or the IACUC staff for the likely training requirements for your protocol, and plan to get these completed on time.

E-sirius access

To get started fill out this form and submit it to the IACUC.