Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

UPDATED 7/7/2020: Owing to the heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission, the Provost and Vice Provost for Research have stated that “we must reduce laboratory research and other nonessential research activities.” Therefore, although the IACUC is moving forward with reviewing and approving protocols, amendments, and renewals, these approvals do NOT supersede the Provost’s directive.

Cornell University has been cleared by the state to restart research activities in a staged, limited manner. As directed by the Provost and Vice Provost for Research, initial stages will involve research related to health and disease, agriculture/food, national defense, and research in support of other essential businesses. Before research can resume, buildings must be cleared, sufficient protective equipment must be available for all personnel, and individual lab plans must receive departmental and college approvals. Please note that only individuals whose research work requires them to be on-site should be working on campus. Please reference the Cornell Research and Operations Reactivation Committee’s guide for the safe restart of the university's research, and visit the IACUC COVID-19 FAQs page for more information.

  • Appropriate reasons to conduct research activity on campus
    • Use of scientific equipment located only on campus
    • Use of reagents
    • Research involving animals and plants
  • Inappropriate reasons to conduct research activity on campus
    • Personal preference or convenience

Thank you for taking these limitations into consideration, and please contact the IACUC if you have any questions.

Federal regulations mandate that the Chief Executive Officer of Cornell University appoint an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to provide guidance and oversee the animal care and use program and to maintain compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. The IACUC is responsible for the following oversight functions:

  1. Review, at least once every 6 months, the research facility's program, using the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations (AWAR), the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (The Guide) and the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (The Ag Guide) as basis for evaluation.
  2. Inspect, at least once every 6 months, all of the animal facilities, including animal study areas/satellite facilities, using AWAR, the Guide and the Ag Guide as basis for evaluation.
  3. Prepare reports of IACUC evaluations and submit the reports to the Institutional Official.
  4. Review and investigate legitimate concerns involving the care and use of animals at the research facility resulting from public complaints and from reports of non-compliance received from facility personnel or employees.
  5. Make recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding any aspect of the research facility's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  6. Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of those components of proposed activities related to the care and use of animals.
  7. Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding care and use of animals in ongoing activities.
  8. Suspend activity involving animals when necessary; take corrective action and report to funding agencies and USDA.

The IACUC is appointed by the President of the University and is qualified through the experience and expertise of its members to oversee the University's animal program, facilities and procedures in accordance with the applicable regulations. Federal regulations require that the membership of the IACUC include at a minimum a veterinarian, a scientist experienced in research involving animals, a member whose principal expertise is in a nonscientific field of study, and an individual not affiliated with Cornell.

  • Because Cornell is a large institution, membership beyond the minimum required by regulation is drawn from faculty and staff of the colleges and divisions of the University to provide ample representation of investigators, to reflect the diversity of the institution's research portfolio, and to accommodate the workload associated with reviewing a large number of protocols and conducting facility inspections. Voting members who are members of the Cornell faculty are appointed by the President in consultation with the Faculty Senate and the Institutional Official.

Ordinarily, the membership of IACUC at Cornell includes at least the following members:

  • One faculty member, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • One faculty member, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • One faculty member, College of Human Ecology
  • One faculty member, College of Arts and Sciences
  • One Non-Scientist
  • One research or animal care technician, manager or supervisor
  • Two members not affiliated with the university*
  • The Attending Veterinarian (AV)
  • The Biosafety Officer, Environmental Health and Safety, whose role includes bringing human health and safety issues to the attention of the committee

*The nonaffiliated members represent general community interests in the proper care and use of animals, are not laboratory animal users affiliated with the university, or an immediate family member of a person who is affiliated with the university.

Membership terms will be three years (except for the AV and Biosafety Officer, who are ex officio with voting privileges).

Alternates are also appointed as necessary, will attend meetings when a regular member is unable to attend, and will have all rights of the regular member.

The President appoints the Chair from the faculty members who have served at least one year on the IACUC.