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University of Colorado Denver

Animal Care and Use Program


Tips for Protocol Completion


IACUC meetings for full protocol review are held once a month. Please see our meeting deadlines and schedule.

  • Use keywords to describe the function (procedures to be conducted) of each protocol associate.
  • Submit new PQ forms for the PI and all named personnel on the protocol submission to the IACUC office. Ensure that the PQ forms detail that the associates are qualified to conduct the experiments assigned to them. If not, detail a training mechanism for these associates.
  • Demonstrate scientific merit of your proposal: This can be done by providing evidence that the project is supported by a grant from an organization that utilizes a peer-review mechanism to evaluate proposals (e.g. NIH). Alternatively, provide a letter from your Chair certifying scientific merit of the project (use the required IACUC form letter for this purpose – this is in the blue? help feature).
  • The goals section should not exceed 200 words. Use lay language throughout and do not refer to animal models if possible. This is public information. The write up has to be at an 8th grade level.
  • Do not use symbols when submitting protocols electronically, e.g. use "beta-" instead of "β".
  • The Narrative section should be written in language similar to that used in journals such as Scientific American.
  • Avoid jargon
  • Define all abbreviations
  • Do not repeat statements that apply to several sections of the Narrative
  • Provide a short background and rationale for the experiments described (few sentences)
  • The focus of the Narrative section is on animal procedures. Describe in detail what you are proposing to do and how many animals are going to be used. Include a detailed description of drug use (why a particular drug is used, name and property of drug, route of administration, dosage, frequency of use). Make sure all drugs used are of pharmaceutical grade
  • If survival surgery is used, please consult a staff veterinarian before you submit the protocol. The IACUC Office can arrange for a veterinarian to consult with you.
  • Pay particular attention to the justification of the number of animals required. A statistical method (power analysis) is usually required to justify animal number requests.
  • List all experimental reagents (used in live animals) and make sure the use of these reagents is described in the Narrative section.
  • Make sure you obtain permission for the use of biohazards in animals (Contact the Biosafety Officer)
  • Assign all animals a single stress category.
  • Make sure the dates of required database searches for alternatives to painful distressful procedures are current.
  • Please remember that only the PI can complete section J - the regulatory assurances - and make the final submission.

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