Frequently Asked Questions

What Investigators Need to Know About the Use of Animals (updated April 2016)
This (pdf) publication provides an overview of investigator responsibilities when conducting research with animals. You will learn about the PHS Policy requirements, what you need to describe in your grant application and your IACUC animal study protocol, and guidance for conducting your research to avoid noncompliance. Download PDF

What are USDA Pain Categories?
Pain categories are derived from column headings on the USDA Annual Report:

  • Column C (animals used in research; no pain involved; no pain drugs administered)
  • Column D (animals used in research; pain involved; pain drugs administered)
  • Column E (animals used in research; pain involved; no pain drugs administered)

I have a new Grant. Do I need a new Animal Use Protocol?
NO!  In most cases additional groups of animals, with their own defined use, can be added to your existing protocol via amendment.  Don't forget to request the addition of the your new grant name to the protocol. 

I cannot see my currently approved protocols in eSirius.
Your eSirius home page only lists protocols which are unfinished, pending review, in need of renewal, or being amended. Approved protocols are found using the “Protocol Search” option further down on the menu.

How do I know who is listed on my protocol(s)?

  • Login to eSirius.
  • Select "Protocol Contact Reports".
  • Click the dot beside "Contact Listing by Protocol".
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Run Selected Report".

The report will show all of your personnel by the protocol(s) they are listed on.

What paperwork do I need to submit to obtain approval to use research animals? Where do I submit it?
The Institutional Animal Care and Use committee (IACUC) reviews all Animal Use Protocols (AUPs) before research may begin. The AUP form must first be submitted to the IACUC via eSirius.

How do I submit an amendment to an existing protocol?

  1. Login to eSirius.
  2. Click on "submit an amendment from an existing protocol" to get a choice of your existing protocols.
  3. Choose the one you wish to amend.
  4. Add your intended amendment in the reason/justification section.
  5. Choose and amend all protocol sections that apply (for example, if you are adding numbers, you need to add them under both species info and USDA category.)

What is our Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) assurance number?
See the bottom of the IACUC Home page.

What was our most recent Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) accreditation date? 
See the bottom of the IACUC Home page.

How do I add a title or funding agency to an already approved AUP?
Email the   IACUC Compliance Coordinator stating that all experiments are the same with the appropriate protocol number and new title and/or funding agency name.

How do I access animal and/ or occupational health and safety training online?
Follow the steps outlined on the eSirius and Animal Facility Access page.

How do I report an animal care concern or complaint?
See the Reporting Inappropriate or Deficient Animal Care or Treatment page.

How long is an AUP approval valid?
An AUP is approved for three years, but must be reviewed by the IACUC on an annual basis to keep it active.

How often does the IACUC meet?
The IACUC meets on the 4th Thursday of every month. Meeting dates and submission deadlines can be found on our website.

How do I access the animal facility?
Follow the steps outlined on the Animal User Clearance page.

How do I get animals shipped to Augusta University from an outside institution?
If originating from an approved vendor i.e. Harlan, Charles River or Jackson Labs,  contact Laboratory Animal Services at (706) 721-3421.

Where will my animals be housed?
Laboratory Animal Services assigns space after consultation with the investigator to determine specific animal needs such as nonstandard husbandry, special diet, bedding, or caging. Direct any questions to (706) 721-3421.

How do I find out about animal costs, including billing and per diem charges?
Current per diem rates may be found on the Laboratory Animal Services website under "ordering animals and per diems."

Why can't we just submit a word document for each animal use protocol?
Some drawbacks to a flat protocol form:

  • As years have passed, the number of research protocols has continually increased and regulatory bodies have increased reporting requirements for animal research, contributing to the need to store the animal use protocol in a database that is easily managed, searched and reported from. Over the same period, AU’s IACUC office staff has remained much the same (peaking at 2 people).
  • A flat protocol form cannot limit input to the most recently updated accepted values (personnel, procedures, surgeries, drugs, euthanasia, etc.) Pick lists in the database greatly increase accuracy and consistency of the data in the animal use protocol.
  • A flat protocol cannot maintain a real-time interface with veterinary, data, husbandry data, occupational health data, individual training data, and billing for LAS resources. All of those functions are part of a larger system based on information from the animal use protocol database.
  • Flat protocol forms are not easily verified, stored, nor backed up; the protocol database is secured by user login (making the content and all changes verifiable), stored on secure network servers, and regularly backed up.
  • A flat protocol form does not allow the IACUC to easily define, correct, and update a single authorized version of the animal use protocol. Even with limited staff, our office is constantly updating the animal use protocol to satisfy regulatory requirements in the simplest, most straightforward way possible for investigators and other staff. 
  • Unlike a database, a flat protocol form is not able to securely track changes, using role based security to  determine who can finalize the changes.
  • A flat protocol form cannot be routed for review to multiple persons at once and automatically combine all of their comments into a single record.
  • A flat protocol form is not easily, nor quickly shared or routed. The official version of your animal use protocol is often accessed by an IACUC Member, IACUC Office Staff, LAS Veterinarians, LAS Animal Facility Supervisors, LAS Census Personnel, Environmental Health and Safety Staff, and LAS Business Office Staff on the SAME day, often at the same time
  • Keeping up with past and current versions of a flat protocol form and all of its amendments is cumbersome, time consuming, insecure and inefficient.
  • Easily identifying, reading, and understanding reviewer comments can also be difficult with a flat protocol form.
  • Lastly, a flat protocol form encourages copying and pasting large amounts of text directly from a grant application, that often fails to provide the actual (usually much simpler) information required on an animal use protocol.  Remember, a grant application is destined solely for per review, while an animal care and use protocol should be written in language understandable by the lay public as well.