Animal Protocol

Please note:

New electronic Animal Protocol form (eIACUC) is required for all Animal Protocol submissions. Please click here for more information.



Review and approval of Animal Protocols may take four to six weeks.

If Hazardous Materials will be utilized under the Animal Protocol, please complete and attach a Hazard Containment Protocol.

If NIH funding expected, please complete and attach the research portion of the grant including the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Please contact the IACUC Office at 319-335-7985 or email for assistance. It is recommended that first-time applicants contact the IACUC for guidance.


NIH uses Just-In-Time (JIT) procedures for most programs and award mechanisms.  Just-In-Time procedures allow an applicant to defer verification of IACUC approval for the project's proposed use of live vertebrate animals until after completion of the peer review and just prior to funding.  Applicants with a potentially fundable score will receive a JIT request from an NIH system generated e-mail or directly from an agency contact via e-mail or telephone.  When a JIT request is received immediate submission of the Animal Protocol is strongly encouraged to assure IACUC review and approval is granted within the time frame requested by NIH.  Animal Protocols may be submitted and reviewed by the IACUC prior to receipt of the JIT request.


IACUC approved Animal Protocols must undergo complete review (i.e. de novo) at least once every three years (PHS Policy, IV.C.5.).  To avoid any interruption in animal usage, an Animal Protocol (appropriately marked as a Renewal) should be submitted for IACUC review at least four to six weeks before the current Animal Protocol expires. 

When is an Animal Protocol Required?

University policy and federal law require review and approval of proposed activities related to the humane care and use of animals.  At the University of Iowa, the review is conducted by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) via submission and review of Animal Protocols. 

  • IACUC approval must be obtained before initiating any research, testing or instructional project involving the use of live vertebrate animals.
  • Before a person can touch, work with or have access to the animal facilities, he/she must first be listed on an approved Animal Protocol or amended onto an approved Animal Protocol. 

An Animal Protocol is not required for:

  • Tissues obtained from an abattoir or market.
  • Pre-hatched chicken eggs.
  • Tissues from another Investigator.
    • An Animal Protocol is required if an animal is purchased or euthanized for the sole purpose of obtaining tissues.
  • Invertebrates (e.g., insects, snails, nematodes).

An Animal Protocol is required for:

  • No project involving the use of vertebrate animals may be initiated without approval by the IACUC. This includes:
  • projects where animals are not directly purchased (e.g., wild trapping, in-house breeding, field observation)
  • Use of all vertebrate animals (includes fish and amphibians)


  • The maximum period of approval is three years.
  • IACUC approval must be obtained prior to significant changes in a previously approved Animal Protocol; see Animal Protocol Amendment for details
  • The U.S. Public Health Service will not release monies for funded projects without verification of IACUC approval.
  • For projects funded by non-PHS agencies, verification of IACUC approval generally must occur within 60 days after submission of an application.  
  • Projects with multiple components, such as Program Projects, may require several Animal Protocols.
  • Approved and funded Animal Protocols are available for public inspection (Iowa Public Records Act, Chapter 22, Iowa Code).  The Principal Investigator will be contacted before any information concerning their protocol is released.  It is  requested that information supplied to the public or news media be released with the assistance of the University Communication and Marketing office 319-335-0557.