Animal Care & Use FAQs

Any UNH faculty, staff, or student who intends to conduct research or instruction that involves vertebrate animals must apply for and receive unconditional IACUC approval (approval without contingency) before beginning that research or instruction. This applies to ALL research involving vertebrate animals, not just clinical research. Field studies, training in research methodologies, and standard husbandry courses must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC (this is a representation of likely projects, and not an exhaustive list). Please note that only UNH faculty and staff may be principal investigators of record for IACUC purposes. Please check with Animal Resources Office (ARO) staff (Dean Elder, 603-862-4629) or Research Integrity Services (RIS) staff (Julie Simpson, 603-862-2003).

Yes. Any research project involving animal subjects must be submitted to the IACUC, regardless of funding source. Project review for protection of animal subjects is made without regard to funding source.

Aside from potential ethical and animal care implications, bypassing IACUC review leads to other consequences:


  • Funding may be withheld.  IACUC approval is required for UROP, IROP, SURF, McNair and other grant programs. These programs will not release funds without IACUC approval.
  • Credit may be withheld. UNH may, at its discretion, refuse to grant students course credit for research conducted without IACUC approval.
  • Dissertation or thesis work will not be accepted.  Graduate students must present to the Graduate School evidence of IACUC approval for their projects involving vertebrate animal subjects. Thesis or dissertation work will not be accepted without it. Degrees will not be awarded for work based on non-IACUC-reviewed projects that involve vertebrate animals.
  • Articles may not be published.  Most professional journals require evidence of IACUC approval when considering articles for publication.

Faculty and Staff

  • Funding may be withheld.  Federal sponsors, and virtually all private sponsors, require IACUC approval as a condition of funding. Sponsors may postpone review of proposals for which review is not complete/pending at the time of proposal submission. Some sponsors will not release funds to the University for the project director's use without IACUC approval. SPA will not set up accounts for projects lacking necessary IACUC approval.
  • Articles may not be published.  Most professional journals require evidence of IACUC approval when considering articles for publication.
  • UNH will not support unapproved research.  Liability issues arising from unapproved research become the responsibility of the project director. Persons conducting unapproved research are deemed to be acting outside the scope of authority granted them by the University. The University will not, therefore, provide a project director of an unapproved project the resources to answer a liability complaint.
  • In Person ~ application forms are available from RIS staff (Room 107, second floor, Service Building).
  • Via the Web ~ IACUC application materials and information
  • By Phone ~ You may call 603-862-2003 to request an application form or to ask questions about the IACUC application process.
  • By Email ~ Email Julie Simpson in RIS to request an application form or ask questions about the IACUC application review process.

Information about the UNH IACUC requirements is available via the Manual for the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals at UNH (2018).

Additional resources

The IACUC will want to know the name and background of each person on the project (see application instructions), but only one person should be listed on the application form as the principal investigator/instructor. If necessary, submit affiliated staff information on an additional sheet of paper. Only a UNH staff or faculty member may serve as a principal investigator/instructor on a project involving vertebrate animals.

  • By email ~ Email your completed (and signed) application to Julie Simpson.
  • By fax ~ Fax your completed application to 603-862-3564.
  • In person ~ Bring your application to the RIS staff (Room 107, second floor, Service Building)
  • By mail ~ from off-campus, mail your application to:

University of New Hampshire
Research Integrity Services - IACUC
51 College Road, Service Building
Durham, NH 03824-3585

Once the application is received, it is assigned a number and is routed for IACUC review. Project directors are notified as soon as possible, in writing, of the IACUC's decision.

At UNH, there is only one level of IACUC review; review at a convened IACUC meeting.

PLEASE NOTE! You may not begin your research until the IACUC has given your project full unconditional approval (approval without contingencies).   The review process for projects submitted can take a month or more to complete. You should include sufficient time in your research plan as allowance for any IACUC-required changes to the research project. Many revisions are considered by a subcommittee of the full IACUC. Substantive revisions usually return to the IACUC for review at a convened meeting.

The IACUC generally meets once each month throughout the year, including summer. A quorum of the IACUC must be present for studies to be approved.

The IACUC seeks:

  • Research design that is sound, given the proposed use of animal subjects in the project,
  • Balance between risks to the animal(s) and potential benefits, and
  • A thoughtful and comprehensive overview of the project, including a layperson's overview of the project (written in language that would be understandable to the general community if issued as a press release).

The IACUC is a standing committee of at least five individuals, including faculty, researchers and members of the community at large. Individual experiences and interests cross diverse areas, from behavioral research to field studies, but statutory requirements dictate that membership must always include:

  • One Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, who has direct or delegated program authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at UNH,
  • One practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals,
  • One member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area (for example, ethicist, lawyer, member of the clergy), and
  • One individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than as a member of the IACUC, and is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.

When projects under review require input beyond that of the IACUC, it seeks assistance from qualified persons outside its membership. While outside experts may inform the IACUC's decisions, they do not vote on UNH projects presented for review.

You do not have to but you are invited to briefly present your application.  If you do not present at the IACUC meeting, the IACUC will set a mutually convenient time to meet with you to discuss the project if the IACUC has several questions, or believes you could provide valuable insight for review.

You will receive via email written notification of the status of your project following review at a convened meeting. The IACUC will also identify any required revisions at that time.

If the other site has an IACUC
Yes. Many universities and other institutions have their own IACUCs. If the site of your research has an IACUC, the site IACUC and the UNH IACUC must both approve your project before you start. You may submit your project for review to UNH at the same time you submit your project to the other institution's IACUC for review, or you may submit the project after the other institution's review is completed. Remember that review and approval requirements may vary among institutions, so you should familiarize yourself with each IACUC's policies. You should also plan your research chronology accordingly.

If the other site doesn't have an IACUC
Where a facility has no IACUC (as may be the case with farms, etc.), you should seek approval from the UNH IACUC and, of course, ask appropriate personnel (e.g., farm manager, facility director) for permission to conduct your research at the facility. Site personnel involved in your project should be listed among the project personnel on the UNH IACUC application.

All the work in my study involving vertebrate animals will be conducted by other researchers at a non-UNH site (domestic or foreign) via a subagreement or as part of a collaboration. I won't be handling any vertebrate animals. What do I need to do for UNH IACUC purposes?

In accordance with UNH’s Assurance with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), if the other site holds an OLAW Assurance and is registered with the USDA, then the UNH IACUC requires:

  • A copy of the signed IACUC approval letter with no outstanding contingencies, including project dates,
  • A summary of proposed animal use (one paragraph project description),
  • To be kept apprised of approved modifications to the protocol, and
  • To be notified of any issues pertinent to the protocol arising from semiannual program and facilities inspections.

If the other site has an IACUC but does not hold an OLAW Assurance and/or is not registered with the USDA, the site needs to enter into an agreement with an OLAW-Assured, USDA-registered institution for that IACUC to review the protocol and be the IACUC of record. (See above bulleted list of UNH IACUC requirements.) Alternatively, the UNH researcher can serve as the principal investigator of record and submit a protocol to the UNH IACUC for review.

If the other site does not have an IACUC, the site needs to enter into an agreement with an OLAW-Assured, USDA-registered institution for that IACUC to review the protocol and be the IACUC of record. (See above bulleted list of UNH IACUC requirements.) Alternatively, the UNH researcher can serve as the principal investigator of record and submit a protocol to the UNH IACUC for review.

All activities involving vertebrate animals must approved by the IACUC before they begin. Usually, when an award involving vertebrate use is made to UNH, the funds will not be made available until SPA has received evidence of IACUC approval. In cases where animal work will not begin until much later in the grant period, exceptions may be made upon request. In these cases, OSR will make the funds available with the understanding that no animal work will be conducted until IACUC approval is obtained; this arrangement will be reviewed periodically. Where the sponsor is the Public Health Service, the agency will issue a Notice of Award with a special term and condition indicating that no funds may be drawn from the grant or contract for animal activities until a valid IACUC approval date has been provided to the funding component.

Changes to an IACUC-approved project must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC prior to their implementation. Modifications to IACUC-approved research and instructional protocols that project directors may request are considered either minor or major. For a description of what changes are considered minor and major, refer to the document, Procedures for Requesting Modifications to IACUC-Approved Protocols.

The IACUC limits the number of modifications that may be requested for a single protocol to two minor modifications OR one major modification. Project directors who want to modify an approved protocol but who have reached the modification limit for that protocol must submit a NEW application to the IACUC for review. Modifications submitted that exceed the limit for a protocol will be returned to the project director with a request to submit a new application.

Any project in good standing may be extended. If your project will continue beyond one year from the "APP'L DATE" on your approval letter, complete an Annual Review Form (available from the RIS staff upon request or emailed to you approximately 60 days before the approval end date), and attach a letter requesting a time extension for your project. If you are proposing changes to your project along with the extension, include appropriate materials as you would for a modification.

At the end of three years, each project must be closed, and a new application submitted to the IACUC for review. You will be emailed a "Year Three Review Form" and a current copy of your current IACUC-approved animal project. The new application must be received by the IACUC and reviewed before the current approval lapses. Please plan accordingly to avoid disruption in research or instruction.

Email Dean Elder, Director, Animal Resources Office, or call the ARO (603-862-4629) for assistance.

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The Knowledge Base contains forms, instruction and training material, policies, guidance, tools and other resources to support your research efforts by topic area.

Contact Information

Dean Elder, D.V.M., Director
Animal Resources Office
Rudman Hall
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-4629

Linnea Morley, D.V.M., Associate Director
Animal Resources Office
Rudman Hall
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-4629

Julie Simpson, Director
Research Integrity Services
Service Building Room 107
51 College Road
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: (603) 862-2003