How is an animal research proposal approved?

Animal research is described and governed by a “protocol,” a description of the project that constitutes a contract between the principal investigator and the UW-Madison Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC).

The review and approval for an animal care and use protocol follows these steps:

  • Protocol application is prepared by the investigator and submitted to the Research Animal Resource Center (RARC), which assigns the protocol to the appropriate Animal Care and Use Committee for review.
  • The ACUC can approve the protocol as is, approve it pending answers to certain questions, or require substantial revision.
  • RARC staff communicates the ACUC’s approval or request for further information/revision to the Investigator.
  • Research can begin after the protocol is approved.

Prior to making any significant change to the protocol, investigators must get approval of the relevant ACUC.