VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Questions about your Animal Submission?
Research Office Building
Mail Code 151
Pittsburgh, PA 15240
VA Pittsburgh is committed to conducting ethical, high-quality research involving animals. Our program is fully accredited by The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). Also, in accordance with The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals, VA Pittsburgh has an OLAW-approved Animal Welfare Assurance.
Initiating an Animal Research Project at VAPHS
To initiate a new animal research project or to complete a three-year protocol renewal, the following forms must be submitted to the Research Office for IACUC. Submissions must be made using Microsoft Word and emailed to Beth Toth.
To assist research study staff in the completion of these forms, please refer to the Instructions for Completing the ACORP.
Note: Those items marked with an asterisk (*) are REQUIRED for all submissions.
- Part I: Request to Conduct Research*
- Research Staff Form*
- Part II: Research Protocol Safety Survey*
- Chemical Matrix*
- Part IV: ACORP Main Body*
- VHA Form 10-0398 Research Protocol Safety Survey – This form is required for all VA funded projects and must accompany your Just-In-Time submission materials.
- ACORP Appendices (as applicable to each protocol):
- Appendix 1: Additional Local Information
- Appendix 2: Antibody Production
- Appendix 3: Biosafety
- Appendix 4: Antemortem Specimen Collection
- Appendix 5: Surgery
- Appendix 6: Special Husbandry and Procedures
- Appendix 7: Use of Patient Care Equipment and/or Areas
- Appendix 8: Use of Explosive Agent(s)
- Appendix 9: Departures from MUST or SHOULD standards in the Guide
- Part V: Application for Use of Radioactive Materials
- Investigational Drug Service (IDS) Letter of Support
- Breeding Supplement
- Research Financial Conflict of Interest Statement
- Research Financial Conflict of Interest Policy
- Privacy and Data Security Plan
Animal Exposure Preventive Medicine Program (AEPMP)
Individuals who handle animals (live or dead), their fresh, frozen, or non-fixed tissues, body fluids or wastes within VAPHS facilities or VAPHS-owned property have the option to participate in the AEPMP at VAPHS. Individuals who are conducting the same procedures within VA leased space or who have a partial or full off-site waiver to conduct VA research at an off-site location have the option of either enrolling in the VAPHS AEPMP or enrolling in a comparable program at that institution, provided that the alternate program meets Public Health Service (PHS) requirements. Please refer to the VAPHS AEPMP Policy for additional details. The Initial Exam Form, Annual Review Form and Declination Form should be completed as applicable. In addition, a form for Vets/Non-affiliated members of the IACUC and a form for Non-Research personnel are available.
Other Animal Research Forms and Requirements
- Animal Protocol (ACORP) Amendment Request Form
- Research Laboratory Hazardous/Select Agent Certification Form
- Application to Access Research Secured Area
- Request for Staff Access to Research Secured Area
- Protocol to Protocol Animal Transfer Form
- Research Project Study Closure Form
Continuing Review Forms and Procedures
Each Principal Investigator will receive a continuing review request form at 90, 60, and 30 days before protocol expiration for two years following initial protocol approval. This form must be submitted to the IACUC for annual renewal. Prior to the 3rd anniversary of protocol approval, the PI will be required to submit all forms and processes listed under Initiating an Animal Research Project at VAPHS (above).
Animal Research Guidelines
- Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) Safety Manual
- Guidelines for Reporting an Unanticipated Event
- Guidelines for Multi-Use Drug Vials in Animal Research
- Guidelines for Location of Animals During Necropsies and Other Surgeries
- Guidelines: Identification Cards for Animal Cages
Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- S-001: Waste Anesthetic Gas (WAG) Policy
- A-003: Rodent Import/Export Policy
- A-004: Delegation of Authority for Staff of the VAPHS Animal Research Facility
- A-005: Animal Biosecurity Policy
- A-006: Rodent Transport Policy
- A-007: Animal Research Facility Visitor Policy
- A-008: Social Housing Policy for Lab Rodents and Rabbits
- A-009: Post Approval Monitoring for the ARF
- A-010: Rodent Genotyping Policy
- A-11: Policy for Adoption of Research Animals
- RD-014: Material Transfer Agreement
- Incoming Material Transfer Agreement Form
- Outgoing Material Transfer Agreement Form
- Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) SOP
- Animal Research Facility (ARF) SOP
- Animal Research Facility Emergency Operations Plan
- Post Approval Monitoring Document Checklist
Animal Research Training Requirements
All personnel who participate in or supervise animal procedures conducted at VAPHS or work with animals purchased with VA funds regardless of performance location must complete the required training. Details regarding Animal Research Training Requirements can be found in the VAPHS Research Staff Training Document.
Personnel must schedule Animal Research Facility Orientation with the ARF Manager prior to conducting any animal procedures. If personnel are working at Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2), he/she must be trained by the Biosafety Officer prior to conducting those procedures.