DePaul University Research Services > Research Protections > Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) > Getting Started

Getting Started

If at any point you have questions regarding the IACUC review process, please feel free to contact the Office of Research Services Research Protections staff at .

Animal use protocols must receive final approval from the IACUC before a researcher may acquire, house, or use animals for research, research training, teaching, experimentation, biological testing, exhibition, and related activities.

All scientists, animal technicians, and other personnel involved in animal care, treatment, and use for research, research training, teaching, experimentation, biological testing, exhibition, and related activities (including observational studies) must complete appropriate training and/or instruction in the use and care of animals. To learn more about the training requirements, click here.

Please Note: If your project involves housing animals in the Research Support Facility (RSF), you must complete RSF orientation as well.

1. Prior to Completing and Submitting the IACUC Protocol Application Form

  • Determine if there is space in the Research Support Facility (RSF) for your work, if applicable. Space assignments are determined by the RSF Director.
    • If your activity involves long-term use and housing of animals, you must discuss your plans with the institutional veterinarian, so that all factors related to shipping and receipt, quarantine and acclimation, and long-term care and use of the animals are considered prior to the receipt of the animals.
  • Determine when you plan to begin your work. All new protocols receive Full Committee Review, so you must plan to submit your materials allowing for sufficient time to complete the review process. See Meetings page for more information regarding the IACUC meeting schedule.

2. Completing the IACUC Protocol Application

  • Submit all your protocol materials via the new online eProtocol portal (see left tab on website) for all new protocols submitted on or after January 21, 2021. Older protocols reviewed and approved on paper may continue to submit amendments and final reports electronically via email to .All supplementary documents are added to your protocol using the attachment page in the online eProtocol system. Please be sure each attached document has a version date in the footer and the file name also has a version date noted.
  • Please be sure to be detailed and specific in the protocol application. Lack of sufficient information for the IACUC to understand your activity plans will result in the IACUC requesting clarification, additional information, or that changes or modifications be made.

3. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

The development and submission of SOPs are required for the following:

  • Species Specific SOPs: If your project involves housing and maintaining animals on campus for a new species, then Species Specific SOPs that address daily care and feeding procedures must be submitted.
  • Surgery SOPs: If your project involves surgery then a Surgery SOP outlining the procedures and after surgery care and monitoring for pain and distress is required.

4. Submit Your IACUC Materials

Document Required, If Applicable
eProtocol application completed Required
Grant Proposal: If the research is federally funded, submit a copy of the full grant proposal submitted to the funding agency. For research funded from other sources, copies of the proposals may be submitted to provide additional details not provided in the IACUC submission form. If Applicable
Training : All training except CITI and those already on file with the Office of Research Services must be submitted. Note - Documentation of species specific training for individual research personnel may be submitted after the IACUC approval is received. However, the training must be provided to the IACUC, before an individual conducts any unsupervised activities with the animals. Required
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs): Species Specific for New Species, Surgery If Applicable
Occupational Health and Safety Training: Must be completed by all personnel listed on the application. Documentation of training must be provided to the Office of Research Services staff by Office of Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety. Required

Submit materials to the eProtocol online submission system at

New protocols are reviewed by the full committee review. Please see Meetings page for more information.

5. IACUC Review

The protocol will be reviewed at a convened IACUC meeting. After the committee meets to review your application, you will receive a written notification regarding the review decision within 5 business days from that meeting.

The IACUC will either grant:

  • Approval: You may begin your work. The IACUC looks forward to hearing from you during annual review. If you need to make changes see the tab section titled, After Approval.
  • Request Modifications: If the IACUC asks for revisions or additional information, prepare revised/additional materials and submit them to the IACUC, along with a cover memo itemizing the changes/additions. Once you have appropriately addressed all the IACUCs concerns and the IACUC reviews the revised materials, the IACUC will issue an approval memo in writing. You may not begin your activity until you receive this written notice of approval.
  • Defer/Tabled: The IACUC may defer/table a protocol without review if substantial materials or information is missing such that a review cannot occur. If tabled, the IACUC will explain in detail why the IACUC tabled your protocol and indicate what needs to be addressed in order to receive further IACUC review.
  • Disapproval: Disapproval means that the IACUC cannot approve the protocol as currently outlined. If disapproved, the IACUC will explain in writing why the IACUC disapproved your project and what changes would need to be made in order for you to obtain approval from the IACUC.

*Conducting animal activities without IACUC approval is considered a noncompliance.

Once the IACUC has approved a project, the project must be conducted as approved. The investigator and the IACUC have additional responsibilities after approval of the protocol.


The amendment submissions should be made within the eProtocol application form by opening the form up for editing and then choosing "start an amendment submission".  The first page will then be a standard amendment form asking about the changes requested.  Please then make the subsequent changes to the following pages of the already-approved protocol form or attach needed documentation within the "attachments" tab.

The IACUC may ask for revisions to the amendment materials. You may not initiate the protocol changes until you receive written notification of approval for the revisions from the IACUC.


Approved protocols MUST be reviewed annually, and if the protocol will continue past the three-year anniversary it must be resubmitted in full as a new protocol. In order to renew the protocol, you must complete and submit the renewal form to the IACUC electronically via the eProtocol online submission system. You must be sure to submit the renewal or resubmission with sufficient time for review to ensure that the protocol is reviewed before the end of the annual review period. The IACUC cannot extend the protocol approval past the expiration date indicated in the approval letter.


Once the project is completed you must notify the IACUC and officially close the protocol. The renewal form should be used to provide this report and the investigator should be sure to include:

  • The number of animals used during the last annual approval period (i.e., since the last annual renewal form was submitted) and the TOTAL number of animals used for the study
  • A summary of the results to date
  • A listing of any publications resulting from the work
  • The disposition of animals used for the protocol. Animals cannot be housed under an expired or approved protocol; therefore, animals must be transferred to another approved protocol or humanely euthanized before you close a protocol.

Post-Approval Monitoring

The IACUC meets with individual investigators to discuss their concerns and questions about the Guide, but also to talk to investigators to better understand their research protocols and any animal care issues for a particular protocol. These meetings are intended to be educational for the IACUC members, as well as for the investigators. In addition, the IACUC conducts post-approval monitoring activities including the review of protocols at the time of renewal, during routine veterinarian care and treatment visits to the facility.