Additional Info - IACUC

Collaboration and Visiting Scientists

Collaborations are a vital part of the University's mission to advance scientific knowledge and medical progress. All research activities performed under the direction of USF personnel or supported by USF-managed funds at a non-USF facility must comply with USF's policies and procedures, as well as those of the host-institution, with the institution that owns the animals maintaining primary oversight responsibility.

Interinstitutional Collaboration

Interinstitutional collaboration has the potential to create ambiguities about responsibility for animal care and use. If activities involving animals are to be conducted wholly or in part at another institution (beyond animal transport), the participating institutions should have a formal written understanding (e.g., a contract, memorandum of understanding (MOU), or agreement) that addresses the responsibility for offsite animal care and use, animal ownership, and IACUC review and oversight (AAALAC 2003). In addition, IACUCs from the participating institutions may choose to review protocols for the work being conducted.

Item 6.1.3 of the IACUC application should be answered "yes".

The MOU should specify which institution assumes responsibility of (1) animal care and use, (2) animal ownership, and (3) IACUC review and oversight.

It should also indicate that the collaborating institution has an assurance on file with the PHS, that its program for animal care and use is accredited by AAALAC International, that their IACUC has approved the proposed animal use, and that the USF IACUC will be informed of any issues, concerns or verified noncompliance related to the activity conducted at the collaborating institution, or of its program or facility while hosting the activity.

The completed and signed MOU should be attached to item 6.4.2 of the USF IACUC application.

(If available, the collaborating institution's IACUC protocol can be attached to item 6.4.3 of the IACUC application.)

The collaborating institution's IACUC approval letter should be attached to item 6.4.4 of the USF IACUC application.

These documents are required prior to IACUC approval.

Interinstitutional Agreements for SBR and STTR grants

Federal regulations require that all research funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) be conducted only at assured institutions. Therefore, if a USF project funded by federal money involves a subcontract to another institution for live-animal research, that institution must provide evidence of an Animal Welfare Assurance (domestic institutions) with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).

There is a unique issue, however, involving a special type of federal funding – the small business set-asides known as SBIR and STTR grants. In these cases, the prime grantee is typically a new, small business that does not have its own PHS Assurance.As part of the terms and conditions of the grant, the prime grantee must subcontract all live-animal research to an assured institution. A special form known as an Interinstitutional Agreement is required to be completed by the grantee organization and USF's IACUC Administration Office with signatures from USF's Institutional Official and IACUC Chairman and then sent to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at NIH, so that the award can be made under the umbrella of USF's PHS Assurance.

Ensuring Visiting Scientists are IACUC Certified

Principal Investigators can request that visiting scientists be granted escorted hands-on access to animal facilities in order to collaborate, assist, or instruct in the PI's IACUC-approved activities.

To do so, provide the IACUC chair via email with (1) the name of the visiting scientist, (2) the institution from which he/she originates, (3) the dates of their planned presence within facilities, (4) an assurance that the PI or their designated IACUC-certified staff will continually escort the visiting scientist during the conduct of activities involving animals, and (5) attach a letter on letterhead from the visitor's originating institution which documents that the visiting scientist originates from an institution with an OLAW assurance or an AAALAC accreditation, if applicable, and that the visiting scientist is certified for animal care and use activities by the originating institution's IACUC.

Additional documentation of completion of health care services by the visiting scientist may be requested by the IACUC when considering such requests for access to animal facilities. Once the required documentation is reviewed and approved by the IACUC Chair or his designee the visit can proceed.