IACUC Email Announcement Jan. 28, 2010

A Message from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee:

REMINDER: IACUC Grant Application Review (GAR) 

For PHS funded projects that involve research on live vertebrate animals, the NIH Grants Policy Statement ( http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-064.html ) requires applicant organizations to ensure that the research described in the grant application is contained in one or more protocols reviewed and approved by the institution’s IACUC. The American Heart Association (AHA) has similar requirements for projects they fund (http://my.americanheart.org/professional/Research/FundingOpportunities/ForScientists/Policies-Governing-All-Research-Awards_UCM_320256_Article.jsp#Ethical). IACUC-approved protocols describing the entirety of the animal-related work proposed in a grant (not just that performed in the first three years) must be in place before funding commences.

To comply with these requirements, the first step is the completion and submission of a new IACUC protocol or protocols that describe all the manipulations on living vertebrate animals proposed in a grant. These protocols must be approved by the IACUC prior to initiating the second step. The IACUC approval date for the protocol(s) related to the grant must be provided as part of the “just in time” process.

The second step is the completion of the Grant Application Review (GAR) form, which will be used to compare the NIH or AHA grant proposal against the IACUC-approved protocols. If animal procedures described in the grant are not contained in an IACUC-approved protocol,
the investigator will be required to modify their protocol. The GAR process will not move forward until the modification is approved.

The GAR form should be submitted once an investigator believes the grant has received a fundable score. If you wait until an award notification has been received, the release of the grant monies could be delayed. The IACUC strives to complete the GAR within 1 week of receipt, but approval may be delayed due to the number of requests received at any particular time (especially during peak grant notification periods). In addition, if a modification of an
IACUC protocol is required, this may delay the GAR approval for 2-4 weeks.
 
Both procedures (IACUC and GAR approval) are described on the IACUC website under the Policies section at:

http://www.iacuc.pitt.edu/sites/default/files/documents/Grantreview%20policy%20revised%202012.pdf

. The IACUC will issue a letter acknowledging the completion of the GAR. It is important to note that the GAR letter is distinct from the IACUC protocol approval letter. 

Although only an IACUC protocol approval letter is needed to satisfy pre-award just-in-time requirements, GAR approval is additionally required for all new or competing continuation grant awards received from the NIH or the AHA before spending can begin. As such, the Office of Research will require both the IACUC approval letter(s) and the GAR letter as part of the package of information needed for account activations under the above scenarios. 

Please contact either Allen A. DiPalma (Director, Office of Research) or Frank J. Jenkins, Ph.D. ( IACUC Chair) if you have any questions.