Protocol Submission and Guidelines

Which Animals are Covered?
Who is Eligible to Submit an IACUC Protocol Synopsis Form?
Which Form Do I Fill Out?
What are the Submission Deadlines?
What About Collaborative Studies with Other Institutions?
What Else Do I Need to do Before My Animal Work Can Begin?
Protocol Submission Instructions

Which Animals are Covered?

Animals that require an approved IACUC protocol include all live vertebrate animals used by faculty and students of the University of Southern California.

Who is Eligible to Submit an IACUC Protocol Synopsis Form?

The protocol synopsis form needs to be submitted by a principal investigator who holds a faculty appointment or joint faculty appointment at USC

Which Form Do I Fill Out?

For a first time research, research and development, teaching, or pilot project involving animals, you must submit a protocol form.

Effictive July 1, 2013 all new and third year renewal protocols must be submitted using the iStar electronic protocol system.

For help in navigating the iStar system go to the IACUC iStar PI Reference Guide

The IACUC protocol system can be accessed at http://istar.usc.edu

New iStar users should be aware that aggressive spam filters may catch email from iStar and thus prevent those emails from reaching your inbox. This is easily corrected. If you find that you are not receiving or receiving only sporadic email from iStar, please go to your “Spam” or “Junk” email folder. Within this folder, find any email sent by iStar and indicate that it is not junk or spam. Once you do this for the email in the junk folder, the filter should learn that you wish to see email from iStar and stop removing them.

If your project involves using animal tissues only which will be supplied by another investigator, a one page Request for Transfer of Tissues form is all that is required. The investigator responsible for ordering the animals must have a protocol approved by the IACUC and sign the Tissue Request Form agreeing to supply the specified tissue(s).

In some cases, funding agencies require IACUC approval for program grants, stipends, or other funding mechanisms that may have animal components, but the animal component may involve several investigators at USC. If no animals are to be ordered on the grant directly, the one page Stipends/Fellowships/and Program Project/Core Grants Review form is required. An approval number, which is not valid for ordering or maintaining animals, will be issued. Any investigators intending to use animals under the grant must then submit their own protocol synopsis forms if they are not already approved.

For annual reviews and to update an already approved protocol, you must submit a Continuing Review form. For more information on this, see Annual Reviews, Amendments, and 3 year renewals.

What are the Submission Deadlines?

For your protocol to be eligible for review in any given month you must meet the submission deadlines for that month.

What About Collaborative Studies with Other Institutions?

In the case of collaborative studies with other institutions in which animals will be transported to or from USC, the animal use component to be performed at USC must be approved and a copy of the approval from the IACUC at the collaborating institution must be provided. In addition to protocol approval information, the health status of animals transported to and from other institutions must be documented. Contact the Animal Resources veterinary staff for assistance.

What Else Do I Need to do Before My Animal Work Can Begin?

Before you are able to order animals through the Department of Animal Resources (DAR) for an IACUC approved project, all stipulations attached to the protocol approval must be met. Common stipulations include verification of other committee approval (e.g. Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Radiation Safety Committee) and verification of required training (Laboratory Safety Training, DAR Training). IBC and Radiation Safety Committee approval, as well as Laboratory Safety and DAR Training, may be obtained before the IACUC has reviewed your protocol. Only after all stipulations have been met are you free to order animals and begin your IACUC approved project.

Protocol Submission Instructions

For electronic submissions: Log on to the iStar system at http://istar.usc.edu and complete the forms. Instructions are available on the site. Submit the forms electronically.

For paper forms (Microsoft Word format): Download and complete the appropriate form(s). All forms and instructions for downloading and completing the forms are available on our forms page. This is only for major/minor revisions and protocols requiring administrative approvals.

Print and sign the form (PLEASE DO NOT STAPLE) or sign the form electronically if you will be submitting the form electronically.

Submit the signed protocol form in paper or electronic (e-mail attachment) format along with a copy of the grant proposal to the IACUC coordinator in CHP 234. Please note: the PI name, project title and animal procedure information listed in the IACUC protocol should match that listed in the grant proposal.

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  • Contact IACUC

    USC Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
    1540 Alcazar Street
    CHP 234
    Los Angeles, CA 90033