Below are some important protocol submission guidelines.

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

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

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 please refer to the IACUC iStar PI Reference Guide
  • The IACUC protocol system can be accessed at iStar.

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.

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

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.

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 TrainingDAR 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.