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Animal Care and Use

Science Building

Monitoring the Care and Use of Animals

In compliance with Federal laws and regulations, Fitchburg State University (FSU) has established an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for reviewing research activities involving live vertebrate animals. The primary goal of the IACUC is to assure that live vertebrate animals are cared for and used in ways that are scientifically, technically, and humanely appropriate. Our policy conforms to the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act administered by the U.S.. Department of Agriculture and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

All activities involving the use of vertebrate animals conducted by Fitchburg State University faculty, staff, or students, or sponsored, in part or in whole, by Fitchburg State must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before the work begins. Once approved, the activities must be conducted in full compliance with IACUC policies and procedures. In general, approved protocols remain in effect for a maximum of three years.

Prior to Submitting an IACUC Proposal

Prior to completing a proposal, please review and familiarize yourself with the Fitchburg State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Policy document (PDF). All proposals require the following information ...

  • The nature and objectives of the investigation to be performed on the animal subjects
  • The scientific rationale for use of the animals
  • Justification for species and number of animals to be used
  • Assurance that unnecessary duplication of previous research will be avoided, and that suitable alternatives to using vertebrate animals have been considered
  • Proposed methods to avoid or minimize pain and discomfort to the animals
  • Location of facilities for care and use of animal subjects
  • Requirements for the care and use of the animals

Proposal Forms

The IACUC reviews proposals as needed and accepts proposals year-round. The number of forms required depends on the nature of the work. Downloadable forms are listed in the table below. All research proposals begin with the Faculty/Student Research Standard form. All proposals for classroom instruction begin with the Classroom Study Standard Form.

Forms for Animal Care and Use Proposals
Form ... Required for ...
Faculty/Student Research Standard Form (MS Word) All research projects proposing to use vertebrate animals
Classroom Study Standard Form (MS Word) All instructional projects proposing to study vertebrate animals, as part of a specific University course
Classroom Study Research Project (MS Word) Any student proposal to study vertebrate animals in pursuit of an independent research project as part of a specific University course based on a previously approved protocol
Schedule A: Husbandry (MS Word) All animal studies in which the animals will be housed for periods longer than 24 hours outside of their natural habitat
Schedule B: Surgical Procedures (MS Word) All animal studies where animals will undergo surgery
Schedule C: Biohazard Materials (MS Word) All animal studies that include the use of biohazards, such as infectious pathogens, carcinogens or other toxic materials, or recombinant DNA, to be administered to live animals
Schedule D: Non-surgical injections, Anesthesia or Analgesia (MS Word) All work that includes the induction of anesthesia or analgesia in non-surgical procedures or delivery of injectable substances for purposes other than perisurgical anesthesia or analgesia
Occupational Health Survey (MS Word) Any person working with animals and when any changes in medical conditions or animal exposure intensity occur

Proposal Submission Procedure

First, read the Fitchburg State University Institutional Animal Care and Use Policy document (PDF). Then, download the forms appropriate to your study from the table above. Follow the instructions to complete each form and obtain approval from your department chair. Then, scan all pages to PDF, including the signature pages signed by both you and your department chair, and submit these via email to the IACUC chair at You should retain in your records the hard copy of the signed proposal for the full duration of any approved protocol.

Contacting the IACUC

We're here to help! Please don't hesitate to contact the Animal Care and Use Committee with any questions at