Animal Care and Use Policy
The federal government regulates the care and use of vertebrate animals
to assure their appropriate and humane treatment in research projects.
Fisk University must also be certain that laboratory animals used for
both research and educational purposes conducted at the University or
under its sponsorship are properly cared for, and humanely treated.
Working with the NIH, OPRR, Fisk University has established an
agreement with Meharry Medical College (MMC) to care for animals
involved in research at Fisk. Accordingly, research projects at Fisk
involving vertebrate animals will be reviewed by the MMC Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and research applications
involving animals will use the MMC Animal Care Assurance Number on
proposals. Fisk University investigators who will use animals in
research and education must receive appropriate training in animal care
and use, and as well, assure that any students and/or associates under
their control who are involved in the care and use of animals also are
appropriately trained. Copies of the NIH publication “Guide for the
Care and Use of Laboratory Animals” are available in the Office of
The following procedure for the care and use of animals in
research projects has been established with the MMC office of Research
- The Fisk investigator wishing to do research involving animals is
to identify a “collaborator” at MMC with knowledge in the field of the
proposed research. If there is any difficulty in identifying an
appropriate collaborator, the MMC Office of Research Support Services
(ORSS) will provide assistance.
- The MMC collaborator is to be provided with a copy of the research
proposal to review and if necessary, suggest changes in the animal care
protocol so that the proposal will receive approval when presented to
- Amounts must be included in the proposal budget for a subcontract
with MMC which will cover the MMC fee for care of the animals as well
as an appropriate reimbursement for work of the collaborator. The
Meharry collaborator will provide these amounts for inclusion in the
budget. If the MMC collaborator is unclear about procedures, he/she
should contact the MMC ORSS.
- The MMC collaborator, with the help of the MMC ORSS, will provide
an “Agreement to Subcontract” and also a subcontract budget and budget
justification on appropriate agency forms. These documents must be
included with the full application.
- Once it is agreed that the proposal is ready for presentation to
the MMC-IACUC, the collaborator will present the proposal to the
Committee (which meets once per month). The IACUC will either approve
the proposal or suggest further changes. Once the MMC-IACUC has
approved the proposal, then the MMC Animal Welfare Assurance Number may
be included on the proposal Face Page along with the date on which the
IACUC gave its approval. The Investigator must be certain to allow
enough advance time for this entire procedure.
When a proposal is funded, it will be necessary for the MMC-IACUC to review the animal care protocol on an annual basis.
The Fisk OSP must be informed whenever a research proposal involves
animals, by checking the appropriate box on the “Information Form to
Accompany All Proposals”. The OSP is willing to assist the investigator
in this process and should be kept informed of progress in obtaining
the necessary approval.
In view of the lengthy process, it is suggested that the proposal be
given to Meharry for review at least two months prior to the due date.
PHS and NSF will allow new grant applications a grace period
of 60 days from the application's deadline for the investigator to
receive and document IACUC approval. Although not all federal funding
agencies allow this grace period, contact with the funding agency will
verify one way or the other. If the proposed animal use protocol is not
approved by the IACUC, the sponsor must be notified of the action taken
or modification required. The application may need to be revised or
When "pending" approval is indicated on the face page of a
grant, efforts should be made to submit necessary items to the
MMC-IACUC as soon as possible. A grace period is not extended to
expedited AIDS proposals or non-competing renewals.
Since Fisk University does
not have approved vertebrate housing for research subjects, animal
receipt and care will be handled by Meharry Medical College. Animals
ordered will be shipped to the animal care facility at MMC, where
proper care and facilities are available. Through the collaboration
with a MMC research scientist, facilities for conducting the animal
portion of the research will be made available at Meharry.
Training and Instruction Available to Scientists and Other Personnel
required, training of individuals in appropriate animal research
techniques will be provided by MMC, via the collaborative relationship.
It may include individual training by professional veterinary staff,
printed resources, audiovisual aids or other methodologies. There may
be an additional charge for other services, which may be included in
the project budget.