Protocol Preparation Help

IACUC Animal Use Protocol Submission and Maintenance Checklist 

Complete the Application to Use Animals (AUA) in NUgrant (

Four types of protocol forms are available.  Choose the form that best fits your study goals:

  1. A Research Protocol describes the activities that involve live, vertebrate animals for experimentation or biological testing at UNL, and ensures that all personnel directly involved in animal research have received proper training in the use of laboratory animals. A Teaching Protocol describes the handling of animals while training students with the fundamental skills associated with the species, as part of a teaching activity at UNL.
  2. A Wildlife and Field Research Protocol is designed specifically for studies involving wildlife, either in the field or in captivity. This protocol should include detailed evaluation of animal acquisition procedures and potential impacts on target and non-target animals through animal capture. IACUC review will follow guidelines published by the American Society of Mammologists, the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Ornithological Council as resource references.
  3. A Breeding Colony/Herd Management Protocol describes the activity of maintaining a breeding colony, herd or flock. All procedures performed on animals should be related to the breeding activity and not to the research procedures. The protocol should include methods for ensuring that the need for a breeding colony/herd has been established based on scientific or animal welfare concerns, that the procedures used in the breeding colony are evaluated and approved by the IACUC on a regular basis, that there is a mechanism for tracking animals, and that the standards of care and animal well-being for the animals in the breeding colony are consistent with current policies and regulations.
  4. An Honored Protocol is designed as a mechanism to document collaborations with other institutions, when the animal work will be done outside the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Acceptance of the collaborating institution IACUC review will be documented in this protocol, along with a copy of the full protocol (uploaded), the collaborating principal investigator name and contact information, and the signed approval letter from the collaborating institution’s IACUC.

IN GENERAL, it takes approximately 21 days from submission to approval by the IACUC.  Extra time may be required for clarifications requested by the IACP office or IACUC reviewers.

Basic Requirements for PI and Staff Listed on a Protocol

General Regulation Training
This training gives an overview of animal welfare regulations, the IACUC, ethics in animal use and occupational health and safety. This training must be renewed every 5 years and can be completed either online at, or at a live training session conducted by IACP.  Contact IACP at 402-472-4466 for further information.

Occupational Health & Safety Program
The OHS survey is located online. An Occupational Health doctor will review the form and notify IACP of each person’s enrollment. All heath concerns will be communicated directly to the employee from the physician. The Office of Research will cover the cost of enrolling all animal care staff. The PI is responsible for submission costs for all research personnel. A valid cost center number is required for the OHS survey.

Modifications to an Approved Protocol

A Modification Form is available in NUgrant. The form must be approved by the IACUC before changes are implemented. A modification form is used to add personnel, change procedures or change housing locations.

A modification CANNOT be used to change the species, add procedures that do not logically relate to the specific aims of the original protocol, propose major change in the scientific aims of the original protocol, switch from non-survival to survival surgery, or switch from single to multiple major survival surgeries.

Annual Renewal Form for Each Year of the Three-Year Protocol Approval:

The Annual Review is due before the anniversary of the Protocol Approval date. It is the Principal Investigator’s responsibility to submit this form before the anniversary date AND the termination date of the protocol. This update serves as an annual progress report, and provides the researcher with an opportunity to:

Failure to submit an annual report in a timely fashion may result in suspension of the protocol.

Unexpected Adverse Event Report

The IACP should be promptly notified of any unexpected occurrence that has an impact on animal welfare. Call the IACP office at 402-472-4466 or the UNL Attending Veterinarian at 402-472-6958.

The unexpected adverse event report provides documentation of unexpected pain and distress so that animals can be properly categorized for annual USDA reporting. The Adverse Events Report Form is available in NUgrant.