Skip to Content

Animal research

Find out how to prepare your research safety review submission to meet our requirements for working with animal subjects.


VAPHS is committed to conducting safe, ethical animal research. Our program is fully accredited by The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). In accordance with The Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals, VA Pittsburgh has an OLAW-approved Animal Welfare Assurance.

Submitting your research for review

New research submissions

If you're interested in starting a new animal research project or completing a three-year protocol renewal, please complete all of the forms on the required forms list using Microsoft Word. Once you've completed the forms, email them to Beth Toth (Research Office for IACUC). 

For more information about completing the required forms, please refer to the Instructions for Completing the ACORP.

Required forms for animal research

VHA Form 10-0398 Research Protocol Safety Survey – This form is required for all VA-funded projects and must accompany your Just-In-Time submission materials.

Supplementary materials

To access ACORP Appendices, please visit VA Forms to retrieve the forms and files from the VA Central website.

Continuing review

Each Principal Investigator will receive a continuing review request form at 90, 60, and 30 days before protocol expiration for two years following the initial protocol approval. The PI must submit this form to the IACUC for annual renewal. Prior to the third anniversary of protocol approval, the PI will be required to submit all forms and processes listed under Required forms for animal research (above).

Animal Exposure Preventative Medicine Program (AEPMP)

Anyone who handles animals (live or dead); their fresh, frozen, or non-fixed tissues; or their body fluids or wastes within VAPHS facilities or VAPHS-owned property have the option to participate in the AEPMP at VAPHS.

Anyone conducting the same procedures within VA-leased space, or who has a partial or full off-site waiver to conduct VA research at an off-site location, has the option to enroll in the VAPHS AEPMP. They may also enroll in a comparable program at that institution, provided that the alternate program meets Public Health Service (PHS) requirements.

For additional details:

Forms to Complete:

Questions about your animal research submission?

If you have questions about your animal research submission, please contact Beth Toth:

Mail and office location:
Research Office Building
University Drive campus
Mail Code 151
Office #1A-114
Map of University Drive campus

Lab protocol forms

Other forms and requirements

If you need to report an incident involving animal research, please complete the Reportable Events and/or Non-compliance Matters Involving Animal Research form:

Guidelines and policies

Before beginning an animal research project, please review VA's research guidelines, policies, and standard operating procedures. 

Research guidelines

Policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs)

Required training

Everyone who participates in or supervises animal procedures conducted at VAPHS (or who works with VA-purchased animals at any location) must complete the required training. For more details about animal research training requirements, review the VAPHS Research Staff Training Document.

Research personnel must schedule an Animal Research Facility Orientation with the ARF Manager before conducting any animal procedures. Personnel working at Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL-2) must be trained by the Biosafety Officer prior to conducting those procedures.

More research safety information

Before conducting animal research, you may want to review these resources. 

Professional guidelines for animal research

General research

Find information on safety protocols and review processes for general research at VA Pittsburgh.

Human research

Find information on special safety protocols and review processes for research with human subjects at VA Pittsburgh.

Radiation safety

Find information on special safety protocols and review processes for research involving radiation at VA Pittsburgh.