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Animal Use Protocols

All animal care and use (research, teaching, and testing) must be reviewed and approved by the Animal Care Committee prior to starting a research project. The committee ensures the study is ethical, that the animals are treated humanely, and that the appropriate species and minimum number of animals are being used. Follow the steps below to prepare for and complete your Animal Use Protocol application. 

1. Register in the IRISS system if you have not already done so. Your research team, including any students, postdocs, and administrative support, must also register in IRISS to be assigned to your protocol. Training and resource material on completing the application can be found on the IRISS website.

2. Request access to the Animal Health Unit website for information on who to contact and what details are required for your animal use protocol. The Animal Health Unit website contains standard operating procedures, a list of available animal user training and links to more information and key contacts.

3. If assistance is required to complete your animal use protocol, contact your Protocol Administrator for guidance.

Health Sciences ACC:

Life and Environmental Sciences ACC:

Veterinary Sciences ACC:

4. Should you have any questions regarding animal user training available or are interested in obtaining credit for training completed at another institution, please contact the Institutional Animal User Training Coordinator at

5. Complete and submit your Animal Use Protocol application in the IRISS system. Once submitted, your application goes to the ACC for review. There are monthly submission deadlines which are posted on the Animal Health Unit website. Assuming your application is submitted prior to the monthly deadline, review by the ACC takes approximately 4 weeks.


Early Release of Funds
The sole function of the Early Release of Funds process is to permit access (when required) to research funds for administrative start-up costs/procedures (e.g. paying Research Assistants to perform a literature review, purchase lab equipment, etc.) prior to the use of animals of any kind.  Early Release of Funds is granted for a period of 6 months. For more information regarding Early Release of Funds, please contact