AWP Resources for PIs & New Investigators

Click on a heading to expand or collapse the section.

Documents mentioned are available in the "IACUC & AWP Forms, Signs & Labels" and "Guidance" pages, links on the left.

The AWP follows The University of Arizona's PI Eligibility policy. Protocol approval depends on IACUC approval AND PI eligibility. PIs must have an active UA NetID, and must meet UArizona's requirements for PI eligibility found here. Please email us to get started if you are a new PI.

PI Orientation: We offer New PI Orientation to incoming PIs and the staff members that will be assisting them with the protocol in Animal Oversight. This meeting should take les than 1 hour and will cover the basics of working with Animal Oversight and the IACUC. Unless otherwise arranged, training will be remote. We recommend viewing the eSirius videos prior to setting up an orientation session - email us when you would like to schedule.

We are happy to conduct refresher training in working with Cayuse Animal Oversight and the IACUC - contact us for details.

The AWP expects all PIs to be familiar with the information found on this website, including guidances, requirements for performing animal work, how to use Cayuse Animal Oversight, requirements for training and documentation, and, if applicable, establishing a peripheral PI lab and the safety requirements for doing so.

Helpful documents to get started:




eSirius (Cayuse Animal Oversight) How-To Videos: Videos use an earlier version of the protocol program, but should still provide guidance on how to navigate Cayuse Animal Oversight.

Download and email this form to add new personnel to an approved, draft, or pending protocol:

  • Completion of all animal activity-specific certification and training is required before being listed on a protocol. Protocols can not be approved until the PI has completed all certification and training.
  • Individuals (faculty, staff, students, volunteers) who will conduct animal activities must be listed on the approved IACUC protocol.

Certification needed for inclusion on a protocol

Information for specific protocol participation requirements are available on the protocol in Cayuse Animal Oversight, on the "Protocol Overview" page.

CITI coursework:

  • For approved protocols, all courses listed on the Protocol Overview page are required. Contact the AWP staff for requirements for draft or pending protocols.
  • The University of Arizona uses online training modules from Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI).
  • A UA NetID is required to take CITI courses and you must use the UArizona single sign-on (SSO). If needed, you may transfer courses taken at another institution by affiliating with The University of Arizona.
  • Specific instructions for enrolling in CITI:

    CITI Registration Instructions.pdf

    CITI Registration Instructions.pdf

    view | download 1.62 MB

General Rodent Surgery Training (GRST):

  • The GRST is online! Click here to enroll.
  • Email us to request an exemption to the GRST requirement if you are an MD or DVM. Exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
  • A combination of online and hands-on surgical training may be required prior to performing non-survival or survival surgery independently. Direct observation by a UAC veterinarian may be required for individual surgeons and/or new surgical procedures to ensure surgical competency. The details of the Surgical Training Program are listed here.
  • A UArizona NetID is required to take the GRST.


Animal Hazards Program (AHP) enrollment:

  • The Animal Hazards Program (AHP) is required by Federal and State workplace regulations that require employers (UArizona) to perform medical surveillance upon their employees who may be exposed to recognized workplace hazards. There are many workplace hazards involved with research animal use that require UArizona Occupational Health (OH) to offer researchers/instructors clinical services, visits, tests, or treatments (i.e., vaccinations, lab tests, respirator use clearance, etc.). UArizona OH conducts medical surveillance of UArizona research animal users by periodically requiring them to complete/update an "Animal Hazard Risk Assessment Questionnaire" so the appropriate clinical services can be templated, provided, and documented.
  • The Animal Hazards Risk Assessment (RAQ) form is located: RLSS User Dashboard Form System
    • The PI, PC, or Supervisor will need to validate each of their assigned staff “Animal Hazards Program Risk Assessment” form answers regarding potential animal exposures to be listed upon
    • If you require assistance, please refer to the Animal Hazards Program link or reach out to us at email
  • The Occupational Health website is here.


Cervical dislocation/decapitation without anesthesia:

  • Hands-on training is required by at least one participant on the protocol to perform euthanasia by cervical dislocation or decapitation without anesthesia (excludes altricial rodents). Email UAC to schedule: 


Retro-orbital blood collection:


Other hands-on training: 

IACUC approval is required to do animal work outside of UAC locations. The approved protocol in Animal Oversight lists approved locations in the "Use Locations" section for each species.

Strong scientific justification is required for approval to use a non-UAC (PI lab) location, which must be provided in the protocol.

Any non-UAC location is subject to pre-use inspection, and then inspection at least annually. See also Inspections & Post-Approval Monitoring, below. 

To add a non-UAC location to your protocol:

  1. Start an amendment and add the requested location in the species-appropriate "Use Location" section. OR let the AWP office know via email that you would like to add a location
    1. If the location is not available in the pick list, contact the AWP office
  2. Be sure to provide strong scientific justification in field 8 of each non-UAC location requested
  3. The AWP office will let you know if a pre-use inspection is required and will assist in contacting a UAC veterinarian to schedule. See Setting up a lab to perform animal activities, below, for information on what this inspection will look for
  4. WAIT until the protocol is approved to start using the new location. Only locations listed on the current, approved protocol are ok for use

Contact the AWP for additional information on using non-UAC locations.

Allergy Alert Sign: Print and place on the outside of the doors to areas where animals are used. This sign is used to alert non-animal users to the potential for allergens and to provide information on how to get a respirator, if desired.

I-IS-SI-002 Allergen Alert Sign.pdf

I-IS-SI-002 Allergen Alert Sign.pdf

view | download 77.47 KB


Emergency Contact Sign: Print, complete, and place on the inside of the doors to areas where animals are used. This sign is used in the event that there is an emergency and first responders find animals in the lab. It also provides contact information for animal welfare issues, as required by regulation.

I-IS-SI-003 Emergency Sign.docx

I-IS-SI-003 Emergency Sign.docx

view | download 20.49 KB


Lab Staff: Register all staff listed on an IACUC protocol into the Animal Hazards Program (AHP). The Principal Investigator (PI) or their designated "Protocol Contact" (PC) must complete an "Animal Hazard Risk Assessment (PI/PC)" form for every person intended to participate on their protocol(s). The employee to be added will complete an "Animal Hazard Risk Assessment (PI/PC)" form that is matched to the PI's by the online medical surveillance form application coordinator. All AHP forms are available on the online medical surveillance form application. 

Surgical Records: Sample surgical records are available for both survival and non-survival surgery. Feel free to use these forms or adapt them to what works for you, provided all information is included. These are the records that the IACUC reviews during semi-annual inspections, so they must be accessible to inspectors, veterinarians, and/or the AWP office. We suggest using a binder or online file to keep all records centrally, and making copies for individual lab notebooks.

Non-Surgical Analgesia and Anesthesia Records: Samples are available for both non-surgical analgesia and anesthesia. These records must be accessible to inspectors, veterinarians, and/or the AWP office on request.

Surgical Location: Your surgical location should be away from heavy traffic areas, if at all possible. There should also be a physically separate area for preparation of the animal (hair removal, surgical scrub). This can be on the same bench, but must be an area distinct from the surgical location.

CO2 Euthanasia: IACUC Guidance 214 describes the type of chamber, CO2 source, flow meter, and method for confirming death that meet regulations.

Drugs: The IACUC is concerned with the storage, grade, and expiration date of clinical drugs (e.g. isoflurane, ketamine, xylazine, ophthalmic ointment, and surgical glue). These types of drugs should be pharmaceutical grade and not expired. A description of pharmaceutical grade for IACUC purposes is found in IACUC Guidance 210 (I-IC-GU-210 Use of Drugs and Compounds in Animal Studies).

Ketamine and ketamine cocktails should be stored as for controlled substances. The IACUC does not inspect the DEA paperwork associated with controlled substances, but we are required to ensure they are stored appropriately. Anesthetic cocktails must be stored and labeled as described in IACUC guidance 210. For more information on controlled substances, contact Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS).

Loss Compensation: In the event of loss of animals due to infectious disease or equipment failure as described in the Animal Loss Insurance Program, complete an Application for Compensation for Animal Loss with University Animal Care (UAC).

The IACUC is charged with performing inspections of animal use locations. Inspections may be announced or unannounced.

Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM):

  • The PAM program is meant to help investigators balance good science and animal welfare.
  • The PAM audit of an approved protocol is an examination of the research location, study documents, and research activities to ensure that animals are protected and that the investigator is in compliance with applicable University and federal regulations. This audit is part of the University's obligation to perform PAM of protocol activities and is intended to assist the PI.
  • PAM audits may occur at any time during the 3-year approval period for any animal protocol, and may be random or for cause - e.g. an animal welfare complaint was received.
  • Purpose of PAM:
    • Ensure animal welfare
    • Facilitate regulatory and institutional compliance
    • Keep the AWP, IACUC, and Institutional Official (IO) informed about program status and processes
    • Communicate with researchers about IACUC requirements and updates on matters of animal care and use
    • Support the advancement of strong science and valuable scientific outcomes in support of the University's mission
    • Provide on-the-spot education and identify animal handling and procedural training needs in the laboratory
    • Serve as a resource to the research community
  • PAM is not:
    • The "animal cops"
    • A replacement for the IACUC

Pre-Use Inspections:

All non-UAC locations in use for live animal work (aka PI labs) must be inspected prior to their initial use, and be listed on an the approved IACUC protocol. Once a PI lab is ready for use, contact the AWP office and UAC veterinary services to set up a pre-use inspection. 

Semi-Annual Inspections:

For additional information, see our new Semi-Annual Inspection Page

Public Health Services (PHS) Policy IV,B,1; IV,B,2 and the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR) §2.31.c.1; §2.31.c.2 require that the IACUC inspect animal facilities at intervals of no less than six (6) months. 

Any location in which live animals are used or present, including rooms in which euthanasia and/or behavioral testing is performed, are subject to inspection at least once yearly, generally during one of the semi-annual inspection cycles, though may be inspected at any time, announced or unannounced. 

Animal rooms that meet one or more of the following criteria will be inspected at least every 6 months:

  • Locations where survival and/or non-survival surgery are performed
  • Locations where animals are housed outside of University Animal Care for greater than 24 hours (satellite facility)
  • Locations where USDA-regulated species are used (includes greater than 12-hour housing)

If the type of animal-related activities performed in your location has changed (i.e., no longer using that location), notify the IACUC Office so the room can be removed from the list of locations to be inspected.


When do Inspections Occur?

Semi-annual IACUC inspections of PI locations generally occur in April (spring) and October (fall). UAC facilities are inspected in winter and summer.

Before the scheduled inspection, the Principal Investigators and individuals listed as contacts on the protocol may receive an email from AWP staff announcing the inspection. Please be sure to respond to that email and provide the information requested - including the cell phone numbers and email addresses of contacts for the inspection, and whether the location is in use or not.

The Principal Investigator must notify the AWP Office or inspectors immediately if the proposed time and/or date is unsuitable or if the location is no longer in use. Please note that the IACUC inspectors have limited time available for the inspection. If at all possible, the PI is asked to delegate senior laboratory personnel with good knowledge of the animal protocols to be present during the inspection, rather than request that the inspection be rescheduled.


What Should I Expect During the Inspection?

Inspectors will arrive at the animal use location within the time block scheduled for the inspection. One or more IACUC inspectors may be present, along with additional inspectors or observers.

Inspectors will observe the animal use location and will ask questions of the personnel present. Principal Investigators are asked to ensure that at least one senior lab member who is both knowledgeable about and is listed on all the animal protocols is present in the animal use location before the inspection begins (Inspectors may have difficulty locating personnel if they are in offices or other work spaces, which delays the inspection).

Do not worry about planning procedures to avoid happening during inspections - inspectors are interested in seeing the lab "in action," and seeing the procedures done in real-time. Seeing the procedure helps give a better picture of the effectiveness of lab SOPs and training.

Inspectors are required to complete an IACUC Facility Inspection Form during the inspection period and use a checklist as reference. The AWP office sends out this checklist periodically to help labs prepare for inspections, however a lab used for live animal work should always be "inspection-ready."

Items that are commonly overlooked by the research staff when preparing for inspection are as follows. Inspectors may ask to see them during the inspection itself, or the AWP office may follow up at a later date:

  • Access to animal protocols Inspectors may ask that the lab member to log into eSirius and show that they can view the protocol document. Remember that all protocol participants must have access to these documents in eSirius.
  • Emergency, weekend, and holiday care telephone contact numbers: These telephone numbers should be posted in a high traffic area, such as the near the lab door. A form that can be completed and taped to the door/wall is available.
  • Animal husbandry SOPs and care logs (if the animals are housed for more than 24 hours): The inspectors will look to see if printed copies of animal husbandry Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and completed animal care logs are available in the laboratory. Sample forms are available.
  • Permits for wildlife protocols: Please have these available for inspection. If they are locked in an office or in a separate location, please ensure that you have the permit or a copy available at the time of the inspection.
  • Surgical and analgesia records: If your animal protocol lists surgery or requires palliative therapy for non-surgical procedures, please ensure that surgery and analgesia records are available for inspection. Sample forms are available.
  • Drugs, including controlled substances: Inspectors will look at drugs listed on the protocol. Please ensure that keys to access controlled substances are available at the time of the inspection. This includes any keys required for access to offices or other rooms where the drugs are kept. Ensure that all expired drugs are discarded or, in the case of controlled substances, clearly marked and kept separate from the non‑expired drugs.


AAALAC Site Visits

AAALAC site visits occur once every three (3) years as part of the University's Animal Care and Use accreditation. The notification of and process for an AAALAC inspection is similar to that for the IACUC semi-annual inspection. Generally, all animal use locations used for any purpose are subject to inspection.

The last AAALAC inspection was conducted October 2023.

Lab personnel must meet minimum training requirements to be included on an IACUC protocol, and must be trained by qualified personnel on lab-specific procedures, animal handling, lab safety, and other topics as required. Training and/or qualifications must be documented by the lab, and documents must be kept for 3 years after the end of the study.

New lab personnel should complete all New Hire requirements, specific to your lab, before being added to the protocol. .

Once added, new personnel should receive hands‐on and/or lab‐specific training by the PI, Lab Manager, or an experienced lab member. All records of training should be kept electronically using the Training Excel document in your specific UABox folder and as hard copies kept in the lab. Training is also available from UAC - visit their website for additional information.

Contact the AWP office for information on UABox folders to house training documentation that is accessible by the AWP.

Ideally, personnel will have completed applicable procedures on the Certification of Competency Form and then proceed to the Surgical Training Form. The UABOX excel sheet should be updated after the completion of training. and the lab should have access to training records.
NOTE: Not all procedures listed on the forms will be on your protocol. Make sure that you are only performing/ training procedures that are already on your approved protocol. If you would like to add a new procedure from the list, be sure to amend your protocol prior to starting the procedure.

See also: Personnel Updates, above, and:

  • I-IC-GU-301 Surgical Training and Facilities
  • I-IC-GU-302 Training Documentation
  • Surgical training and competency forms I-IS-FM-037, I-IS-FM-038, and I-IS-FM-020 (UAC)

Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) and Interinstitutional Assurances (IIA) are documents required by federal granting agencies for certain situations.

An MOU is usually required if the University of Arizona is the prime awardee on a grant, and is sending a portion of the grant to another institution ("sub-awardee") to fund work done at that institution. The prime awardee on NIH/PHS, HHS, NSF, and/or NASA funded grants is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all animal work done with grant funds is approved by an IACUC, whether at The UArizona or another institution, and an MOU is how we confirm compliance.

An IIA is a document that allows outside entities who receive federal funding, but do not have their own animal work capabilities, to contract with The University of Arizona to perform animal work on their behalf, using The UArizona PHS assurance and UArizona facilities and PIs.

Contact the AWP Office if you need to establish an MOU or an IIA for outside animal work.

Signs of Mouse Pain and Distress

The following article describes the development of the "mouse grimace scale", which is a method for determining levels of pain by examining facial expressions. The article includes clear pictures and descriptions of the facial expressions:

Langford, Bailey, Chanda, et al., (2010). Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nature Methods, 7:447-449.

The following article describes methods for determining the health status of mice, and provides guidance on establishing study endpoints based on health status:

Ullman-Culleré and Foltz (1999). Body condition scoring: a rapid and accurate method for assessing health status in mice. Laboratory Animal Science, 49:319-323.

The articles can be accessed through E-Journals at the University of Arizona library

Regulatory Resources

  • USDA/APHIS Animal Welfare website
  • OLAW website - includes links to the full PHS Policy and The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  • AAALAC website

Veterinary Resources and Animal Health & Safety

For an animal emergency, contact the on-call veterinarian. The phone numbers are posted in each University Animal Care facility, and sent to the UAC Users listservs each week.

Human Health & Safety

Resources for Wildlife Researchers



Fish, Reptiles & Amphibians



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