Biosafety Approval Holders

An Approval Holder is a University of Arizona employee (often a Principal Investigator) who has been approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to conduct research with recombinant and/or biohazardous materials. This research must be registered with Research Laboratory & Safety Services and approved by the IBC.

Registering Research

To register research using biohazardous and/or recombinant material, complete the following forms and submit them to Research Laboratory & Safety Services.​


The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) meets on the third Wednesday of every month. Your application must be submitted to Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) by the second Wednesday of each month to be voted on at that month’s meeting.

E-mail applications to:

If you have any questions regarding whether you qualify as a biohazardous and/or recombinant material user or if you need assistance with the applications, please contact Research Laboratory & Safety Services at (520) 626-6850.


The Approval Holder is responsible for full compliance with the policies, practices and procedures set forth in this reference guide. This responsibility extends to all aspects of biosafety involving all individuals who enter or work in the Approval Holder’s laboratory. The Approval Holder is responsible for assuring the appropriate safety training of employees, for correcting errors and unsafe working conditions, and for documentation of these elements.

General Responsibilities

  • Be trained in standard microbiological techniques
  • Submit all protocols for review by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) prior to beginning experiments
  • Ensure no project is significantly modified prior to IBC approval
  • Develop and implement laboratory-specific biosafety procedures that are consistent with the nature of current and planned research activities
  • Ensure personnel have been trained in biosafety and laboratory-specific procedures and are enrolled in the Medical Surveillance Program as appropriate
  • Ensure that all laboratory personnel, maintenance personnel, and visitors who may be exposed to any recombinant or biohazardous material are informed in advance of their potential risk and of the behavior required to minimize that risk. It is essential that everyone who may have any potential exposure to recombinant or biohazardous materials enter and/or work in the laboratory under the Principle of Informed Consent
  • Ensure that all maintenance work in, on or around contaminated equipment is conducted only after that equipment is thoroughly decontaminated by the laboratory staff or Approval Holder
  • Ensure that research materials are properly decontaminated before disposal and that all employees are familiar with the different methods of waste disposal
  • Comply with shipping requirements for recombinant and biohazardous material
  • Report accidents, exposures or violations to Research Laboratory & Safety Services

Research-Related Responsibilities

  • Supervise the safety performance of the laboratory staff to ensure that the required safety practices are employed
  • Investigate and report in writing to the IBC any significant problems pertaining to the operation and implementation of containment practices and procedures
  • Immediately notify RLSS of any laboratory spills, accidents, containment failure or violations of biosafety practice which result in the release of recombinant or biohazardous material and/or the exposure of laboratory personnel (or the public) to infectious agents
  • Correct work errors and conditions that may result in the release of recombinant and biohazardous materials
  • Ensure the integrity of all containment systems used in the project
  • Restrict access as required by the laboratory-specific biosafety practices procedures and by the biosafety containment level approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee


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