IACUC Process

Any activities that involve the use of live vertebrate animals in research or teaching, the investigator must submit an animal care and use protocol for IACUC review and approval. Animals may not be ordered until the protocol has received final written approval from the IACUC.

Submit a protocol

  • New protocols and triennial (de novo) reviews must be submitted in Research Compliance System (RCS). Training videos and reference guides are available in https://research.rice.edu/compliance/rcs.
  • Investigators are encouraged to consult with the Attending Veterinarian for questions regarding protocol design, and the IACUC Administrator for questions regarding IACUC submission processes.

Review Schedule

Refer to the “Meeting & Submission Deadlines Dates” for IACUC submission calendar deadlines. Animal protocols undergo continuing review and a triennial (de novo) review every three years.

Review Outcomes

Once a protocol is reviewed at a fully convened meeting, the Investigator receives a determination letter with one of three outcomes:


Animal research activities can commence. Only the research activities and animal manipulations described in the approved protocol should be conducted; if any proposed changes are planned an amendment/modification must be submitted for IACUC review and approval. The investigator needs to add reminder of the annual review and triennial review submission dates on his/her calendar to avoid delay in approval.

Modifications required to secure approval

Further modifications/clarifications are required before final approval is granted. The revisions will require review by assigned IACUC reviewers. A final approval letter will be sent once the modifications have been reviewed and clarified.

Withhold Approval

Significant information is missing or considerations as detailed in the Guide, PHS Policy requirements, and U.S. Government Principles have not been met. The PI will receive reasons for withheld approval and revisions will go back to a fully convened meeting for review and approval.