Protocol Review Process

Nearly all research and teaching involving animals* at UBC and affiliated locations requires the approval of the UBC Animal Care Committee (ACC), including the breeding of animals, pilot projects and unfunded research.

Before any animals are ordered and/or any procedures are performed, an animal care application must be submitted to the Animal Care Committee through RISe. Once approval is granted, the Principal Investigator is issued an Animal Care Certificate, and the Office of Research Services releases grant funding.

*Research involving invertebrates, except Cephalopods, no longer requires an approved animal care protocol.

Drafting an Animal Care Protocol

PIs or their designated staff can draft protocols in RISe

Submitting an Animal Care Protocol

PIs must submit their animal care protocol through RISe by the published deadlines prior to the ACC meetings.

Please allow 6-8 weeks for approval.

Pre-Review of an Animal Care Protocol

Pre-review of animal care protocols is available through the ACC, if protocols are submitted by the published deadlines prior to the ACC meetings

Approval of an Animal Care Protocol

Once approval is granted by the ACC, the PI will be issued an Animal Care Certificate through RISe, and the Office of Research Services will release the grant funding.

Amending or Renewing an Approved Protocol

Any changes to an approved protocol (including changes in staff or students, location, procedures, drugs, drug administration, etc.) require an amendment be submitted and approved prior to beginning the new work. Instructions on filling out an amendment are available on RISe.

Renewal notifications are automatically sent to PIs through RISe. Once a protocol has been approved, it can have three annual renewals. At the end of the fourth year, a completely new application must be filed.

Please note that an amendment which involves an increase of category of invasiveness or a large increase of animal numbers will require full Committee review.

Please note amendments and renewals for a protocol can be submitted in RISe concurrently.  This is designed to prevent protocols from expiring when an amendment is being reviewed.

For more information regarding amendments, please see the following: Amendment Definition (2016)

Pilot Projects

Before proceeding with a full study, PIs must often gather additional information to establish a suitable study design, appropriate endpoints and testing procedures, etc. In these cases, an application for a pilot project can be submitted.

Pilot project studies are reviewed by the full committee. They are approved for a limited number of animals and for three months, with the possibility of a single three-month renewal.

A short-term research project with a limited number of animals does not constitute a pilot project.

Note, a pilot project is not exempt from the peer review process.

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