Most grants that propose the use of live animals or animal tissues require that the animal work be reviewed and approved by the federally-mandated institutional animal care and use committee, known at UTHealth as the Animal Welfare Committee. In most cases, this approval is not sought until the grant is to be funded or has a high likelihood of being funded. In the case of NIH, this is called the JIT or Just in Time Notice. To obtain this approval for the funding agency, the animal work must be covered by an approved AWC Animal Protocol(s). Animal protocols may cover more than the work proposed in the grant, but they MUST at least cover the animal work outlined in the to-be-funded grant application.
If the animal work proposed in the grant is already covered by an approved AWC Animal Protocol:
Submit a Change Request to add the title and granting agency along with a copy of the grant application to the AWC office. Once reviewed by the AWC administrative staff and congruency between the grant and animal protocol is confirmed, an AWC Approval can be provided.
If the research goals and animal procedures proposed in the grant is mostly covered by an approved AWC Animal Protocol for the same species of animals but with some variations (anesthesia, experimental groups, strains of animals, euthanasia methods, etc):
Submit a copy of the grant and a Change Request to add the title, granting agency, and the modifications in the protocol that once approved, would then cover the proposed grant animal work. Once reviewed and approved by the Animal Welfare Committee, an AWC Approval can be provided.
If the animal work proposed in the grant is not covered by an approved AWC Animal Protocol:
Submit to the AWC a copy of the grant and a completed Animal Protocol(s) that will cover the animal work proposed in the grant application. Once approved, an Approval letter can be provided.
If some or all of the animal work proposed in the grant is to be conducted at another institution:
UTHealth must have IACUC Animal Protocol Approvals provided for animal work to be conducted at another institution utilizing grant monies that will be awarded to UTHealth. Contact the AWC office for guidance regarding obtaining the required IACUC Approvals from the collaborating institution.
To facilitate a timely receipt of an AWC Approval letter for the granting agency, carefully compare your approved animal protocol(s) and change request(s) to the proposed animal work in the grant application. It is a common problem that the AWC must delay their approval because the PI’s approved animal protocol does not cover all of the animal work (including strains and procedures) that is proposed in the grant application.