Animal research

Animal research | VA Health Care Pittsburgh

Find out how to prepare your research safety review submission to meet our requirements for working with animal subjects.


VAPHS is committed to conducting safe and ethical animal research. Our program is fully accredited by The Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). In accordance with the Public Health Service (PHS) policy on the humane care and use of animals, VA Pittsburgh maintains animal welfare insurance approved by the OLAW.

Submit your research for review

New research submissions

If you are interested in starting a new animal research project or doing a three-year protocol renewal, please complete all of the forms in the Required Forms List using Microsoft Word. Once you have completed the forms, email them to Beth Toth (Research Office for IACUC).

For more information on how to complete the required forms, please refer to the Instructions for completing CAPR.

Additional materials

To access the ACORP appendices, please visit AV Forms to retrieve forms and files from the VA Central website.

Continuous review

Each Principal Investigator will receive a Continuous Review Request Form 90, 60, and 30 days prior to protocol expiration for two years after initial protocol approval. The PI must submit this form to the IACUC for annual renewal. Before the third anniversary of protocol approval, the PI will need to submit all of the forms and processes listed under Forms required for animal research (above).

Animal Exposure Preventive Medicine Program (AEPMP)

Anyone who handles animals (live or dead); their fresh, frozen or unfixed tissue; or their bodily fluids or wastes in VAPHS facilities or properties owned by VAPHS have the opportunity to participate in AEPMP at VAPHS.

Anyone performing the same procedures in a VA leased space, or who has a partial or full offsite waiver to conduct offsite VA research, has the option of enrolling in the VAPHS AEPMP. They can also enroll in a comparable program at this facility, provided that the alternative program meets the requirements of the Public Health Service (PHS).

For more details :

Laboratory protocol forms

Other forms and requirements

Guidelines and policies

Before beginning an animal research project, please review VA’s research guidelines, policies, and standard operating procedures.

Research guidelines

Policies and standard operating procedures (SOPs)

Required training

Anyone who participates in or supervises animal procedures conducted at VAPHS (or who works with animals purchased by VA at any location) should complete the required training. For more details on animal research training requirements, see the VAPHS Research Staff Training Document.

Research staff should plan an orientation on animal research facilities with the ARF manager before proceeding with animal procedures. Personnel working at Animal Biosecurity Level 2 (ABSL-2) should be trained by the Biosecurity Officer before performing these procedures.

More information on research security

Before you conduct animal research, you may want to review these resources.

Professional guidelines for animal research

General search

Find information on security protocols and review processes for general research at VA Pittsburgh.

Human research

Find information on special safety protocols and examination processes for research involving human subjects at VA Pittsburgh.

Radiological safety

Find information on special safety protocols and review processes for research involving radiation at VA Pittsburgh.