Animal research

Animal Research | VA Pittsburgh Health Care

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 Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). In accordance with the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals, VA Pittsburgh maintains OLAW-approved animal welfare insurance.

Submit your research for review

New Research Submissions

If you wish to start a new animal research project or complete a three-year protocol renewal, please complete all forms in the list of required forms 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 see Instructions for Completing CAPR.

Additional material

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

Ongoing Review

Each Principal Investigator will receive a Rolling 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. Prior to the third anniversary of protocol approval, the Principal Investigator will be required to submit all forms and processes listed under Required Forms for Animal Research (above).

Animal Exposure Preventive Medicine Program (AEPMP)

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

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

For more details :

Laboratory Protocol Forms

Other forms and requirements

If you need to report an incident involving animal research, please complete the Reportable Events and/or Non-Compliance Matters Involving Animal Research form:

Guidelines and Policies

Before beginning an animal research project, please review the VA Research Guidelines, Policies, and Standard Operating Procedures.

Research Guidelines

Policies and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Training required

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

Research personnel should schedule an orientation session on animal research facilities with the ARF manager before performing any 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 conducting animal research, you may want to check out these resources.

Professional guidelines for animal research

General search

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

human research

Find information about special safety protocols and review research processes with human subjects at VA Pittsburgh.

Radiation protection

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