Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Administrative Duties

Roger Williams University has delegated to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) the responsibility of review and written approval of all research and related teaching activities involving the use of vertebrate animals, conducted under the auspices of a school, department, or other unit within the University.

Animal safety and care extends beyond the laboratories and sponsored research to include animals being brought onto campus for educational, demonstrational and/or campus-wide events.

Administrative responsibility for overseeing these functions has been delegated to the chair of the IACUC who is appointed by the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) of the University. The CAO also serves as the research oversight official as required by federal policy. In essence, the CAO of the University shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee, but not as its chair. The CAO will sign off on all recommendations of the committee, as s/he has the legal authority to speak and act for the institution and thus bears responsibility for oversight of research conducted under the aegis of the University.


The Roger Williams University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) shall include:

  • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, who is certified or has training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine or in the use of the species in question
  • At least one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals
  • One member of the RWU administrative staff
  • RWU safety officer
  • One member from outside of the Science Unit (but within the College of Arts and Sciences)
  • One public member who represents the general community interests in the proper care and use of animals. The public member shall not be a laboratory animal user, be affiliated with the institution, or be a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution. This individual shall be appointed by the CAO of the University and shall serve without compensation.

The members from the University shall be nominated by their deans and officially appointed to the committee by the CAO of the University. Deans should appoint members who are experienced in performing research with animals.

Each committee member shall serve a three-year term commencing and ending on September 1 each year. Committee member appointments are staggered so that only two new members will join the board at any given time.

Responsibilities of the Chair

  • scheduling monthly IACUC meetings and leading the review of proposals
  • leading the process of developing and refining IACUC guidelines and processes
  • communicating to the faculty changes in guidelines as well as meeting times and Committee rulings
  • maintaining the IACUC information on the website
  • notifying the CAO when new committee members need to be chosen
  • maintaining IACUC records and archives

The taking of minutes, including all rulings of the Committee, shall occur at every meeting. The responsibility for this shall rotate among the Committee members. Minutes and rulings shall be made available after the Committee meetings, as consistent with RWU policy.

After review and inspection, a written report, signed by a majority of the IACUC, shall be made to the responsible administrative officials of the institution on the status of the animal care and use program and other activities as required by federal, state, or local regulations and policies.

Responsibilities of IACUC

IACUC at Roger Williams University shall:

  • Assure that all activities meet the ethical and legal requirements of the humane care and use of these animals.
  • Review, at least every six months, the institutional program for the humane care and use of animals in research, education and training.
  • Inspect, at least every six months, all animal facilities for compliance with approved standards for hygiene.
  • Review and approve, require modifications, or withhold approval of all protocols for the use of animals in research, teaching or training.
  • Review and approve, require modifications, or withhold approval of all changes or amendments to approved protocols.
  • Re-review no less than once a year all protocols for the use of animals to include the current status of the activities, compliance with the protocol, and changes in IACUC policy or procedures. No less than once every three years, the IACUC will complete a substantive re-review and re-approval of such activities.
  • Evaluate the quality of all personnel involved in the care and use of animals prior to a person being approved to participate in the protocol. The review qualifications include academic degrees, specific training, research experiences, and completion of the online training course.
  • Review specific concerns or complaints about animal care or use.
  • Present recommendations to the institutional official (Chief Academic Officer) regarding all aspects of RWU’s animal care and use program. Significant deficiencies in the institutional program must be identified, and the institution must adhere to an approved plan and schedule for correction of the deficiencies.
  • Authorize suspension of an activity involving the use of animals which is not being conducted in accordance with the current edition of the IACUC standards, or with applicable laws, regulations, or institutional policies.
  • Assure that reviewers have no conflict of interest with the protocols that are brought before the committee.