Ensuring the Responsible Use of Animals in Research and Teaching

Training in the care and use of animals is a vital component of UAF’s Animal Care Program and is required under a variety of regulations and guidelines. UAF uses an independent, web-based program (CITI- Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative) for the initial training for animal researchers. Additional hands on training may be required for your work.

Mandatory Training for All Research Personnel

At a minimum, all animal researchers must complete the “Working with the IACUC” course. This training is valid for three years, at which point you will be reminded to complete the refresher course.

  1. Visit the CITI Homepage (https://www.citiprogram.org/)
  2. Select the "Register" button under 'Create an Account'.
  3. Search for the "University of Alaska Fairbanks" as your Participating Institution and continue the registration process.
  4. When prompted to select a curriculum, select the “Working with the IACUC” course in Question 6. (For Questions 1-5 select “Not at this time”.) If you have been instructed to refresh your training, select the “Working with Animals in Biomedical Research – Refresher Course”.
  5. The Learner Menu will then display the course. Click “Enter” to begin. You do not have to finish all modules at one time; CITI saves your scores each time you submit answers so you can log out and resume later.

Researchers may also be required to complete elective modules based on their research. For example, if the project involves working with fish in the field, researchers will be required to take the following:

  • Working with Fish in Research
  • Wildlife Research

When an individual selects UAF as their participating institution during registration, their course completion history is automatically accessible to the Office of Research Integrity for verification. You may also save a copy of your completion letter for your own records. If research personnel have completed the CITI modules while working at another institution, the user can add UAF as an affiliating institution which will give ORI access to their records.

Additional Training

Researchers may be required to complete additional modules through UAF’s American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) Learning Library account. ORI will contact researchers with instructions if they are required to complete additional modules in this program. 

Veterinary Services Training and Skill Checks

Research personnel wishing to perform any of the following activities must receive training from UAF Veterinary Services. This training is provided at no cost.

  • Aseptic Technique
  • Experimental Surgery & Suturing Techniques
  • Gas Anesthesia Machine Use
  • Controlled Substances Procedures
  • Animal Health Checks (routine, pre- and post-procedure)
  • Animal Handling
  • Sampling Techniques (e.g. blood draw or tissue biopsy)

Although personnel may observe and receive instruction from others, to fulfill the training requirement, a member of the Veterinary Services staff must observe the individual performing the technique. If they demonstrate sufficient skill they will be authorized to perform the technique(s) unsupervised, but any deficiencies will be addressed through additional training or supervised procedures.

Please note that either the IACUC or Veterinary Services may require an individual or group to repeat training or be trained in a modified technique if the number or extent of complications, including mortalities, exceeds that which is expected.

Occupational Health and Safety Training Requirements

Depending on the nature of your project, you may be required to complete additional training as part of UAF’s Occupational Health and Safety Program for animal researchers. For example, if applicable you may be required to take the Laboratory Safety, Laboratory Sharps Safety, or Chemical Hygiene courses. You will be notified by Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (EHS&RM) staff of any additional requirements after you submit your Personnel Information Form and it is reviewed by EHS&RM staff.

General Information

The UAF Animal Care Program relies on performance based standards to assess procedures and techniques as well as competence of personnel. Although important, successful completion of the web-based course may not be sufficient to maintain access to animal facilities and permission to use animals in research or teaching. These privileges may be revoked if you cannot demonstrate basic knowledge or understanding of the material covered in the IACUC trainings.

Confused about training requirements? Check out the FAQ page (Personnel Training) or contact the Office of Research Integrity.

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