Ensuring the Responsible Use of Animals in Research and Teaching

All individuals working with live vertebrates must complete formal education in animal care and use prior to starting their work and must periodically complete continuing education. This is a vital component of the University’s Animal Care Program and is required under a variety of regulations and guidelines.

Mandatory Training for All Research Personnel

UAF administers online training through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) program.

  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. From the CITI homepage click on University of Alaska Fairbanks Course and then select the "My Learner Tools for University of Alaska Fairbanks".  When prompted to select a curriculum go to Question 3 and select the “Field Researcher - Basic” if you have not completed IACUC training before or "Field Researcher - Refresher" if you have had training in the past.  As an alternative, some researchers may wish to complete "Lab Researcher - Basic" or "Lab Researcher - Refresher" modules.  You can say "not at this time" for the other questions if they are not relevant to your work.
  5. The Learner Menu will then display the course. Click “Submit” 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.

If you will be conducting research with wildlife you should complete the "Wildlife Research" modules in addition to the "Researchers - Basic" or "Researchers - Refresher" training.

If you will be conducting research with fish you should complete the "Working with Fish in Research" modules in addition to the "Researcher - Basic" or "Researcher - Refresher" training.

If you work with any of the specific animals given in the course list you should complete the appropriate modules. 

If you are going to be conducting or assisting with surgeries you should contact the administrator for further training instructions.

When an individual selects UAF as their participating institution when registering for CITI, their course completion history is automatically recorded and can be documented by the UAF Office of Research Integrity (ORI). You may also save a hard copy or electronic copy of your verification 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

The IACUC also asks that you complete a Personnel Information Form (PIF) located at https://docs.google.com/a/alaska.edu/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEw2dHlMVEZKZF9sUFBrN21Tck5uVHc6MQ#gid=0 . This is a Google doc and is similar to a survey when submitted.  It does not create a separate document.  

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 training modules.

Confused about training requirements? Check out the FAQ page (Personnel Training) or contact the Office of Research Integrity at 907-474-7800 or email uaf-iacuc@alaska.edu.