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

At a minimum, all animal researchers must complete the “Working with the IACUC” course which UAF administers 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. When prompted to select a curriculum, select the “Working with the IACUC” course in Question 5. (For Questions 1-4 on Human Subjects, Responsible Conduct of Research and Conflicts of Interest, 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 aseptic surgery on mice, researchers must take the following:

• I work with Mice
• I work with Frogs, Toads or other Amphibians
• I work with Rats
• I work with Rabbits
• Aseptic Surgery
• Working with Fish in Research
• Wildlife Research
• Minimizing Pain and Distress in Mice and Rats

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. 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

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.