The professional preparation of IACUC members includes expertise in a wide range of veterinary, medical, and basic science research areas, familiarity with applicable regulations and laws and with relevant standards of professional conduct and practice, and knowledge of specific animal species or classes of animals, such as primates, wildlife, and agricultural animals.
IACUC includes members from the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and Research Animal Resources. The following federal regulatory criteria apply:
- IACUC is comprised of at least five members with varying backgrounds, although it typically has more members to provide a suitable breadth of expertise. IACUC strives for a balance of men and women, with representation from minority populations.
- At least one member (the community representative) has no affiliation, other than IACUC membership, with the University and is not an immediate family member of anyone affiliated with the University.
- At least one IACUC member has primary professional expertise in a scientific field relevant to the type of research reviewed and is a practicing scientist experienced in animal research and use, and at least one member has primary concerns in a nonscientific field.
- At least one member is a veterinarian who, in addition to possessing training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, has direct or delegated program responsibility for animal-related activities at the institution.
- At least one member is a student charged with representing student interests on the IACUC. This representation is important given the University’s commitment to veterinary education and the need to represent the student population, members of which are not permitted to serve as principal investigators.
Although an individual who qualifies to fill more than one of the aforementioned categories may be appointed to do so, it is still required that IACUC consist of at least five members and observe the diversity requirements.
How Members Are Appointed
In selecting new members, the IACUC leadership works with department heads and other University officials to seek candidates for nomination with consideration for maintaining the diversity and specialty requirements of IACUC.
When an appropriate candidate is found, a letter is sent confirming appointment. New members are formally appointed by the institutional official as designated by the president of the University of Minnesota.
Length of Terms of Service
Each member is appointed to a one year renewable term.
Terms, and thus expirations, are staggered in an effort manage the number of newcomers on IACUC at any one time.
With regard to potential legal action, IACUC members are covered under the University Legal Defense and Indemnification of Employees policy which provides coverage for those University of Minnesota faculty and staff serving the University and also covers any nonaffiliated member acting on behalf of the University.
Mitigating Conflict of Interest
No IACUC member participates (other than to provide requested information) in the initial or continuing review of any protocol in which that member has a conflicting interest. This includes review of any material submitted over the course of the study or the duration of the member’s term.
If it is necessary for such a study to be reviewed when the conflicted member is in attendance, that member must recuse themselves from the deliberation, discussion, and vote on that study. Unless requested to remain in order to provide additional information, it is expected that the member leave the room until after the vote is taken.
Abstention from the vote is noted both in the minutes and in regular post-meeting correspondence to the investigator. If the member and investigator are one in the same, the investigator/member receives subsequent written communication from the meeting just as though they had not attended that meeting.
Conflicting interest includes, but is not limited to, situations where the IACUC member:
- Is or will be an investigator in the research
- Has a financial or managerial interest in a sponsoring entity or product being evaluated in the research
- Has a close family relationship with an individual who is one of the investigators or who has a significant financial or managerial interest in a sponsoring entity or product being evaluated in the research
- Perceives themselves to have a personal conflict with the project which suggests potential bias