Submit & Maintain Protocols

All University of Minnesota activities involving the use of animals for research, teaching, display, or service must be evaluated and approved by the IACUC before initiation.

To acquire approval, an IACUC protocol must be generated in eProtocol that outlines the use of animals along with justification for their use. The protocol must then be submitted to the IACUC for review.

Learn more about creating an IACUC protocol.

*Note: IBC approval, if relevant, is required prior to final IACUC approval

Activities that Require IACUC Review

The following activities are subject to review by the IACUC prior to initiation:

  • Activities with animals conducted by University faculty, staff, or students
  • Activities with animals performed on the premises of the University
  • Activities with animals  performed with or involving the use of facilities or equipment belonging to the University
  • Activities with animals  satisfying a requirement imposed by the University for a degree program or completion of a course of study
  • Activities with animals  certified by a dean or department head to satisfy an obligation of a faculty appointment at the University, including requirements for clinical or adjunct appointments


The following activities are exempt from IACUC review:

  • Use of tissues, organs, or other parts of dead animals if received as such
  • Noninvasive observation of wild animals in their natural habitat. Field studies that involve killing, trapping, banding, darting, implantation of telemetry devices, or any other invasive manipulation require IACUC approval.


Full List of Activities that Require Review


Many of the animals covered in IACUC review are used in research, including agricultural research (such as the study of food and fiber production or diet manipulation) as well as medical, biological, and behavioral research.

Animals in this category are typically acquired and housed by the University, but may also include free-ranging wildlife.


The use of animals in educational settings requires IACUC review. Examples include using animals to teach agricultural techniques, animal husbandry, and medical or veterinary procedures.

Review is required even if the activity does not seem to qualify as "true research" (e.g. when the results are not intended for publication, will not advance work in another area, or will not contribute to generalizable knowledge).

Service and Display

Animals that perform tasks, participate in club activities, or appear in exhibits or demonstrations are also covered by IACUC requirements and approval for their use must be obtained from IACUC.

Examples include the horses used by the St. Paul mounted police, the animals used in art classes, and fish displayed in tanks in University buildings.

Note that IACUC review for display animals may entail an SOP rather than an IACUC protocol.  Please contact IACUC at for clarification.

Research Conducted by "Affiliated Faculty"

Research conducted by "affiliated faculty”—those who hold clinical or adjunct appointments—is subject to the University's guidelines for animal use and must be submitted for IACUC review.

Any research project conducted by or under the direction of any employee or agent of the institution, in connection with his or her institutional responsibilities, requires IACUC approval.

Research Projects in which the Investigator is a Consultant

For research that is at least partially funded by the University of Minnesota but conducted entirely at another institution, a collaborative agreement may be required rather than the customary IACUC protocol. To complete a collaborative agreement, contact the IACUC office at

Collaborative Research Projects with Other Institutions

For research that is at least partially funded by the University of Minnesota but conducted entirely at another institution, a collaborative agreement may be required rather than the customary IACUC protocol. To complete a collaborative agreement please contact the IACUC office at

Research in Foreign Countries

Research conducted by University investigators in foreign countries falls under University purview and guidelines.

Regardless of the setting, the standards for ethical and responsible use of animals in research will not be relaxed even if different customs prevail.

All animal-based research conducted in foreign countries is subject to IACUC review. This includes the use of animals in foreign research institutions and fieldwork involving either domestic or wild animals.

Research projects must be approved by the local equivalent of IACUC before they are initiated. Where there is no equivalent board or group, investigators must rely on local experts or community leaders to provide approval. IACUC requires documentation of this local approval, as well as documentation of any necessary permits, before granting final approval for the project.

With regard to activities supported by PHS funds, foreign institutions that serve as performance sites must also have assurances on file with OLAW.