Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Scholarly research is a primary method for furthering the College’s goals of increasing knowledge and serving the community. When research involves vertebrate animals, however, concerns about protecting their welfare must be addressed. Any appeal to use animals in research and teaching, by individuals acting as members of the Lake Forest College community, must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). This policy sets general guidelines to be used by IACUC.


Full reviews by IACUC will be expected for any research involving vertebrate animals, undertaken by Lake Forest College faculty or staff, outside investigators, or students doing independent study research projects (e.g., senior theses).

The use of animals as part of projects required for regular classes will also face full review. Moreover, (1) students undertaking such projects must be informed of the standards appropriate for their endeavors (as evidenced by this policy) and (2) faculty overseeing such projects must ensure compliance with the relevant standards contained in this policy. If IACUC becomes aware of concerns about the appropriate use of animals in such class projects, it can require a full review. If faculty members or students have concerns about compliance, they can request a review by IACUC.

Educational Value:

The use of animals must serve the goals of the institution as an educational and research organization. The ideals of increasing knowledge are subordinate to concerns about the welfare of subjects.

  • Research

The research program must be well-designed and likely to yield new findings.

  • Teaching

The use of animals as part of projects for classes must help students understand the process involved in obtaining new or classic research results. In student designed projects as well as traditional laboratory exercises, such learning goals are quite likely to replace the goal of obtaining results new to science, and there is often pedagogical value in repeating previous experiments.

The procedure may provide some students with practical skills they will need in future studies, research, or their professional career, but this need not be the primary goal, given our liberal arts setting.

Projects and Procedures Involving Animals
  • Research

There should be no adequate alternative to using animals to address the research questions.

The number of animals used must be the minimum needed for statistically valid results (but enough animals for statistical validity should be used). This does not apply to pilot studies.

Procedures must minimize pain, stress, and risk of injury or death experienced by animals. Procedures for euthanasia must minimize pain and stress.

  • Teaching

The number of animals used may be less than would be needed for statistically significant results in a research context. If a primary goal includes obtaining analyzable data to expose students to the full process of science, then an appropriate number of animals to ensure this goal should be used.

The educational goals discussed above must be likely to be realized through at least some use of procedures with real animals, but supplemental use of alternative materials is also worth considering. In some cases, there are no alternatives to use of real animals that provide the desired learning experience to students.

Information Required for IACUC Review
Researchers must provide:

1. Name and Department of Principal Investigator/Instructor

2. Funding Agency, if applicable

3. Project Title or Course Name and Number

4. Animal species, number, and sex

5. Maximum number of animals in animal facility at one time

6. Number of days each animal will be housed

7. Duration of study

8. Live animal methodology

9. Justification for use of proposed animal model

10. Abstract of grant proposal or introduction to lab

11. Number and type of procedures per animal

12. A statement of whether alternative procedures not requiring the use of animals been considered

13. Types of anesthetics, tranquilizers, or analgesics to be used

14. Method of euthanasia to be used

15. If radioisotopes are to be used in live animals, approval by the Radiation Safety Officer is required

16. A statement of whether the project involves any potentially hazardous biological, chemical, or physical agents


Policy and Procedures for Animal Care and Use Review:

Other Animal Care and Use Resources