Animal Research

Public support for animal research comes as a privilege and imparts great responsibility on the part of institutions, researchers, and animal caretakers.  Brookhaven National Laboratory’s (BNL) policy on the care and use of animals in research is to carefully consider all proposed animal experimentation and to ensure the ethical treatment of animals used in research.  The Laboratory abides by the following tenets:

  • Follows all applicable federal and state animal welfare laws and regulations, including the ethical mandates known as the 3Rs – reduce the number of animals to be used; replace animal models with other methods whenever possible; and refine techniques to minimize distress to animals used in research. 
  • Reviews all research involving animals through the Laboratory’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  • Ensures all research using animals is aligned with the mission and the institutional values of the Laboratory.
  • Reserves the right to review scientific proposals and their relevance to the scientific mission of the Laboratory and to authorize the use of scientific facilities by users and Laboratory researchers. 
  • Reserves the right of the Laboratory Director to be the final decision authority on research conducted at the Laboratory

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The IACUC is established and authorized by the Laboratory Director.  Its jurisdiction includes all research involving live, vertebrate animals performed at or in conjunction with BNL and its employees, regardless of the Principal Investigator's (PI) appointment or relationship with  BNL. Its purpose is to review and approve the Laboratory's animal program and facilities, and review and approve each research protocol that involves animals to assure that it will be conducted in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (.pdf) and that the protocol is consistent with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals ("Guide").  In addition, all research involving animals must comply with the Public Heath Service (PHS) "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals".  BNL is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation for Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC).

The IACUC is guided by the principles set forth in the Laboratory's Assurance between Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC (BSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This Assurance defines the responsibilities of the Office of Research Administration (ORA). The IACUC follows policies and procedures as outlined in the IACUC Policies and Procedures Manual and research is conducted according to the Animal Care and Use Program.   Other BNL or federal approvals may also be required including one at the Director's level.

The Standards Based Management System (SBMS) for Animal Research is a step by step guide for Principal Investigators conducting research with laboratory animals. Instructions for submitting protocols to the IACUC are detailed on the SBMS and the application forms are found below.  The forms should be submitted electronically to

Protocols are reviewed under the following review processes:

Initial Review: A new protocol is forwarded to the IACUC for an initial review.

Amendment Review: This review is required whenever a Principal Investigator changes an approved protocol for any reason.

Continuing Review: Each protocol must be reviewed by the IACUC at a minimum of once a year. At the time of an Initial or Amendment Review, the IACUC will determine an appropriate certification period (no greater than one year) based on the parameters of the protocol.

Triennial Review:  Each protocol must be submitted on a new application from once every three years. This application is processed as an initial review.

MIRC Review: Any protocol involving a USDA regulated species will require further review by the Modified Institutional Risk Management Committee (MIRC).   

  • A short summary of the project (1-2 pages), including a non-technical description of the research; its over-arching goals and expected scientific impact; its purpose and procedures; the type and number of species, why they were chosen and their status at the conclusion of the work will be prepared by the IACUC Chair and/or IACUC Administrator, with input solicited from the PI, and sent to the MIRC.   
  • If a more in-depth review by the MIRC is warranted, a copy of the PI’s project/grant peer review report will be provided by the PI to the MIRC (via the IACUC administrator).

Below  are the only official versions  of the submission forms.  Always use the  most current version of the form for submission.

Use the "Instructions for Completing a Protocol" for guidance.

Use the AWIC Tips for Searching for Alternatives to Animal Research and Testing for information on how to conduct a literature search.

The IACUC generally meets once a month. Please use the following list to determine dates for submission to the IACUC.

Submission  Dates IACUC Meeting Dates
04/17/17 05/04/17
05/15/17 06/01/17
06/19/17 07/06/17
07/17/17 08/03/17
08/21/17 09/07/17
09/18/17 10/05/17
10/16/17 11/02/17
11/20/17 12/07/17
12/18/17 01/04/18

Other Sites Regarding Animal Research

For information, please contact

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Last Modified: May 9, 2017