Training and Education Requirements for Animal Research

Evidence of Skills and Experience

Animal users must provide evidence of skills and experience with the procedures listed in their IACUC Protocols. Additional training may be required at the discretion of the IACUC.

Mandatory Animal User Training

Federal regulations and guidelines require animal users to complete basic training in animal care and use legislation, IACUC function, ethics, animal handling and procedures used in IACUC protocols. Animal users are always encouraged to participate in additional relevant training if they feel it may benefit their projects.

Northern Illinois University animal users fulfill federal requirements by participating in the following mandatory animal user training:

Annual IACUC Training Seminar

It is the researcher's responsibility to notify the ORCIS office when these training requirements are fulfilled.

All animal users are required to attend the annual Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Training Session, which is held annually in October or November. If you are unable to attend the session, you must complete one of the following five options in order to meet annual training requirements:

  • View the video recording of that year's Annual IACUC Training Seminar (videos are available for checkout Office of Research Compliance or from Animal Care Supervisors in Department of Biological Sciences or Department of Psychology)
  • Complete the CITI training module, "Working with Animals in Biomedical Research – Refresher"
  • Complete the CITI training module, "Working with the IACUC"
  • Provide evidence of comprehensive animal user training completed at another institution within the past
  • Provide evidence of alternate, specialized training relevant to the animal user's IACUC protocols

Animal Handling Workshops

Please contact the animal care supervisor of the facility that will house the animals for your research to arrange one of the following handling and technique workshops:

  • Rat or Mouse Handling and Technique Workshop: New animal users who intend to conduct studies in rats and/or mice must participate in the corresponding Rat and/or Mouse Handling and Technique Workshop.
  • Additional Species: New animal users conducting research on other species will receive appropriate
    species-specific practical training as needed from the attending veterinarian or a designated expert in
    that species.

A new animal user is defined as an individual who has not previously conducted animal research, teaching or testing at NIU.

CITI Training for Animal Users

All animal users must complete mandatory online CITI training as listed below. Additional, species-specific training modules may be required at the discretion of the IACUC. Comprehensive, documented animal user training completed at another institution may be accepted in lieu of mandatory CITI Training at the discretion of the IACUC.

  • Animal users must register as an NIU affiliate on the CITI Training website and complete basic courses in animal care. Learn more about instructions for registering.
  • Enroll and complete the mandatory modules as follows:
    • All animal users:
      1. "Working with the IACUC"
    • Animal Users conducting surgery:
      1. "Working with the IACUC"
      2. "Aseptic Surgery"
    • Animal Users conducting any study with the potential to cause "more than momentary pain and distress" in mice or rats:
      1. Working with the IACUC"
      2. "Minimizing Pain and Distress"
    • IACUC Members:
      1. "IACUC Community Member" (if you are a community member on the NIU IACUC)
      2. "Essentials for IACUC Members" (all members)