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Education and Training

All investigators and research personnel listed on an Animal Use Protocol submitted to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) are required to complete all applicable training courses prior to protocol approval.

Training is mandated

The Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR), the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals all stipulate that all personnel involved in animal research should be adequately trained. The University of Houston IACUC, together with the Attending Veterinarian and the Institutional Official, has the responsibility to provide that training and to ensure that all animal use is accomplished in a humane and scientifically acceptable manner.

Who must receive training

Principal Investigator(s) on all research projects involving animal subjects, all individuals involved in the conduct animal subjects research, and those serving as voting members of the IACUC must receive the training. Failure to assure the education component of our assurance is considered noncompliance, and has the potential to negatively affect funding opportunities for University of Houston faculty, staff, and students. It is the PI’s responsibility to ensure all individuals engaged in research have been added to an approved IACUC protocol and are appropriately trained to conduct the procedures they will be performing before.

Types of training

CITI online training

To be approved by the IACUC on a research protocol, the following online Laboratory Animal Welfare Courses are required, based on individuals’ specific roles in the research. (Times are approximate.)

  • For ALL individuals working with animals, in any capacity:
    • Investigator, Staff, and Student Basic Course - all modules (1.0 – 1.5 hours)
    • A species-specific course (between 20 minutes and 1 hour, based on species)
    • Refresher course - every three years (30-45 minutes)
  • For those conducting surgical procedures:
    • Aseptic Surgery (20 minutes)
  • For those conducting survival surgery in rodents:
    • Minimize Pain and Distress (survival surgery in rodents) (30-45 minutes)

Click here for the direct link to CITI.

ORPCC Training (optional but encouraged)

Protocol submission tips and tricks, and compliance pitfalls to avoid.

ACO training

To access the animal facility, the Animal Care Operations (ACO) course on Occupational Health and ACO Facility training is required. This is a 1- hour live-taught course.

Register for training

For CITI online training, refer to these instructions (PDF) for how to access the modules listed above. Initial training is required prior to IACUC approval for research or instructional work with animals. A shorter refresher training is required every three years.

ORPCC training: Contact

For information on ACO training, contact

The IACUC reviews documentation for the education requirement prior to the initial approval of an IACUC protocol, at annual review, and when a revision is requested to add additional personnel. Failure to fulfill the education requirement may delay the approval of a protocol or the approval of the individual to work with animals in a research capacity.