/ Provost's Office

Animal Care and Use Committee

Hope College recognizes the value of and endorses the judicious use of animals in research and teaching. The college ensures the humane and ethical treatment of all animals used for this purpose.

INFORMATION FOR INVESTIGATORS

Who must apply for vertebrate animal use?

All individuals proposing to use live vertebrate animals in their training, teaching or research at Hope College must submit an application to the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee (HCACUC) for review and approval. This is required by Public Health Service (PHS) Policy (PHS 2002) in order to meet requirements of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990) and Regulations (PL 89-544; USDA 1985). Before HCACUC will approve an application, individuals whose studies involve live vertebrate animals must complete required training, including a CITI course module.  Grant applications submitted to agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require an approved application from the HCACUC for the proposed work.

Application for Vertebrate Animal Use

Applications are available internally or through a log-in on an off campus computer. When completing the application, please be aware that copies of applications may be released to the public under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. If there is a request for your application, you will be notified prior to release. If you should receive inquiries from the public concerning your project, please contact the current chairperson of the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee.

GENERAL INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS

At Hope College, we care about the humane treatment and judicious and safe use of all animals. College policy and federal law require a review of projects for vertebrate animals. At Hope College the review is conducted by the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee (HCACUC).

Principal investigators and course instructors must obtain approval from HCACUC before initiating any research, teaching or outreach project involving the use of vertebrate animals. HCACUC's principal areas of concern are housing and husbandry, animal health, veterinary medical care, minimization of pain, discomfort or distress, and the proficiency of personnel.

HCACUC approval must be obtained prior to any changes in approved protocols. 

Post-Approval Monitoring

The purpose of the Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM) Program is to ensure that research and teaching activities that involve live, vertebrate, non-human animals are conducted in accordance with all applicable federal laws, regulations and policies, and are consistent with the Principal Investigator’s (P.I.) IACUC-approved Animal Care and Use Protocol. In addition to providing continuing IACUC regulatory oversight of animal activities, PAM should also serve as a valuable educational tool with the goal of achieving a culture of openness and compliance.

The goal of the Hope College Animal Care and Use Committee (HCACUC) is that each approved protocol will go through the PAM process at least once, and some protocols will be evaluated more frequently than that. A Committee member will be assigned a protocol, and through the Chairperson, will coordinate a time to meet with the PI. This meeting may coincide with surgeries, behavioral testing or other activities (such as restraint) so that procedures may be observed. It is the goal of the HCACUC to be as unobtrusive as possible, while still fulfilling its responsibilities.

There will be a brief discussion about how the project has been going, with particular focus on any deviations from the protocol or adverse events experienced. Any deficiencies or deviations from the approved protocol (including amendments) will be noted and corrective actions and timelines will be established at the time of the visit. The PAM report will be provided to the HCACUC for review and discussion (via email if a regularly scheduled Review meeting is not imminent). The PI will be given the final report. If the deficiency or deviation is considered significant, is not corrected within the allotted timeframe, or if there are repeated deficiencies or deviations, the HCACUC will determine any further corrective action. OLAW, and/or USDA will be notified as appropriate, based on corrective action taken and per agency requirements.

The HCACUC understands that unforeseen outcomes are a natural part of animal research. The goal of PAM is not to be punitive, rather to be helpful in resolving problems and supporting an atmosphere of transparency while fulfilling its responsibilities as outlined by federal agencies.