Collaborations with Other Institutions


Collaborations are a vital part of the University’s mission to advance scientific knowledge and medical progress.  All research activities performed under the direction of UCI personnel or supported by UCI-managed funds at a non-UCI facility must comply with UCI’s policies and procedures.  Anyone performing animal research must follow their home-institution’s policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as those of the host-institution, with the institution that owns the animals maintaining primary oversight responsibility.

Wherever possible and appropriate, UCI’s IACUC will accept the review and approval of the offsite institution’s IACUC or comparable regulatory committee upon submission of appropriate documentation demonstrating the support and collaboration of the offsite institution and compliance with federal regulations governing the ethical care and use of animals.

Federal regulations require that all research funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) be conducted only at assured institutions. Therefore, if a UCI project funded by federal money involves a subcontract to another institution for live-animal research, that institution must provide evidence of an Animal Welfare Assurance (domestic institutions) or a Statement of Compliance (foreign institutions) with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW).

Domestic and foreign institutions with assurances on file are listed on the OLAW website:

Examples of collaborations

Animal research conducted at a non-UCI location:

Animals owned by UCI:  In this case, animals may be temporarily transferred to use another institution’s facility (e.g., MRI facilities at City of Hope National Medical Center).  This type of collaboration should be described in the UCI reviewed-and-approved IACUC protocol.  All details, such as how animals will be transported, whether they will return to UCI or be euthanized at the offsite location, etc., should be carefully described in the UCI protocol.  NOTE:  There may be requirements for additional IACUC review and oversight at the non-UCI location.

Animals owned by another institution:  This circumstance generally occurs when UCI is the prime grantee and has issued a subcontract to another institution to perform studies involving live animals.  In this case, the other institution is responsible for review, approval and post-approval oversight of the animal work and will maintain ownership of the animals.  This type of collaboration requires involvement from UCI Sponsored Projects to negotiate the subcontract.  NOTE:  If the source of the prime grant is federal (e.g., NIH, NSF, etc.), the subcontractor institution must hold a valid PHS Assurance of Compliance (add info from OLAW site).

Custom antibodies purchased from a vendor:  Another special type of collaboration occurs when a UCI researcher supplies an antigen to a commercial laboratory which then produces a polyclonal antibody using live animals (rodents, rabbits or other mammals).  The animal-use in this instance occurs entirely at the contract laboratory under their IACUC’s review, approval and oversight.  HOWEVER:  If the antibodies will be used as part of a federally funded research project, documentation is required to confirm the contract laboratory’s PHS Assurance; completion of a Custom Antibody Production Agreement  is required.

Researchers from other institutions using UCI facilities:

As a general rule, if personnel from another institution wishes to use UCI facilities and resources and also maintains ownership of the animals, UCI’s IACUC may accept the other institution’s approved protocol for the work, provided that the facility in question is currently in use for animals procedures under another UCI-IACUC-approved protocol.  If it is not currently covered by an active UCI protocol, then the UCI IACUC would need to inspect the facility and review the procedures to be performed there..  The IACUC encourages early consultation with UCI personnel to ensure that the non-UCI entity understands and will follow practices acceptable to UCI’s IACUC while they are using our facilities.  Non-UCI personnel must work with a UCI Faculty Sponsor and consult with ULAR veterinarians and the IACUC Administrative Office to ensure that all required paperwork is submitted before the collaboration takes place.

Animal research performed at UCI under a subcontract from another institution:

Animal research funded by a subcontract from another institution is handled the same as from any other funding source; that is, reviewed, approved and overseen by UCI’s IACUC.

There is a unique issue, however, involving a special type of federal funding – the small business set-asides known as SBIR and STTR grants.  In these cases, the prime grantee is typically a new, small business that does not have its own PHS Assurance.  As part of the terms and conditions of the grant, the prime grantee must subcontract all live-animal research to an assured institution.  A special form known as an Interinstitutional Agreement is required to be completed by the grantee organization and UCI’s IACUC Administration Office with signatures from UCI’s Institutional Official and IACUC Chairman and then sent to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare at NIH, so that the award can be made under the umbrella of UCI’s PHS Assurance.   For more information about this type of collaboration, please contact the IACUC Administrator.

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Live-animal research conducted by outside entities as part of the clinically-oriented biomedical incubator facility at UCI Medical Center is subject to all policies, procedures and guidelines of the UCI Animal Care and Use Program as determined by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.  Use of IACUC and ULAR services is made available to researchers without UCI affiliation by a negotiated Sales and Service Agreement.  While such non-UCI users of the facility retain ownership of the animals involved in the research, the UCI Institutional Official, IACUC and Attending Veterinarian maintain the authority to oversee all animal activities and to halt research projects at any time in order to protect animal welfare.