If your proposed studies consist of simple unobtrusive observation of wild animals in their natural habitat, you may complete this form in place of a protocol. Veterinary prereview is required for all new and three-year renewal protocols.

Otherwise, submit new and renewal protocols in ARROW according to the following schedule.


CALS: CALS: 4:00 p.m., 1st of the month. Submit for RARC veterinarian pre-review by the 15th of the preceding month. NOTE: Veterinary pre-review must be completed BEFORE submission for the 1st of the month deadline.
LSVC: No deadline, rolling reviews.
Questions? Contact Diane: 608-265-3989, johnson@rarc.wisc.edu


SVM: No deadline, rolling reviews.
Questions? Contact Debbie: 608-890-4563, morris@rarc.wisc.edu


Deadlines: 4:00 p.m., 15th of the month. Submit to an RARC veterinarian for prereview by the 10th of the month.*
Questions? Contact Debbie: 608-262-7109, morris@rarc.wisc.edu

*Contact a veterinarian. You must log in with your NetID to access the full list of veterinarians.

There are two types of changes (amendments) to protocols: significant changes and administrative changes.

Significant changes

During the 3-year life of an approved animal care and use protocol, situations may arise that require an amendment to the original protocol. Examples include changing or adding experimental procedures, changing drugs or dosages, increasing the number of animals, adding a new species of animal, adding personnel*, etc. If the change follows the same science that has been presented and justified in the original protocol, the amendment procedure is as follows:


To submit an amendment for protocols not in ARROW, complete the following steps:

  1. Retrieve the original protocol and leave all existing information intact.
  2. Add new information under the appropriate questions. Distinguish this new text by using bold and underlined print. The text may also be highlighted with color.
  3. Indicate in question 3 that this is an amendment.
  4. Include with the email, or in a separate letter, a brief explanation of what the changes are and where the changes are located in the protocol (refer to specific question numbers in the protocol).
  5. Email the protocol with significant changes to one of the following protocol staff. Then send a signed protocol signature page via campus mail or FAX to 265-9040.

    Email SMPH and SVM protocols to Debbie.

    Email CALS and LSVC protocols to Diane.

Please note: No new information can be added to a protocol currently in the review process unless directed by the IACUC or unless the version in review is withdrawn. The only new information that will be accepted is information provided in response to any IACUC review questions.


To submit an amendment for ARROW protocols, complete the following steps:

  1. Locate the protocol you wish to amend under the Active tab.
  2. Click on the “Create an amendment” activity button.
  3. Complete the summary page (two questions) and click “Finish.”
  4. Click on “My Home” and locate the protocol (number with extension Axx) in your inbox.
  5. Click on the title of the protocol to go to the amendment workspace and using the “edit” activity button, make the appropriate changes in the protocol.
  6. When done, exit the protocol and submit for review.

Administrative changes


Send funding changes via email to the appropriate protocol manager. As of July 1, 2013, all grants that are funded by the Public Health Service (PHS, NIH, etc.) will be required to undergo a congruence review by RARC staff to verify that the science described in the protocol and in the grant are the same.

*Personnel changes should be made within the actual protocol (Q15, Q24), bolded and underlined, and sent to the appropriate protocol manager.


*For both funding and personnel changes, use the non-review change activity in the protocol workspace, complete the changes and submit the non-review change.

By law, investigators must maintain approved animal protocols in a current active status. RARC assists in protocol maintenance by alerting investigators of upcoming annual reviews and 3-year full renewals.

NOTE: Approval of amendments does not change the protocol approval date

Annual protocol update requirement on paper

Prior to the first and second anniversaries of protocol approval, investigators will receive and are required to return a brief Annual Continuing Review Form in order to keep the protocol active. The IACUC can suspend a protocol if the investigator fails to complete and return the form. View a sample form.

First Reminder: The first annual update letter is sent via ARROW to the investigator 90–120 days prior to the update date. A reply-by date* is at the end of the letter.

Second Reminder: If RARC does not receive a response to the first letter by the reply-by date, a second annual update letter is sent to the investigator 60–90 days prior to the annual update date. The investigator’s department chairperson is copied on this second letter.

Final Action: RARC reports noncompliance to the IACUC if a response is not received by the second reply-by date.

*NOTE: Reply-by dates are not the same as the update requirement deadline, which is the approval anniversary date.

Annual protocol update requirement and renewals -- ARROW protocols

The ARROW system will notify PIs and protocol writers by email when annual updates and renewals are due, following the same schedule noted above.


IACUCs approve protocols for three years or less. By law, IACUCs cannot grant protocol extensions past three years.

First Reminder: The first reminder is sent to the investigator 90–120 days prior to the protocol's expiration date.

Second Reminder: RARC sends a second reminder to the investigator 60–90 days prior to the expiration date of the protocol if the investigator does not respond to the first reminder by the reply-by date. The investigator’s department chairperson is copied on this second letter.

Final Notice: A third and final renewal notice is sent to the investigator if no response has been received by RARC to the first two letters. This email states the expiration date of the protocol. By law, no extensions beyond this date can be granted.

Investigators may request termination of a protocol before or on its expiration date if work with live vertebrate animals under the protocol has ended or will end and no animals are/will be assigned to the protocol. To terminate a paper protocol, the PI should email the request with an end date to the RARC IACUC office. To terminate an ARROW protocol, log into ARROW, navigate to the protocol workspace and click on the "terminate" activity button.
Diane Johnson: 265-3989, johnson@rarc.wisc.edu
Debbie Morris: 262-7109, morris@rarc.wisc.edu
If the protocol is not terminated before the expiration date, and if no renewal application has been received by RARC, a protocol will end on its expiration date.

Whether a protocol ends early or on its expiration date, RARC sends a notice of its termination to the investigator, department chairperson, attending veterinarian of the relevant IACUC, and the manager of the animal facilities listed on the protocol.


PHS Policy and the NIH Grants Policy Statement (Part II, Terms and Conditions, requires institutions to ensure that each NIH and NSF-funded grant that contains research with live vertebrate animals is congruent with one or more ACUC-approved animal use protocols. A congruence assessment is therefore required before Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP) at UW will release money to the investigator.

This process applies only to grants funded by NSF, and any of the agencies within the Public Health Service (primarily NIH, CDC, and FDA).

Grants can be associated with more than one protocol (same or different PI) and protocols can have many grants listed. Grant-protocol congruence will be assessed at the time of award, and upon award of competitive renewal.

What PIs and/or research administrators should do:

  • If you receive a fundable score on your grant application, now is the time to make sure that all the procedures and agents that will be administered to live animals are listed in your protocol. If they are not, submit amendment(s) to the ACUC.
  • When you get notice from a grants management officer at NIH (not the automated message) that your project will likely be funded, download the congruence request form. Send the completed form, along with a copy of the grant (or the Vertebrate Animal Section and Research Plan/Strategy sections) to congruence@rarc.wisc.edu.
  • Add your grant to your protocol. (See instructions below.) This can be done as an administrative amendment at any time. This will make the process quicker on our end if the grant is already listed on a protocol.

Please do not:

  • Send us a grant-protocol congruence request immediately after you submit your grant. We will likely not conduct the congruence review until the grant is funded.
  • Wait until the last minute and send a request that must be reviewed in less than 48 hours. In general, we will need at least five to seven business days for a grant-protocol congruence request to be processed. This time will be increased if a protocol amendment is necessary to make the protocol congruent with the grant. Please plan ahead!

When congruence has been verified, RARC will label the grant as “congruent” in our database. This database updates nightly to the PLuS look-up tool, by which RSP and grants administrators can verify the congruence status. We are no longer routinely issuing congruence letters. However, letters are readily available upon request.

How and when to amend a protocol in response to a grant change

  • Grants can be added/changed/removed at any time:
  • If your protocol is in ARROW, submit a “non-reviewed change”
  • If your protocol is NOT in ARROW, send an email to the Program Associate in the IACUC office for your ACUC committee.
  • Include all applicable grants on new and renewal protocol applications.
  • Grants can be added/updated/removed when a protocol is amended.
  • When there are changes in the experimental procedures on live vertebrate animals, or changes in the total number of animals proposed for use as a result of a new or modified grant, the protocol must be amended.
  • A letter for a new grant that is being added as part of an amendment cannot be released until the amendment is approved.

Tips on writing the vertebrate animal section (VAS)

The first section of the grant that RARC personnel read when performing a grant-protocol congruence check is the VAS. It will help facilitate the process if all the procedures and agents to be used on animals are clearly outlined in this section. Identify the species, strains, ages, sex and numbers of animals, and concisely describe the proposed procedures the animals will undergo. Include all experimental and control groups. A brief timeline of the experimental procedures for each group, as well as the total number of animals to be used, is helpful.

You can find the NIH VAS checklist at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/VASchecklist.pdf

Information on the veterinary care of the animals

The following information can be used in your VAS when describing the veterinary care at UW-Madison:

UW-Madison employs 14 veterinarians with experience and training in research animal care. The veterinarians and veterinary technicians provide care during regular business hours, after business hours via a 24-hour on-call service, and on weekends and holidays. All veterinary staff have workplace cell phones and email access. Additional veterinary support is contracted with area clinics primarily to serve outlying agricultural facilities. Veterinary staff are actively involved in preventative medicine, disease surveillance programs, clinical care, participation in animal surgery programs, training staff, and consulting with investigators.

All animal use protocols are reviewed and approved by one of the UW-Madison Animal Care and Use Committees, which oversee the research animal program according to PHS Policy, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and the Animal Welfare Act and Regulations. The animal programs for the School of Medicine and Public Health, the School of Veterinary Medicine, the Vice Chancellor and Graduate Research Education Centers, and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are all accredited by AAALAC International.

Contact the IACUC office staff:

Holly McEntee: 265-9241, mcentee@rarc.wisc.edu

Gayle Orner: 262-5363, orner@rarc.wisc.edu

Diane Johnson: 265-3989, johnson@rarc.wisc.edu

Debbie Morris: 262-7109, morris@rarc.wisc.edu

After-Hours Emergency Veterinarian