Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Common Issues that Delay Protocol Approval

It is the aim of the IACUC and the administrative staff to review and process protocols and amendments in a timely manner. Listed below are common problems that will delay approval of your protocol. Attention to details and the elimination of simple errors will help to expedite the process and reduce the investigators', the Committee's, and the IACUC staff's time. 

  • The Non-technical Summary is too scientific. The purpose, scope, and significance of the research being proposed must be written in language that can be understood by a layperson with no medical background.  Scientific jargon should be held at a minimum. Do not cut and paste grant applications.
  • The protocol is not clearly written. A table that clearly outlines the experiments, timepoints, drugs administered, and procedures performed, etc. is extremely helpful.
  • The number of animals requested is not adequately justified, or animal numbers are inconsistent in different sections of the protocol. Simply asking for a specific number of animals without justifying the numbers and indicating how they are going to be used is not sufficient for the IACUC. If there are a large number of animals with multiple experiments, a brief table outlining the experiments and the number of animals is extremely helpful.
  • The surgical procedure is not carefully explained. The investigator must outline pre and post-operative or post-procedure care and the duration of such care should be included.
  • The principal investigator does not describe possible adverse reactions and outline corrective actions.
  • The "Search for Alternatives to Painful and Distressful Procedures" is not conducted appropriately. A database must be consulted and narratives must be clearly based on the literature uncovered during the search, NOT ANECDOTAL INFORMATION.
  • The PI doesn't describe the method of euthanasia or indicate the signs that indicate that the animal has been successfully euthanized.