Virginia Tech™home

4. IACUC Overview


The IACUC membership is comprised of faculty representatives from Virginia Tech departments or colleges using animals in teaching or research. The Attending Veterinarian and Biosafety Officer are also members of Virginia Tech's IACUC.

Faculty members are nominated by their department heads and are appointed by the designated Institutional Official (IO), the Vice President for Research and Innovation. IACUCs are also required to have one community and non-scientist member and this person is also appointed by the IO. All members serve for 3 years, except for the Attending Veterinarian and the Biosafety Officer, who are voting ex officio members.


The IACUC Chair is elected annually by the Committee membership. The Chair and the IACUC are provided with administrative support by the IACUC administrator and the IACUC senior administrative assistant. The Post-Approval Monitoring Officer also supports the IACUC via oversight of animal use in teaching and research.

IACUC Protocols and Their Significance:

IACUC-approved animal use protocols represent a "contract" between the Principal Investigator (PI), the IACUC, and the federal government. The IACUC is considered the representative of the federal government within an institution, thus all applicable laws are binding and maintained through the IACUC.


  • personnel,
  • procedures, or
  • animal numbers

can be made without first obtaining amendment approval from the IACUC. Further, a copy of each active protocol must be kept in the PI's lab or similar area for each access to and reference by study personnel. The Post-Approval Monitoring audits will verify research staff adherence to the approved protocol(s).

Who May Submit IACUC Protocols:

Only Virginia Tech faculty members can be designated as the Principal Investigator (PI), and thus a protocol must be submitted by that faculty member. For questions as to what level of faculty member is eligible to submit a protocol, please contact the IACUC office.

Graduate students, other students, and staff may be listed as co-PI(s), but cannot submit a protocol that has not been first reviewed and approved by the PI.