Notice Number: NOT-OD-16-006
Release Date: October 13, 2015
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
This Notice is to inform potential applicants and offerors that the requirements of the Vertebrate Animals Section (VAS) of grant applications, cooperative agreements and contract proposals has changed. The changes have been made to remove redundancy with Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee review while meeting the requirements of the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.
Updated VAS Requirements
If live vertebrate animals are to be used, federal policy requires applicants to address the following criteria:
These requirements, as applicable, will take effect for all grant applications except Fellowship (F series) and Training (T series) grants for due dates on or after January 25, 2016, and will take effect for all applications for due dates on or after May 25, 2016. For contracts, see individual Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for details.
Summary of Changes
The VAS criteria are simplified by the following changes:
Application Review Criteria
As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following criteria: (1) description of procedures involving animals including species, strains, ages, sex and total number to be used; (2) justifications for the use of animals versus alternative models and for the appropriateness of the species proposed; (3) interventions to minimize discomfort, distress, pain and injury; and (4) justification for the euthanasia method if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals. Reviewers will assess the use of chimpanzees as they would any other application proposing the use of vertebrate animals.
See the Vertebrate Animals Section webpage for more information on the VAS requirements. Here you will find a checklist, detailed instructions, plus links to worksheets.
For questions or further information, contact:
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW)