A. Mission Statement
Roger Williams University recognizes the scientific and ethical responsibility for the humane care and use of animals involved in research and education and requires all individuals involved to maintain the highest standards of animal care and consideration. This concern extends to investigators to protect the animals as well as to comply with the specific regulations established and required by the sponsors of their research, University policies and/or Federal regulations.
B. Ethical Issues
The welfare of animals in education and research, carries with it significant obligations. Hence, each staff member, student, faculty member, or research investigator is directly responsible to promote and protect animal care and use within the instructional and research program of the University.
Roger Williams University is guided by the ethical principles set forth by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Policy that requires the appointment of an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). In accordance with this federal policy, this committee shall oversee protocols relating to the care and use of animals for research and teaching purposes at RWU.
C. Federal Regulations
The procurement, care, and use of the animals shall conform to the NIH Guide of the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in Research (DHEW 78-23), reprinted in 1980 (DHEW 80-23 or succeeding editions) and shall be in accordance with the regulations established under the terms of the Animal Welfare Act, all applicable state and local laws, and the National Academy of Science’s Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The housing, care, feeding, and daily observations of all animals must be supervised by individuals knowledgeable in such matters.
The "US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training" were developed by the US Government’s interagency research animal committee. Both the NIH Policy and the University Policy require that all uses of animals conform to these principles:
D. General Policies and Procedures
Using animals for research, teaching, and testing is accompanied by both ethical and legal responsibilities to use them appropriately, both scientifically and humanely. Individual faculty members who use animals in their research or teaching, including those whose research consists of field work involving animals, are, by law, accountable for conforming to the basic regulations and policies governing animal use on campus. Policy decisions at RWU have been made to address research with limited groups of vertebrates (fish, amphibians and marine mammals). Policies may be modified when and if additional groups of animals are used at the institution. These regulations and policies involve:
Individuals who use animals must know, understand, and comply with applicable laws, regulations, and policies. They are responsible for properly instructing students and employees. The laws governing the use of animals are framed to ensure compliance via both civil and criminal laws. Failure to comply may carry penalties that range from substantial fines to “cease and desist” orders that can suspend all animal research, and all funding for animal research at the offending institution. As a matter of educational policy, faculty who do not themselves use animals must be aware of these regulations and policies, since their students may use animals at a later time. All faculty, staff and students preparing to submit a protocol to the IACUC committee must first complete the online training course at www.citiprogram.org
Any faculty member, staff member, or student who believes that any of the above mentioned principles are being violated may submit a written request to the Roger Williams University IACUC for a review of the procedure or situation. The Committee shall review all pertinent facts regarding the alleged violation, and if a violation has occurred, the Committee will recommend corrective action to the responsible individuals, including the appropriate Department Coordinator, Dean of the College, and Chief Academic Officer (Provost).
E. Adjunct Faculty Research
All adjunct faculty research must be co-sponsored by the Dean of the College, where the research will be conducted. Research project proposals must then be submitted to Roger Williams University IACUC for review and approval.
F. Research at Other Institutions
If a collaborative research project to be conducted at RWU with live vertebrate animals has been reviewed and approved by another College or University, the research proposal and the signed cover sheet from the said Institution must be submitted to the Roger Williams University IACUC for review and approval.