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Preparing and Submitting a Protocol

Protocol Preparation. The protocol is the complete description of the research or training plan that is outlined in the protocol that involves the care and use of animals. In order to facilitate review, the request that protocols be prepared carefully and completely in accordance with IACUC guidelines. The protocols become part of the permanent records maintained by the Committee and therefore, are subject to inspection and review by various granting, accrediting and governmental agencies.

IACUC Policy on who may be a Principal Investigator on a Protocol.


Review by the Attending Veterinarian (AV). The AV or a designee, a ULAR veterinarian, must review all Category C protocols (those involving unrelieved pain or distress), all Category B protocols involving USDA covered species, all surgical protocols, and all protocols that employ neuromuscular blocking agents. The Principal Investigator should discuss the protocol with a ULAR veterinarian during the protocol development. However, IACUC staff will send protocols meeting these criteria directly to a ULAR veterinarian for review.



Electronic Submissions: ARIES


ARIES will be required as of April 1, 2011 for all Form A and POAP submissions.


 ARIES The Animal Research Information & Electronic Submissions (ARIES) is now available to researchers at Penn. ARIES is a new secure, web-based protocol and submission application. 

ARIES will allow the creation, submission, electronic routing, tracking, and managing of IACUC protocol submissions. Additionally, users will have the ability to submit Amendments, 3-year renewals, Continuing Reviews, Exemption Requests, and Housing requests associated with IACUC protocols that have been created within the ARIES system.  NOTE: The system may be used to create and submit NEW submissions/protocols. Using ARIES for new protocols and those due for their three-year renewal is currently optional but highly recommended. It is expected that ARIES will become the only acceptable method of submitting these types of protocols in the very near future. Existing paper based applications cannot be viewed, edited, or submitted via ARIES.



To access the application:


With a web broswer, go to https://medley.isc-seo.upenn.edu/laProtocol/jsp/fast2.do

Authenticate with your PennKey and PennKey password. 


NOTE: If you do not have a PennKey, or if you have a PennKey but forgot your password, go to the PennKey web site for more information at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/. If you have any trouble with the PennKey process, contact your Local Support Provider. For a contact list, go to http://www.upenn.edu/computing/views/support/


Desktop Requirements: 


It is recommended that you access ARIES via a Penn-supported web browser with browser caching disabled (see

http://www.upenn.edu/computing/product/ for supported web browsers). Disabling caching ensures that you will see the most recent data. If you have any questions about the desktop requirements, contact your Local Support Provider. For a contact list, go to http://www.upenn.edu/computing/views/support/.




Please use the following user guides and training material to assist with the ARIES application.

If you have any additional questions or comments, please send an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Paper Submissions:


Any approved protocol that was submitted via paper will continue to be on paper until its 3-year expiration. Any amendments, continuing reviews, exemption request, or housing applications that are associated with the approved paper protocol will continue to be submitted via paper. See a list of our paper forms here.   


If your protocol has reached its 3-year expiration date, you must submit your renewal via the ARIES application. To submit through ARIES, see the Electronic Submissions guidelines above.


To submit a paper form: 

  • The original with the appropriate signatures and one electronic copy of the completed form should be submitted. 
  • Email all submissions to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and mail the signed original protocol to ORA.  

Award sponsors require IACUC approval prior to releasing funds for use. The protocol may or may not need to be submitted to the IACUC office before or at the time of protocol submission. Foundations may require protocol approval prior grant application. If the grant is a federal grant it falls under Just-In-Time and a protocol does NOT need to be submitted at the same time as the grant is submitted. If the PI receives a good score following grant review by the federal funding agency, please submit your protocol at that time in order to avoid a time constraint. Do not wait until the funding agency tells you that you will be funded. Investigators should check well in advance of a deadline to assure timely review. IACUC meeting schedule and submission deadlines.


The University of Pennsylvania requires the same review process for all protocols regardless of the source of funding (federal, private or institutional).

Protocol Review and Protocol Categories


Other Review Items


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