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Policy Statement

Marywood University is committed to the humane use of animals (nonhuman) in research and teaching.  Use of live, vertebrate and non-vertebrate animals and the procurement of tissues from living animals for research or teaching must be approved by the Marywood University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). 

Animal care and use shall be conducted with due consideration for the health and comfort of the animals and the IACUC will be responsible to assure that no animals are used unnecessarily for research or teaching based on the anticipated significance of the knowledge to be gained as compared to the effect on the animals.

Research and teaching procedures shall be designed to avoid discomfort, distress and pain.  Pain and distress shall be relieved by appropriate use of anesthetics, analgesics or other procedures throughout the experiment.  Research and teaching procedures that cause significant stress or pain without the benefit of pain-relieving drugs or appropriate therapy (Category E, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Policy #11, 1997) are not allowed.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP) is responsible for administering the Animal Care Program and assists the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in its responsibilities.  The animal facilities and programs of Marywood University are regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (CFR 1985) the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1996), 1996 Guide to the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and other applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

Researcher Training

All researchers, including students, must complete the appropriate animal research training course as identified on the Marywood website prior to the beginning of the project.  In addition to the generic training, species specific training is required.

Housing, Care and Handling of Animals

Practices in the housing and care of animals shall adhere to the requirements of the Institute of Laboratory Resources' Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, the standards of the Animal Welfare Act, and the appropriate sections of the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts concerning laboratory animal welfare.

Anesthesia, Analgesia, Euthanasia and Surgical Procedures

All practices are based on the requirements in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals; the Animal Welfare Act and the recommendations by the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia.

Protocol Submission Requirements

Investigators intending to use animal subjects in research or teaching on campus or at another site must submit an application to the IACUC for approval. Specific forms, deadlines and committee meeting dates are published and are available from the ORSP.

Definitions

Deciding Official (DO) - the institutional official who makes final determinations on allegations of research misconduct and any institutional administrative actions to be taken in response. The Deciding Official will not be the same individual as the Research Integrity Officer (RIO), and should have no direct prior involvement in the institution's inquiry, investigation, or allegation assessment procedures.  A DO's appointment of an individual to assess allegations of research misconduct, or to serve on an inquiry or investigation committee, is not considered to be direct prior involvement. The Vice President for Academic Affairs is the DO for Marywood University. 

Research Integrity Officer (RIO) - the institutional official responsible for

  • assessing allegations of research misconduct to determine if they fall within the definition of research misconduct and warrant an inquiry on the basis that they are sufficiently credible and specific so that potential evidence of research misconduct may be identified
  • overseeing inquiries and investigations
  • the other responsibilities described in this policy
  • The Assistant Vice President for Research is the RIO for Marywood University.


Research misconduct is fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism that is committed while proposing, performing or reviewing research or while reporting results.  Research misconduct does not include honest error or differences of opinion.

Fabrication - making up data or results and recording or reporting them

Falsification - manipulating research materials, equipment, or processes, or changing or omitting data or results in such a way that, as a result, the research is not accurately represented in the research record

Plagiarism - appropriation of another person's ideas, processes, results, or words without giving appropriate credit.

Procedures

Reporting Research Misconduct or Suspected Endangerment of Animal Welfare (Whistleblower Policy)

If any person has a concern, complaint, or inquiry regarding suspected research misconduct or endangerment of animal welfare, the individual should first discuss the concern/complaint with the responsible faculty/staff researcher or instructor if comfortable in doing so.  If the individual is uncomfortable or unsatisfied with this initial contact, a concern/complaint can be filed and submitted to either the Marywood University IACUC Chairperson or Research Integrity Officer (RIO).  Reporting individuals can choose to remain anonymous throughout the inquiry process.  However, it is necessary that inquiries have specific and detailed information in order to demonstrate the need for a review by the IACUC.  Required information includes dates, times, individuals involved, animal species/names, witnesses, and a complete description of the event/incident/complaint. 

1. Upon receipt of an allegation of research misconduct or suspected endangerment of animal welfare, the Research Integrity Officer will

  • conduct an investigation;
  • take other appropriate action.


2. The Research Integrity Officer will report the results of investigations conducted or overseen to the Deciding Official for a determination of appropriate actions which may include appropriate steps to correct the research record; 

  • verbal and/or written reprimand;
  • imposition of procedures to ensure compliance with appropriate standards;
  • suspension or termination of employment;
  • reporting of results to the federal agency responsible for oversight;
  • referral to law enforcement when criminal activity is involved.


3. Marywood University employees who are subjects of allegations will receive appropriate protections including

  • review of allegations by objective individuals with appropriate expertise;
  • timely investigation, adjudication, and appeal;
  • confidentiality to the extent possible and consistent with a fair and thorough investigation;
  • reasonable and practical efforts to protect or restore the reputation of persons alleged to have engaged in research misconduct or endangered animal welfare but against whom no finding is made.


Marywood University employees may not retaliate in any way against complainants or witnesses. Individuals should immediately report any alleged or apparent retaliation to the Research Integrity Officer, who will review the matter and take appropriate action.


History

11/14/08 - Approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University
04/29/11 - Revision approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University