What to do if you're new to UVA

I'm New, What Do I Do?

Welcome to UVA! If you will be using animals for research, testing, or teaching at UVa, you’ve come to the right place to start. The IACUC Office, or ACUC Office as it’s called at UVa, is always here to help you find your way through the maze. Please feel free to contact us at any time at 434.924.0405 or acuc@virginia.edu.

Here’s a brief outline of the requirements you’ll need to complete in order to conduct animal work. Some of these will vary slightly depending on whether you are the Principal Investigator of a project or if you are an animal handler working on your director’s project. They may also vary depending on the type of work being conducted.

  1. Obtain a UVA computing ID and password. A NetBadge ID and password will be needed to access our program features, including protocols, policies, training, and occupational health forms.

  2. Prepare an animal use protocol.

  3. Obtain approval for the use of biohazardous materials or radioisotopes, if used in your research.

  4. Complete the necessary training requirements

  5. Complete the occupational health assessment for animal handlers.


  • Contact Information Technology & Communications (ITC) to obtain your UVA computing ID and information on how to obtain NetBadge authentication. These will be required for protocols, training, occupational health assessments, animal ordering, access to vivaria, etc. 

  • Phone: Call 4-HELP (434.924.4357)


  • Federal regulations stipulate that no one may use or order animals without being on an IACUC approved protocol.

  • Our protocol system is web-based and you will need your NetBadge ID and password in order to enter.

  • The University of Virginia permits only appointed faculty members to be the Principal Investigator (PI) on a protocol. Graduate students and medical residents may be sponsored by a faculty member, but the faculty member will be the PI of record on the protocol. 

  • If you will be doing animal work under the direction of a PI, you will need to be listed as an animal handler on their protocol. You must complete all requirements and become an approved animal handler before you can start working with animals.

  • The ACUC meets once a month to review protocols. The submission deadlines are approximately 2 weeks before the meeting for existing protocols and a minimum of 3 weeks before the meeting for new protocols. Be aware of the submission deadlines. See the ACUC meeting and protocol submission deadline calendar.

  • All new protocols are required to have pre-review. Contact Dr. Sanford Feldman (shf2b@virginia.edu, 434.924.5058) or Dr. Kumari Andarawewa (ka7w@virginia.edu, 434.924.2090) to arrange for pre-review. Instructions for creating a new protocol

  • The ACUC protocol submission website is: https://researchcompliance.web.virginia.edu/acuc/


  • If you plan to use biohazardous materials or radioisotopes in live animals, you will need to get approval from the appropriate compliance committee before the ACUC will approve your animal use protocol.

  • For more information about using biohazards at UVA, see the Institutional Biosafety Committee website for further details. 

  • For more information about using radioisotopes at UVA, see the EHS Radiation Safety website for further details. 


  • You will need to complete training requirements. You may not use animals until you are on an approved protocol and you can’t be on an approved protocol without completing your training requirements.

  • Everyone is required to take the Orientation Seminar for New Animal Handlers at UVa.

  • Other required training depends on the species utilized and the procedures you will performing. 

  • To determine the training you will be required to take, see the training decision tree. Links to class schedules may be found there as well.

  • Questions about training requirements and class registration may be referred to Angie Gamble at adr8s@virginia.edu or 434.924.5752.


  • All University faculty, staff and students who have contact with vertebrate animals are required to participate in the occupational health program.

  • An initial face-to-face visit with a health care professional is required. For most individuals, a face-to-face visit will only be required once every three years, with an annual online health assessment required in the intervening two years. Certain categories of individuals at increased risk or with prolonged exposures may be required to complete a face-to-face assessment more frequently.

  • You must be listed as an animal handler on a protocol before you can have your health care assessment. This is because your specific risk profile (i.e., species exposure, biohazard risk) from the protocol is provided on the form you download and take with you to your appointment. 

  • Employees report to UVA WorkMed for their health assessments; students report to the Elson Student Health Building.

  • Additional information about the Occupational Health Program for animal handlers can be found on the ACUC website.


  • Animals from Other Institutions: If you plan on bringing or transferring animals from your home institution, be sure to contact the Director of Comparative Medicine, Dr. Sanford Feldman, well before your arrival so that proper arrangements can be made. It is likely that your animals will have to spend several weeks in quarantine, so expect delays before you can begin research. For more information, contact Dr. Sanford Feldman at shf2b@virginia.edu or 434.924.5058.

  • Access to Vivarium: This is handled by the Center for Comparative Medicine. Please contact Tim Reid at trr9r@virginia.edu or 434.924.2324. You will be required to be an approved animal handler on an approved protocol before you will be permitted access to the vivarium. Vivarium supervisors will also require you to be trained in specific procedures for their facility.

  • Animal Ordering: This is also handled by the Center for Comparative Medicine. You must be an approved animal handler on an approved protocol before you can order animals. Animal ordering is done online with a web-based system that is linked to the ACUC protocol system.

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the entire ACUC website. Lots of good information is provided that we haven’t covered in this brief introduction and we want your transition to be as smooth as possible. If you have any questions, you may always contact the ACUC Office at acuc@virginia.edu or 434.924.0405.


See also our New to UVA page for additional resources.