Facts and Questions

1. Do I need ARC approval for every behavioral test I wish to run?

Absolutely.  Every procedure involving animal subjects must be approved by the Animal Research Committee.  Occasionally, ARC representatives will check protocols and verify that the behavioral procedures have been approved.  We suggest that you always start by contacting us; we can help with the protocol amendments and associated issues.  DLAM has approved a central behavioral testing protocol for the Core facilities: UCLA BEHAVIORAL TESTING CORE, ARC#2002-130-53.  Each User protocol should reference this protocol by #, name explicitly the tests to be run, and detail the the procedures only when they differ from the approved protocol. (Our protocol is available from us on request and we have variations of protocols that can be pasted into user applications).

2.  How long does it take to get ARC approval?

Well, this depends on a number of factors.  Typically, there is about a 2-week lag between the deadline for protocol submission and the ARC meeting at which the protocol will be reviewed (see the ARC Meeting and Submission Deadlines ).  Once the protocol has been reviewed, the committee typically is very prompt in contacting the applicants.  If the ARC requires no further clarification on the protocol, it may be approved very quickly after the meeting.  If further information is required, then the approval typically is made shortly after that additional information is received.  Most importantly, the committee only meets on the dates listed on the OPRS web page.  If you happen to complete your protocol weeks ahead of the next meeting, then your waiting time will be extended.

3. What do I have to do to transfer animals into the Core facility?

The first thing to do is fill out the Animal Transfer Form (see the Forms Page).  Once the necessary signatures are collected and DLAM has approved the transfer, contact the Core and the Psychology Vivarium Manager to schedule transfer.  DLAM requires that animals be transferred with a DLAM/UCLA Van.  Please note: DLAM sometimes schedules quarantine at the facility of origin (e.g. CHS) and sometimes schedules quarantine at the destination.  If quarantine is to be fulfilled at Franz Hall, the Vivarium manager here needs at least a week to schedule sentinels.  If you schedule a transfer and then cancel after the sentinels are ordered, you will be charged for the cost of the sentinels.

4.Will I ever get to the point of actually conducting a behavioral experiment?  

YES!  All of the guidelines and qualifications can seem daunting.  However, the Core personnel have mountains of experience with the ARC, DLAM, etc.  We are more than happy to help potential users with protocols and associated forms and requirements.  We want to help you get your experiments started as quickly as possible.  Do not hesitate to contact us for help.

5. I would like to run protocol x.  I don’t see protocol x in your list of tasks.  Can you set up protocol x for me?

Maybe.  We are always willing to listen to reasonable requests for additional tasks.  It is possible that we have the equipment necessary for your task even if our protocol does not yet include the procedure.  If we do not have the equipment, space in the facility is scarce, but if there is a reasonable demand for a particular task, we will try our best to accommodate.

6. Can I house animals in the Core Vivarium Space if I am running my animals elsewhere?  

No.  Vivarium space is at a premium.  We can only house animals that are being tested in the Core facility.

Please send any questions to uclabtc@gmail.com.