Scientific Liaisons (SL)

Scientific Liaisons

The University‘s Scientific Liaison program helps researchers stay abreast of regulatory requirements and assists them in maintaining approval for all aspects of their animal studies. The program is designed to be a collegial and supportive resource for the research and teaching community.

As part of the Office of Animal Welfare (OAW), the Scientific Liaison operates by developing working relationships with PIs and their staff, including meeting each protocol PI twice a year. These meetings are distinct from the IACUC semiannual facility inspections. During the meeting, they’ll meet with the PI and their staff to review their protocol(s) and facilities, listen to any issues or concerns they may have, and recommend changes or make suggestions for improvement. The meeting is not intended to be an “inspection”, but rather an opportunity to facilitate researchers on-going and future needs. For example, if during discussion it is determined that a Significant Change is needed soon, the Scientific Liaison can assist the PI with the details that the IACUC will need, and advise them on timing related to IACUC review and approval.

Between meetings, PIs and their staff are encouraged to contact their Scientific Liaison with questions or problems related to animal use. They can help with protocol changes, form submission, and pre-review of new or renewal protocols. The Scientific Liaison is also a source of information on changes to laws, regulations, policies, training requirements, etc – in short, your resource for all things animal research!

Please contact the Scientific Liaison program with questions or to schedule a meeting:
 OAW-SLsend@uw.edu


Post-Approval Monitoring Program FAQ
What is a Scientific Liaison?


A group who helps to ensure animal research activities are consistent with the protocols and policies approved by the IACUC.

Why do we have a Post-Approval Monitoring Program?

Scientific Liaisons offer an opportunity for communication, education, and relationship development between the research groups and the IACUC to ensure that procedures and practices associated with approved animal use protocols are in compliance and facilities meet required regulations and standards.

Why is the program important to my lab?


• Serves as an opportunity for constructive interaction and education for the research staff.
• Provides an ongoing mechanism for ensuring compliance with applicable animal care and use policies, guidelines and laws.
• Helps research groups prepare for facility inspections by the IACUC.
• Helps the institution’s animal use program prepare for visits by outside evaluators, such as USDA inspectors, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) staff, and Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC, Intl) site visitors.

What’s the difference between meeting with my Scientific Liaison and the IACUC?

The IACUC is responsible for the oversight and evaluation of the entire Animal Care and Use Program including review and approval of proposed animal use. Once a protocol is approved, the Scientific Liaison helps to ensure the research being conducted mirrors what was approved by the IACUC.

What can we expect at a Scientific Liaison meeting?

A Scientific Liaison meeting involves an in-person meeting between the assigned Scientific Liaison and the protocol PI (and their staff, if at all possible). Meetings are informal and typically last 45-60 minutes. During the meeting, the Scientific Liaison will gather information about the work related to the animal use protocol(s), share updates on animal use policies and guidelines, as well as address any questions or concerns about animal use and its oversight that the PI might have. After the meeting, they will send the group a check sheet summarizing their findings and, if needed, help the group resolve any issues.
Specific objectives for the Scientific Liaison meeting are:
• To cooperatively compare the approved procedures and the day-to-day research activities.
• To communicate to the researchers any changes in state, Public Health Service (PHS) and USDA requirements, as well as IACUC policies.
• To facilitate communication between the IACUC and researchers.

Who should attend meetings with the Scientific Liaison?

The protocol PI and research staff.

How often do we meet with the Scientific Liaison?


Generally, each protocol PI is visited twice yearly, preferably in advance of the IACUC semiannual facility inspections. If desired, more frequent or impromptu meetings can be scheduled at the request of the research group or advisor.

In which UW department does the Post-Approval Monitoring Program reside?

Office of Animal Welfare (OAW).