Great news came in today! My project has been approved by the IACUC review committee. I was getting pretty skeptical since we hadn’t heard anything recently and I was starting to get worried about how long we would have to wait to hear back. Then this morning we got a query about correcting a typo and I was even more worried. Were we going to have to go through correcting every typo before the protocol was finally approved? But thankfully it finally came in this afternoon. And none too early.
Logistical issues have already caused us to need to readjust the plan a few times. Nothing ever can work out quite as planned and there is a plethora of research projects out there. Each one says something just a little bit different with slight changes in methods and results. In an effort to streamline the project and eliminate animal stress (including the humans working on this project), and to make sure that this project has real benefit and applicability to society and animals, we keep reevaluating the project details. And while the animal care protocol is approved, this is only the beginning.
The animal care protocol is only for assuring the least harm to the animal and appropriate care and contingency planning for the whole project. Although it is very important to make sure that research projects responsibly minimize impact on the lives of animals, it is also very important to make sure the project has important meaning to the furthering of science. So what still remains are all of the little details. Details that include the exact percentages of feed ingredients, the exact measurements to the inches of the pens, the exact times and camera positions for observations. And again, all of this is based on the literature and findings of all the people before me. As things go on, I will try to keep you updated on the different parts that go into a simple research project.