5 Tips You Should Know When Responding to Requests for Additional information from Your IACUC Board
After completing a long and tedious IACUC protocol, requests for additional information can be a PI or Lab Manager's nightmare.
However, if dealt with properly, these requests need not linger.
Adhere to These Five Tips for a More Effective Response Strategy
1) Minimize Extraneous Information
Rather than confuse the committee with technical jargon, try to keep your response simple and to the point. Irrelevant information that does not pertain to the question being asked only adds unnecessary bulk and may create additional problems.
2) Respond to All Reviewer Comments and Questions
Even if you disagree with a reviewer’s comment, still respond to it and try your best to help the reviewer to understand. Remember, not all members of the committee will be familiar with your field and language. In fact, by law, at least one member of the board must be a non-scientist. Ultimately, disregarding a question will only delay your approval.
3) Consult with Administration and Legal Counsel if You’re Unsure How to Respond
Are you required to obtain the records? If neither you nor your university has the records, you may need to determine whether you are obligated to obtain them. This is an area where laws may vary, so be certain of the obligations in your particular case. There may also be restrictions on the requested information. If some of the information is protected from disclosure, then disclosure may violate obligations concerning confidentiality.
4) Use Lab Management Software
Responding to requests for details of unexpected outcomes and observations can be delayed if the information is distributed among your lab mates’ paper notebooks or saved in their desktop computers. Using centralized data storage for your animal information is a step in the right direction. Adopting a lab management software solution, such as Climb, gives everyone in the lab access to the critical colony and experiment data whenever and wherever it is needed.
5) Be Nice and Courteous
Understand that the IACUC is there to work with you! IACUC committees strive to help research advance while also ensuring compliance with federal regulations and institutional policies. You will find it easier to persuade members with polite and courteous responses than with sharp or rude remarks.
Curious about lab and data management can make your life easier. Schedule a free consultation to see how a system like Climb can make IACUC protocols a breeze!