Animal Care & Use Training

Boston University has a mandatory training program, based on federal regulations and in accordance with the University’s Personnel Training and Qualifications Policy, which requires training for all animal users to ensure that they are qualified to work with and handle animals. All animal users are required to complete this training prior to working with animals, and the IACUC will not approve animal use applications until the training has been completed.

The Boston University Medical Campus (BUMC) and the Charles River Campus (CRC) training programs are slightly different, so please complete the requirements for the campus on which you will be conducting animal research.

Medical Campus Requirements | Charles River Campus Requirements

The following trainings apply for both Medical & Charles River Campuses:
(Also see IACUC Requirements)

Aseptic Surgery Training


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

This training is a mandatory Animal Science Center (ASC) and IACUC requirement for all those listed on Survival Surgery Protocols. The trainee will learn basic animal pre-op and post-op animal monitoring skills, how to prepare animals for anesthesia, how to perform an aseptic surgical scrub of animals and learn basic supportive care of recovering surgery animals, and proper utilization of observation cage card identification system and surgery monitoring forms. Pre-registration is required for this course.

Email to Register

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor, room 826B (training room). Please pick up a pass for access to 826B from the main office at 700 Albany St., Room W707.

Audience: PIs, research staff, post-docs, medical students, dental students, graduate students, and undergraduates performing survival surgery.

Duration: 1.5 hours

When Offered: Check the Animal Care calendar for upcoming offerings.

Teaching Medium: PowerPoint presentation, handout.

Prerequisite: Must complete online courses prior to lab: Aseptic Technique for Rodent Survival Surgery in RIMS (IACUC Refresher section, select “Take Course”; select Animal Care and Use Courses/BU Tracks).


Health Monitoring in Rodents


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

Pictorial information on recognizing normal animal to recognizing pain and distress and common health issues/signs in rodents and ASC health reporting system.

Email to Register

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor, room 826B (training room). Please pick up a pass for access to 826B from the main office at 700 Albany St., Room W707

Audience: PIs, research staff, animal care technicians, and vet techs

Duration: 30 minutes

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Lecture PowerPoint (Login to Review)

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training


Herpes B Virus/Working Safely with Non-Human Primates & other Zoonoses


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

This training is a mandatory requirement by ASC and IBC. This class is required for all Animal Care & Research personnel working directly with non-human primates and/or non-human primate tissues. Lecture covers what is the Herpes B virus, background history, PPE requirement, safe work practices, zoonosis of the virus, transmission, plan of action in case of a exposure, and safety considerations.

Email to Register

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor, room 826B (training room). Please pick up a pass for access to 826B from the main office at 700 Albany St., Room W707

Audience: Research staff and animal care personnel working directly with non-human primates and/or non-human primate tissues

Duration: 1 hour

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Lecture + tour of bite/exposure kits

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, EHS lab safety training

Registration Contact: David Cawston, BUASC training specialist


Rodent Estrus Detection & Weaning


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

Information on rodent estrus cycle, plug detection, sexing, and weaning of pups.

Email to Register

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor, room 826B (training room). Please pick up a pass for access to 826B from the main office at 700 Albany St., Room W707

Audience: PIs, research staff, animal care staff, and vet techs

Duration: 1 hour

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Lecture PowerPoint (Login to Review)

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training


Genotyping & Rodent Identification


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

This class teaches techniques to perform safe, sterile, and humane ear punch and tail snip procedures for genotyping purposes.

Email to Register

Location: CABR Building, 700 Albany Street, W902

Audience: PIs, research staff, animal care technicians, and vet techs

Duration: 30 minutes

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Lecture PowerPoint (Login to Review)

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training


Rodent Anesthesia & Equipment Operation


Training applies for both BUMC and CRC.

This class provides guidance to set up and safely use the Rodent Inhalant Anesthesia Machine, along with determining the correct vaporizer setting for induction and maintenance.

Email to Register

Location: CABR Building, 700 Albany Street, W902

Audience: PIs, research staff, LASC animal care staff, and vet techs utilizing rodent anesthesia machines

Duration: 30 minutes

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Lecture PowerPoint (Login to Review) and hands-on demonstration

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training


Medical Campus: Laboratory Animal Science Center

670 Barrier Tours

This class and tour are ONLY for research and animal care personnel housing rodents in the 670 Albany barrier facility and requiring access. Training includes barrier orientation, PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Email to Register

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor

Audience: Only for research personnel and ASC staff working and housing animals in the 670 Albany barrier facility

Duration: 2 hours

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Individual interaction + tour

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training

Registration Contact: Patrick Gagnon, 670 Operational Manager


ABSL-2 Orientation & Tour

This orientation and tour are ONLY for those needing access to ABSL-2 rodent rooms (W-834, W-839). The orientation will cover PPE requirements, entry/exit procedure, decontamination, and ABSL-2 procedures. Preregistration is required.

Register Now

Location: CABR Building, 700 Albany Street, W8

Audience: Research staff and ASC animal care staff needing access to ABSL-2 rooms (W-834, W-839)

Duration: 1 hour

When Offered: As needed

Teaching Medium: Individual interaction + tour

Prerequisite: Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance and respirator clearance, IACUC Orientation training, New Researcher Orientation (NRO), EHS lab safety training, N-95 respirator fitting


New Researcher Orientation (NRO) & Tours

Training applies for BUMC only.

ASC facility orientation is one of our mandatory training requirements for those working with animals. The training covers all aspects of the ASC animal facility, including background history, policies and guidelines, restricted activities, PPE requirements, traffic flow information, disease transmission, training classes, and services available. This orientation is followed by tours of the facility by our supervisors in which they will demonstrate correct PPE requirements, entry/exit procedure, and decontamination procedures. Preregistration is required.

Register Now

Location: 670 Albany Street, 8th floor, room 826B (training room). Please pick up a pass for access to 826B from the main office at 700 Albany St., room W707.

Audience: All research and LASC animal care personnel working with animals and needing access to LASC animal facility

Duration: 1-hour lecture presentation, 30-minute facility tour of W7, W8, W9, M9, or R8 building, depending on where your animals will be housed. Facility tours will usually be scheduled immediately following the lecture presentation.

When Offered: Check the Animal Care calendar for upcoming offerings.

Teaching Medium: Lecture PowerPoint + tour of building/floors

Prerequisite: None


M-9 (Rodent-Mouse/Rat) Facility Tour

Facility tour is for research and animal care personnel housing rodents in the M-9 animal facility and requiring access. This tour includes training on PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

R-8 (Rodent-Rat) Facility Tour

Facility tour is for research and animal care personnel housing rodents in the R-8 animal facility and requiring access. This tour includes training on PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

W-6 Aquatic Facility Orientation & Tour

This class and tour are ONLY for research and animal care personnel housing animals in the W-6 Aquatic facility and requiring access. Training includes PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

W-7 (Large Animal-USDA Species) Facility Tour

Facility tour is for research and animal care personnel housing large animals or USDA-covered species in the W-7 animal facility and requiring access. This tour includes training on PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

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W-8 (Rodent-Mouse/Rat, Cat) Facility Tour

Facility tour is for research and animal care personnel housing animals in the W-8 animal facility and requiring access. This tour includes training on PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

W-9 Barrier (Rodent-Mouse) Facility Tour

Facility tour is for research and animal care personnel housing animals in the W-9 conventional animal facility and requiring access. This tour includes training on PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

W-9 Rodent Barrier Housing Orientation & Tour

This class and tour are ONLY for research and animal care personnel housing rodents in the W-9 barrier facility and requiring access. Training includes barrier orientation, PPE requirements, entry/exit procedures, and decontamination procedures.

Register Now

Charles River Campus: Laboratory Animal Care Facility

Charles River Campus Facility Tour

ABSL-2 Training & Tour


Training applies for Charles River Campus only.

This is an orientation to the methods used to handle animals in the LACF under ABSL-2 condition. It includes how cages should be handled and what needs to be done for PPE, and for disposal/cleaning of materials used.

Email to Register

Location: LACF Assistant Manger’s Office

Audience: Those using animals under ABSL-2 conditions. This can be anyone from an undergraduate to a principle investigator.

Duration: 30 minutes

When Offered: Tuesday through Thursday. Day and time to be arranged with the provider.

Teaching Medium: Computer (AALAS website) & individual interaction

Prerequisite: Orientation to the LACF as a general user, the AALAS training classes (under Animal Care & Use section), free courses (Working with the IACUC, Introduction to Research Animal Methodology), Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, EHS lab safety training


Orientation to Use of LACF: Aquatic & Main Facility

This orientation is required for anyone using the CRC’s Laboratory Animal Care Facility (LACF), which houses live animals on the Charles River Campus. This course will highlight the basics of PPE for the facility being used, operations, special requests, and any particular needs of the research group’s animals.

Fill out the Security Access Application Form and provide the completed form at the beginning of your orientation.

Email to Register

Location: LACF Assistant Manager’s Office

Audience: Ranges from PI’s, post-docs, graduate students, some undergrads, visiting PI’s

Duration: 30 minutes

When Offered: Tuesday through Thursday. Day and time to be arranged with the provider.

Teaching Medium: Computer (AALAS website) & individual interaction

Prerequisite: AALAS training classes: Working with the IACUC and Introduction to Research Animal Methodologies


Research Procedures, Technical Skills & Euthanasia


Training applies for Charles River Campus only

This class offers guidance on safe and humane rodent-handling techniques, including picking up the animal, restraint, blood collection, performing injections, and euthanasia. Specific components and techniques included in each training are tailored to the individual trainee and research needs.

Email to Register

Location: LACF Assistant Manger’s Office

Audience: Those needing either to brush up on their current hands-on animal skills or to learn new animal skills. This can be anyone from an undergraduate to a principle investigator.

Duration: One to three hands-on sessions, each about 15 to 30 minutes

When Offered: Scheduled via email, with the day and time to be arranged with the provider

Teaching Medium: Online training classes and hands-on training.

Prerequisite: Orientation to the LACF; AALAS training classes (under the Animal Care & Use section), free courses (Working with the IACUC, Introduction to Research Animal Methodology), Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, EHS lab safety training


Species-Specific Skills as Requested


Training applies for Charles River Campus only

These are hands-on sessions where we provide training in whatever process the person wants to learn for the particular animal species they are going to be using in their protocols. We train with the aim of the person becoming competent in the skill so that the procedure is being done humanely and so that they and the animal are comfortable and not stressed out in the process.

Email to Register

Location: LACF Assistant Manger’s Office

Audience: Those needing either to brush up on their current hands-on species specific skills or to learn new species-specific skills. This can be anyone from an undergraduate to a principle investigator.

Duration: One to three hands-on sessions, each about 15 to 30 minutes

When Offered: Scheduled via email, with the day and time to be arranged with the provider

Teaching Medium: Online classes and hands-on training.

Prerequisite: Orientation to the LACF; AALAS training classes (under Animal Care & Use section), free courses (Working with the IACUC, Introduction to Research Animal Methodology), Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) clearance, EHS lab safety training


AALAS Learning Library

All individuals working with laboratory animals at Boston University have access to an online learning library through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). It can be accessed via RIMS, under the IACUC Refresher Training.