NSW legislation stipulates that where parts of a project take place at different institutions, each Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) must be cognisant of all aspects of the project, and must ensure that any cumulative impact of procedures on animals is considered. Procedures must be in place to ensure that:
- animals will be well cared for in all phases of the project
- the responsible AECs are in a position to inspect the animals during all phases of the project
- before any work commences each AEC approves, or delegates approval of, scientific and teaching activities being conducted by members of its institution
- clear communication channels are established between all involved ACECs and investigators and teachers; and
- such arrangements between institutions should be as a formal agreement that ensures that all parties involved are aware of and can meet their respective responsibilities under the requirements of the Code and relevant legislation.
The NSW Animal Research Review Panel has also developed guidelines for collaborative research.
If your research involves collaboration with colleagues at another institution, the additional documentation required by the ACEC with respect to this work will vary with the particular situation. In most cases, you will be required to provide a copy of the application submitted by your collaborator to their institutional AEC and a copy of the approval from that AEC. The University of Newcastle ACEC will contact other relevant AECs directly as necessary. In some cases, a formal agreement between the University of Newcastle ACEC and other relevant AECs may be necessary. This agreement may include acceptance by all relevant AECs of a single application form to facilitate submission of an application to each relevant AEC.
To ensure that the process of ACEC approval is facilitated, you should seek advice from the ACEC well BEFORE you plan to commence collaborative research so that the processes can be streamlined as much as possible. For further information, please contact the Animal Welfare Officer.