Each individual applying to work with animals or requesting access to the Lab Animal Resource Center must complete the following training and immunization requirements:

Comet Card Requirement for temporary LARC users

You will need a Comet Card to access the Lab Animal Resource Center. You will need the administrator of your program to submit a University Access Authorization Form on your behalf. You will pick up your Comet Card at the Comet Card Office, Student Service Addition (2nd floor), SSA 12.324.

Step 1: Access Requests And Online Training

Access Requests

In order for you to begin the vivarium access process, you will need to submit an access request through our lab management system, BioRAFT.

To request access:

  • Please contact Bob Willoughby so that he can add your access request for the Natural Science and Engineering Research Lab – Vivarium facility.

Your facility access request will be submitted for processing and your training requirements will be activated and available to you (see instructions below).

Online Training

Training courses are associated with the safety requirements and functions within the vivarium. Please log in to the system using your UTD NetID and password. After requesting access, you may use the direct link to complete the online training modules.

Description: These online training modules are designed to provide an understanding of animal research regulations, as well as the proper care and handling of animals in a research setting. Please follow the instructions in the system.  Upon completion of the courses, the training system will be updated automatically.

Required Modules

  • Ethics in Animal Research
  • Zoonotic Diseases
  • Working with the Laboratory Mice and/or Working with the Laboratory Rat (complete the module(s) applicable to you lab’s research – consult your faculty sponsor)

Step 2: Immunization Requirements and Participation in the Occupational Health Program

Description: UT Dallas is committed to providing a safe and productive work environment for all employees, students, and volunteers in order to remain in compliance with its Federal Assurances. As such, IACUC policy requires that individuals working with animals receive a Tetanus immunization. The immunization must not be older than 10 years, or you will have to be re-immunized.  If you have already received a Tetanus immunization, you will be asked to provide a record of the immunization.

Immunization records will be reviewed during initial enrollment in the Occupational Health Program.  UT Dallas partners with UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) as our Occupational Health provider.  Prior to obtaining access to the Vivarium, all individuals are required to enroll in the UT Dallas-UTSW Occupational Health Program.  Upon enrollment in the program, individuals will complete a Health History Questionnaire (HHQ) for review by the UTSW Occupational Health Nurse relative to working with/near laboratory animals.  UTSW will assess the working conditions that personnel will be exposed to, and determine if any additional procedures or practices are recommended to protect the health and safety of the individual.

Additional procedures or practices may include:  Titer and/or administration of immunizations, Tuberculosis (TB) screening, spirometry testing and/or respirator fit testing, vision screening, latex allergy screening, or recommendations for consultation with other supporting medical providers.  All services are provided at the UTSW Occupational Health clinic.

Instructions: Enrollment into the UT Dallas-UTSW Occupational Health Program must be completed, and authorization to work with animals granted, prior to obtaining access to the Vivarium or scheduling your Orientation session.  

Steps for enrollment and authorization:

  1. Gather your personal information pertaining to your latest vaccination dates/records.
  2. Complete the online Occupational Health Program Enrollment – Intake Form.  This form/survey will initiate your enrollment into the program.
  3. Follow instructions in an email you will receive from the UTSW Occupational Health Program to establish your secure and private “My Health” account through the ReadySet® occupational health management system.  [NOTE:  Email from the UTSW Occupational Health Program will come from UTD-OH@UTSouthwestern.edu ]
  4. Complete your online individual health assessment surveys, including the Health History Questionnaire (HHQ), through ReadySet®.
  5. Participate in any additional procedures or practices, after consultation with the Occupational Health Nurse.
  6. You will receive an email notifying you that you have been cleared or not cleared by Occupational Health for your program.
  7. Provide a copy of your “clearance to work” document(s) to the LARC Research Coordinator to proceed with facility access and scheduling your Orientation session.

Step 3: LARC/Vivarium Access Request

Please complete the following Cleanroom & LARC Access Request Form with “LARC/Vivarium” in the “Access Requested” tab. If you are unsure of who to list as your “Faculty / PI / Sponsor”, please check with your supervisor in the lab. Once you complete the form it will email the LARC Coordinator and your sponsor for their approval.

Step 4: Orientation (By Appointment Only)

Description: This training is provided by our Lab Animal Resource Center staff and is designed to acclimate the individual to the handling of animals and provide training on proper techniques.

Instructions: Steps 1-3 must be completed prior to scheduling an appointment for Orientation. Should an individual attempt to attend Orientation without an appointment, that individual will be turned away. If you have completed the requirements and would like to schedule an appointment, contact Bob Willoughby.

Techniques and items covered:

  • Vivarium tour
  • Supplies
  • First Aid
  • Policies and SOPs (i.e. needle stick policy, occupational safety, etc.)
  • Acclimation to animal handling (upon request)
  • Injections (upon request)
  • Gavaging (upon request)
  • Blood draw (upon request)