Nonaffiliated member: The nonaffiliated member is intended to represent general community interests. An informed nonaffiliated member can bring significant value to the committee by bringing a non-institutional perspec-tive to the research endeavor. This member has equal status to every other committee member and should be provided the opportunity to parti-cipate in all aspects of IACUC functions.
While in the majority of instances effective nonaffiliated members may be willing to serve without reimbursement, in other instances remuneration for expenses or compensation for time may allow for participation by effective individuals that would not otherwise be possible. OLAW and USDA main-tain that nominal compensation is permissible without jeopardizing a member’s non-affiliated status, if it is only in conjunction with service on the IACUC and if the amount of compensation is not so substantial that it could be considered to influence voting on the IACUC.
Scientist and nonscientist: PHSPolicy requires that the IACUC include a practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals, and a member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area. Examples of the latter include, but are not limited to, ethicist, lawyer, member of the clergy, and librarian.
Institutions should consider persons with expertise in the disciplines involved in institutional research and teaching programs for service on their IACUCs. In addition to the required categories of membership, it is suggested that individuals with expertise in specific areas pertinent to protocol review and program oversight be considered (e.g. statisticians, occupational health experts, information resource specialists, animal health technicians, and scientific research staff).
There is no requirement that any particular member or category of members be present at all IACUC meetings. However, an institution must have a properly constituted IACUC in order for the IACUC to conduct valid
official business. Many institutions have found that appointing more than the minimum number of members who meet the respective criteria obvi-ates problems when an unexpected vacancy occurs, and can help the committee meet the quorum requirements necessary for certain official committee actions.
One Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine who has direct or delegated program authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution.
At least one Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal science and medicine, and who has direct or delegated program responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution.
One practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals.
One member whose primary concerns are in a nonscientific area (for example, ethicist, lawyer, clergy).
One member not affiliated in any way with the institution and not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution.
The PHSPolicy requires institutions to follow the Guide, which states that committee membership should include at least one public member to represent general community interests in proper care and use of animals, and that public members should not be laboratory animal users.
One member not affiliated in any way with the institution and not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution; person who represents the general community interests in the proper care and treatment of animals; and is not a laboratory animal user (USDA Policy # 15)
Not more than three members from the same administrative unit of the institution.
Alternate members may be appointed to the IACUC as long as they are appointed by the CEO or other official with authority to appoint members, and there is a specific one-to-one designation of IACUC members and alternates. An IACUC member and his/her alternate may not count toward a quorum at the same time or act in an official member capacity at the same time. Alternates should receive training similar or identical to the training provided to regular IACUC members.
Conflict of Interest
Both the AWRs and PHSPolicy state that no IACUC member "may par-ticipate in the IACUC review or approval of an activity in which that member has a conflicting interest, (e.g. is personally involved in the activity) except to provide information requested by the IACUC."
If the investigator submitting a protocol believes that an IACUC member has a potential conflict, the investigator may request that the member be excluded. When a member has a conflict of interest, the member should notify the IACUC Chair and may not participate in the IACUC review or approval except to provide information. Members who have a conflict of interest may not be counted toward a quorum and may not vote.
Other possible examples of conflict of interest include cases where:
a member is involved in a potentially competing research program;
access to funding or intellectual information may provide an unfair
competitive advantage; or
a member's personal biases may interfere with his or her impartial
Quorum Requirements Certain official IACUC actions require a quorum: full committee review of a research project (Policy IV.C.2. and AWR §2.31(d)(2)) and suspension of an activity (Policy IV.C.6. and AWR §2.31(d)(6)). "Quorum" is defined as a majority (>50%) of the voting members of the IACUC. Therefore, a protocol is approved only if a quorum is present, and if more than 50% of the quorum votes in favor. PHSPolicy and AWRs require that in order to
suspend an activity, the IACUC must review the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and the suspension must be approved by a majority vote of the quorum present.
For reasons other than conflict of interest, abstentions from voting do not alter the quorum or change the number of votes required. For example: If an IACUC has 20 voting members, at least 11 members must be present at a convened meeting to constitute a quorum and approval of a protocol would require a minimum of six votes whether or not there were abstentions.
The requirements of the PHSPolicy and AWRs take precedence even though they may differ from some commonly used parliamentary proce-dures. Institutions may develop their own meeting procedures as long as the procedures do not contradict or are not inconsistent with the require-ments of the PHSPolicy or the AWRs.