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  Home > Graduate Programs and Degrees Offered > Comparative and Molecular Biosciences > Courses and Seminars > CMB/VMED 8134


Ethical Conduct of Animal Research

Credits: 2 credits
Grading: A-F or S/N
Prerequisites: None

Course Coordinator: Dr. Mark Rutherford, VBS Department;

Course Description: This is a team-taught course in which the ethical considerations in the use of animal subjects in agricultural, veterinary, and biomedical research will be addressed.  Students will become familiarized with federal, state, and University guidelines relating to proper conduct for acquisition and use of animals for laboratory, observational, epidemiological, and clinical research.  Increasing awareness of ethical guidelines, rules, and regulations related to the practice of research involving animal subjects will provide core competencies in responsible conduct of animal research that improves behavior and ethical decision making.

Statement of Objectives: The major objectives for this course are designed to meet federal requirements for training in ethical scientific conduct, particularly as it pertains to use of animal subjects.  This course provides 1) a framework for understanding the ethical pros and cons for the use of nonhuman animals in research; 2) information about resources and regulations regarding the care and use of nonhuman animals; 3) theoretical bases and practical experiences with regard to the purpose and function of regulatory and oversight bodies; and 4) awareness of issues related to biomedical, clinical, and agricultural research.

Course Assignments: Students will work in groups on weekly case reports that address topics in the use of animals in research.  Brief reports are submitted.  Each group will also prepare one oral case presentation per semester and lead class discussion.

Evaluation Procedures: Students will be familiar with the regulations, conventions, and accepted practices regarding the use of animals in research, understand the range of societal views regarding the use of animals in research, and understand the elements of the research protocol that serve as the basis for committee members' decisions regarding acceptability and be able to complete an IACUC protocol form so as to adequately convey the rationale and methodology of the research for IACUC review.  Course grades are based on weekly case reports and independent assignments, participation as a committee member evaluating animal use applications, and completion of an animal use protocol application.  Approximate letter grades are A = 100-90%, B = 89-80%, C = 79-70%, D = 70-65%, F < 65%.

Text and Reference Materials: "Ethics, Animals and Science" by Kevin Dolan, Blackwell Science and selected readings as determined by the instructors.

Supplementary Information: Required of all CMB and VMED degree candidates unless waived by the Program Advisory Committee. Credit toward CMB and VMED degree requirements is granted only for A-F grading.

Scholastic Dishonesty and Plagiarism:
Students are responsible for knowing the University of Minnesota, Board of Regents' policy on student conduct and scholastic dishonesty:
Scholastic dishonesty as defined in the policy and will be reported to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs: and will result in a grade of "F" or "N" for the entire course.  Plagiarism is an important element of this policy.  It is defined as the presentation of another's writing or ideas as your own.  Serious, intentional plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" or "N" for the entire course.  For more information on this policy and for a helpful discussion of preventing plagiarism, please consult University policies and procedures regarding academic integrity: Students are urged to be careful that they properly attribute and cite others' work in their own writing.  For guidelines for correctly citing sources, go to and click on “Citing Sources”.  In addition, original work is expected in this course.  It is unacceptable to hand in assignments for this course for which you receive credit in another course unless by prior agreement with the instructor.  Building on a line of work begun in another course or leading to a thesis, dissertation, or final project is acceptable.  If you have any questions, consult the instructor.

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