On April 16, 2020, NIH and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a new agreement to ensure consistent and effective oversight of the welfare of animals used in NASA-funded activities. The agreement provides a framework to enhance communication and harmonize the agencies’ efforts while reducing regulatory burden to supported institutions. According to this agreement, institutions receiving NASA funding will need to:
- include NASA-supported activities with live vertebrate animals as covered activities in their PHS Animal Welfare Assurance (Assurance), and
- promptly report situations involving NASA-supported animal activities to the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) as required by PHS Policy.
If your institution receives NASA support for animal activities, and already has a PHS Assurance (a requirement of all NIH grantee institutions conducting research with animals):
- Do not submit a new Assurance.
- In your 2020 annual report to OLAW, indicate that you have a program change and attach an update to your Assurance Part I. Applicability section so that it reads: Applicability of Assurance – “This Assurance applies whenever this Institution conducts the following activities: all research, research training, experimentation, biological testing, and related activities involving live vertebrate animals supported by the PHS, NSF, HHS and NASA. This Assurance covers only those facilities and components listed below.”
If your institution receives NASA support for animal activities and does not have PHS Assurance:
- NASA will notify OLAW that a PHS Assurance is needed. Then OLAW will contact your institution to negotiate an Assurance.
For more information on laboratory animal welfare, please visit the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare website.