Research Compliance

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is committed to promotion of the highest standards for research by ensuring both ethical and legal obligations are met. This is accomplished through consultation and educational programs for all researchers. The Environment and Occupational Health and Safety unit facilitates ILRI's research compliance programs by providing oversight and coordination of research compliance areas involving animals, human subjects, recombinant DNA, genetic modification, hazardous agents and research misconduct.

It is expected that all persons involved in research (including institutional officials, directors, principal investigators, staff, colloborators and students) clearly understand and meet their responsibilities when engaged in research activities.

ILRI is required by country and international statutory requirements to establish specific research committees to ensure the safety and welfare of research subjects, those conducting research, and others who work or study within the research environment. Accordingly, committees have been established at ILRI to oversee these specific research areas: 

  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (animal subjects)
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee (recombinant DNA, biohazards and hazardous chemicals)
  • Institutional Research Ethics Committee (human subjects)

Failure to obtain the required approval prior to the initiation of research activities or procurement of animals, and failure to conduct research activities in accordance with the approved protocol can jeopardize the ability to conduct research and receive funding.

Research compliance promotes a culture of compliance, research integrity, and high quality research within the ILRI community. This is accomplished through consultation and educational programs for all researchers.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Since 1993, International Livestock Research Insitute (ILRI) has complied voluntarily with the United Kingdom Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 that contains guidelines and codes of practice for the housing and care of animals used in scientific procedures.

The use of animals is defined as any activity involving vertebrate animals in which the natural lifestyle or movements of the animals is materially altered. Use of animal carcasses, tissues, and fluids obtained specifically for research or testing purposes are subject to review according to applicable regulations and may be determined to be 'use of animals'.

Personnel who work with animals or are at risk from animal exposure must be enrolled in a biosafety occupational health program and informed of the risks associated with the animal exposure.

The Environment and Operational Health and Safety unit supports ILRI's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, through which all principal investigators and project staff using animals, regardless of location or funding, must obtain approval before activities begin. Committee decisions and guidelines are regularly posted on the committee's website.

The committee reviews all experimental procedures and experiments on animals within ILRI.  No animal can be used for experiments without written permission from the committee. The committee considers the ethical issues and physical procedures associated with the housing, feeding, experimentation, and all other routine matters pertaining to the normal welfare of the animals.

The committee consists of five persons including a chairperson, a veterinarian, named animal care and welfare officer and a layperson. The chairperson is an ILRI senior staff member not normally involved in animal experimentation whereas the layperson is neither an ILRI staff member nor involved in ILRI research.

The Environment and Operational Health and Safety unitcoordinates the activities of the committee and acts as the secretariat. The committee meets at least twice a year, in March and September. It also meets in case of urgent matters that must be resolved before the scheduled meetings.

Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee is responsible for approval of all ILRI research (by ILRI principal investigators or research staff or a system component with a signed Memorandum of Understanding  with ILRI) that involves the use of biological agents. 

Projects using non-pathogenic biological agents or those categorized as Biosafety Level 1 only need to notify the committee. The biosafety program team reviews applications and gives feedback to applicants within five working days and notifies the committee.

Research that involves any of the agents listed below must be approved by the committee before the work starts:

  • Pathogens and potential pathogens of humans, animals, or plants
  • Materials potentially containing human pathogens (including human blood, tissue and cell lines; non-human primate blood, tissue and cell lines)
  • Recombinant DNA (and RNA), including creation or use of transgenic plants and animals
  • Any material requiring an import or export license or a permit

The committee is responsible for reviewing and approving biological research projects and oversees ILRI's biosafety program. The committee coordinates application procedures for biological research to ensure that research personnel have adequate occupational health monitoring and training in safe work practices, including how to handle emergencies and use of personal protective equipment.

As well as considering new proposed activities, the committee also reviews ongoing research for changes which would necessitate use of different procedures. The committee ensures that laboratory activities are planned and executed so that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect the health and safety of employees, visiting scientists, students and the public and to prevent damage to property and the environment. The committee carries out these functions in accordance with national and international laws. 

Institutional research ethics committee

The Institutional Research Ethics Committee is established to meet both local and international regulations for the protection of human subjects in research. Its purpose is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects recruited to participate in research activities by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Policy and guidelines of research ethics

The principles of respect for persons, beneficence and justice are accepted as critical considerations for the ethical conduct of research on human subjects.

All research projects involving human subjects must be reviewed by the committee and approved before the work can start; this applies to research by ILRI staff and collaborators, and staff on and off campus regardless of the project's source of funding. The form to be completed (Assessment of compliance with regulations and standards) is available at https://hdl.handle.net/10568/5536.

Research involving human subjects includes the collection of data about or from human subjects (including surveys) and the use of existing data (including specimens).

In case of any changes to a project after the initial approval has been granted, the committee must be notified for review and approval before implementing. Continuous review is also required at regular intervals for certain protocols.

The principal investigator and other research team members are required to complete and document appropriate training in the protection of human subjects.

The committee is also responsible for monitoring of ongoing research on human subjects to ensure compliance with national regulations and institutional policies and guidelines.