2013 Webinar: Ethics, Scientific Merit Review, and Harm Benefit Analysis in Animal Research

Webinar Archives - Members  Webinar Archives - Non-Members


Conducting research with animals is essential to the advancement of knowledge related to human health, animal health, and other areas that benefit society. The institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) is the society’s gatekeeper charged with ensuring that research involving animals is both ethically and scientifically justified.

The 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals emphasizes the IACUC’s obligation “to weigh the objectives of the study against the potential animal welfare concerns.” Although the concept that concerns about animal well-being must be balanced with the value of the research is not new, there is increased emphasis on ensuring ethical treatment of animals in research in the new Guide. The NIH adopted the 8th Edition of the Guide effective January 1, 2012, and as of December 31, 2012, all relevant institutions were required to have in place a plan and schedule for implementing the revised Guide. This webinar discussed implications of provisions of the 8th edition of the Guide around scientific merit review and harm-benefit analysis.

More specifically, during this webinar, the faculty:

  • Defined key terms, including “scientific merit,” and provide an overview of ethical principles applicable to animal research
  • Described harm-benefit analysis in animal research and discuss how to apply ethical principles to that analysis
  • Articulated the responsibility of the IACUC for scientific merit review, and distinguish it from the role of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Explored opposing ethical viewpoints related to animal research
  • Explained how the IACUC conducts scientific merit reviews in accordance with the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy, the 8th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, and Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations


This intermediate-level webinar was of interest to IACUC chairs, members, and staff who review protocols, as well as investigators, laboratory animal veterinarians, and animal care staff.


Jerry Collins, PhD
Jerry Collins is a professor of anesthesiology at the Yale School of Medicine and former chair of the Yale institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). He recently served in the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) in the division of policy and education through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program. Prior to chairing the Yale IACUC, Dr. Collins worked with local, state, and national organizations to improve scientific literacy among high school students. During that time he was the Yale University spokesperson on the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing. Dr. Collins developed and served as the first chair of the Society for Neuroscience Committee on Neuroscience Literacy and worked closely with the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) in efforts to educate the public about the importance of animals in the research process. Dr. Collins served on the Board of Directors of Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW) and NABR. He also served as a member of the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International Council on Accreditation.

Ernest D. Prentice, PhD
Ernest D. Prentice is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Institutional Official for the Animal Care and Use Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  In addition to his scholarly work in the fields of anatomy and medical education, Dr. Prentice is a frequent contributor to the literature on the ethics and regulation of both human and animal research, and he is a frequent speaker at meetings on various aspects of research ethics.  He regularly serves as a faculty member for PRIM&R IRB 101/250 courses and IACUC 101/201 courses, which are held at universities across the U.S.

Dr. Prentice is President of the Board of Trustees for the Scientist Center for Animal Welfare and Chair of the CITI Executive Advisory Committee.  In 2003, Dr. Prentice was awarded the Harry C. Roswell Award for his contributions to the enhancement of laboratory animal welfare, and in 2005, Dr. Prentice received the Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA) Distinguished Service Award.  In 2006, the HHS Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) presented Dr. Prentice with a medallion for Outstanding Achievement in Human Subject Protections.

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of Attendance for the Ethics, Scientific Merit Review, and Harm-Benefit Analysis in Animal Research webinar will be made available at the conclusion of the webinar.  To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

Continuing Education (CE) Credit for CPIA® Recertification
Webinar participants holding the CPIA credential who wish to apply credits from Ethics, Scientific Merit Review, and Harm-Benefit Analysis in Animal Research toward CPIA recertification may submit a Certificate of Attendance as documentation of participation. Participation in this 90-minute webinar counts as 1.5 CE credit hours.

For more information about CPIA recertification, please consult the CPIA Recertification Guidelines.