- Who should I contact if I'm having trouble using RATS?
If you are having trouble using the RATS program, please contact the ARC administrative office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-206-6308.
- How do I get access to RATS?
All PI's of active protocols have been set up as "users" of our system. We use the UCLA Logon ID (formerly known as a Bruin Online ID) and password as our authentication mechanism, so you must also get an account with them and use them to log in to RATS. (Go to http://logon.ucla.edu for more information on obtaining a BOL account. If you have a "email@example.com" email address, then you already have a UCLA Logon account.)
If you have never been a PI of a protocol in the past, you will need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can set you up as a user. In the email, please list your full name, department, degree, nine-digit University ID number, email address and a note stating that you need RATS access.
- Why does every user and person in RATS need a UID?
Every person entered into our system needs a UID (a 9 digit number) since it is the sole identifier used for people throughout UCLA. If you are an employee of the university, your UID is your UCLA Employee ID. If you are a student, your UID is your UCLA Student ID.
We exchange data with other groups on campus, so we need a single identifier to accurately match information in all systems.
- What if one of my employees is not affiliated with UCLA and doesn't have a UID?
If a person listed on your protocol does not have a UID, you need to contact the ARC administrative office at 310-206-6308 or email@example.com and ask that this person be entered into RATS for you. Two examples of people who do not have UIDs are investigators from another university and personnel that are not UCLA students, faculty or staff. If this person is affiliated with UCLA and you just don't know their UID, please contact that person or someone in your department who can look it up.
- Can I let other people fill out my protocols?
Yes, you can allow other RATS users to view and/or edit your protocols. After you log in to RATS, simply pull up one of your protocols and you'll see a link named "User Access Rights" at the bottom of the left menu. After clicking on the link, you can choose to give the user "read-only" or "full" access to your protocol.
- If you give read-only access to a protocol, that user can pull up and view that protocol, but cannot edit any section.
- If you give the user full-access to a protocol, that user can read the protocol, edit and delete sections within the protocol, and even create Amendments, Continuations, and Renewals for the protocol. However, only the PI of the protocol can submit the protocol to the ARC.
Protocol Specific Answers
- Do I need to fill out all sections of a protocol?
No, you do not need to fill out all sections of the protocol as some sections may not be applicable to your research. The RATS application uses smartform technology to only create sections relevant to the activities you identify in the Research Summary section of the protocol. If you encounter a question or section that is not applicable, you may simply leave those questions or sections blank.
- I need to submit an amendment, continuation, or a renewal for my currently approved protocol. What do I need to fill out?
When you log in to RATS to submit Amendment and Continuation applications, please only enter data or information that represents changes to your originally approved protocol. More specifically, please only make additions to amendment and continuation applications; do not remove completed experiments and/or “used” animals until the 3-year renewal. For a 3-year Renewal to an existing protocol, we require that you bring the protocol up to date by revising all applicable sections to describe all experiments planned for the next 3-year period. Old or outdated information, as well as information pertaining to studies that are already completed, should be removed at this time.
- How do I know when I can expect an approval?
The approval process takes a variable amount of time depending on many factors. The status of the protocol will change over time and you can use RATS to follow the protocol as it makes its way through the approval process. The following is a typical scenario you might expect.
- Creating a New Protocol:
When you create a protocol, the status will be DRAFT. You can then take as long as you need to fill out the sections of the protocol. You may log out of RATS and log back in at a later time and your DRAFT protocol will be there as you left it.
- Veterinary Consultation:
Federal regulations require that the attending veterinarian or his/her designee be consulted when planning studies that may cause more than momentary of slight pain or distress to the animals. Veterinarian consultation is also required when planning research or procedural changes that may result in more than momentary or slight pain or distress to animals. Generally, the veterinary consultation is performed via the Pre-Committee Review process; however, you may also contact a DLAM Veterinarian to schedule a consultation.
- Submitting your Protocol for Pre-Committee Review:
The majority of the protocols must receive a Pre-Committee Review. When you are ready, simply click on the menu item (at the bottom left under "Actions") that says "Submit for Pre-Review". The protocol status will change to PRE_REVIEW and you will be locked out from making any changes. A DLAM veterinarian and/or ARC administrative staff member will review your protocol and provide written comments in the Pre-Review section. When the Pre-Review is complete, you will receive an automatically-generated notification email; the protocol will then be returned to you and the status will be PRE_REVIEW_COMPLETE. The protocol will be unlocked and you can now make any necessary changes.
- Submitting your Protocol to the ARC:
After you have addressed the Pre-Committee Review comments in the Response and Pre-Review section and made the corresponding changes to your protocol, you may submit it to the ARC. Click on the "Submit to ARC" menu item. At this time, you may see error messages informing you that something is wrong with the protocol. You must fix these errors before you can submit your application to the ARC. If the protocol does not contain any errors, you will need to click another button to submit the application. Once submitted, the protocol status will change to SUBMITTED and you will be locked out from making any changes.
When the ARC receives your submission, an administrative review will be performed to ensure completeness of your protocol. If there are any problems with the protocol that may preclude review, the ARC administrative staff will return the application to you and the status will be RETURNED_TO_PI. The protocol will be unlocked and you can make any necessary changes before re-submitting it to the ARC.
When your application is logged, you will receive a Receipt of Application indicating the protocol number, and possibly an MHQ Notice or Certification Notice. The status of the protocol will be listed as REVIEWING. This is the start of the review/approval process.
- The Reviewing State:
The amount of time your protocol will be in the REVIEWING state is dependent upon a number of things, including your actions as the PI. The first thing to consider is the deadline for the committee meetings. Check out the ARC's meeting calendar (http://ora.research.ucla.edu/rsawa/arc/Pages/calendar.aspx) for the review deadlines. In order for your protocol to be reviewed on a specific meeting date, it must be SUBMITTED to the ARC on or before the submission deadline, generally 10 days prior to the review date. The ARC will generate approval notices for those protocols not requiring further information as soon as possible upon completion of review.
For submissions requiring additional information prior to approval, correspondence is typically generated within one week of committee review. The order in which correspondence is prepared depends upon when the application was submitted and the expiration date of renewal and continuation applications. Thus, if the application is submitted at the last minute, it may be the last correspondence to be composed. Designated members will review investigators responses unless full committee review of the response has been requested. Upon receipt of satisfactory responses from the investigator and barring further questions from the Committee, approvals may be issued within one week after receipt of the investigator's response.
Currently, amendments requesting changes in funding, project title, locations, and/or personnel (other than Principal Investigator) with NO other changes (e.g., number of animals, experimental procedures, method of euthanasia) are reviewed administratively. Approval notices can usually be generated within a couple days of submission, assuming that all animal user certifications are current.
Please note that IACUC (ARC) approval may be required prior to review of funding proposals. Therefore, concurrent submission of both the ARC application and the funding proposal is strongly encouraged to ensure peer review of your proposal. Note that administrative approval is not granted for funding amendments; all animal activities detailed in a grant proposal or contract must be described within the protocol.
Federal requirements prohibit the extension of approval periods without a corresponding Committee review and do not allow provisional approval in the absence of protocol review.
- Protocol Approval:
You will be notified by email of your APPROVAL. DLAM will also be automatically notified.
Will I be notified of the expiration, continuation, and renewal dates?
You will be notified via email when certain events happen. These events include receipt of your application, approvals, expirations, closures, and other correspondence.
What if my funding agency isn't listed on the dropdown in the Proposals section?
Contact the ARC administrative office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine how to have a new agency added to the master list.