Research Support & Training

Personnel who work with research animals are responsible for ensuring their health and welfare. Research animals must be treated with respect and dignity, and personnel may only use experimental techniques and other procedures that have been approved for their IACUC protocol. Staff and students working in animal facilities are also expected to follow facility security and disease prevention instructions, clean up after themselves and dispose of waste appropriately. ARP staff are available to assist if there are questions about appropriate procedures.

Although Animal Resource Program (ARP) staff observe all animals daily and report animal health concerns to the ARP veterinary technician or attending veterinarian, research personnel must monitor and observe their research animals as often as needed to comply with humane endpoints and ensure animal health and welfare. Animals with unexpected illness or injury must be reported to the ARP veterinary staff. ARP personnel who find sick or injured animals will place a health alert card on the cage cardholder indicating that a sick animal report has been filed with the attending veterinarian. The veterinary technician and/or veterinarian will examine the animal(s) and initiate a medical record for that animal. A reasonable attempt will be made to contact the investigator before medical treatment is started or euthanasia performed.

Investigators must make arrangements for alternative contacts that have the authority to make decisions regarding the disposition of animals requiring immediate care in the event the investigator cannot be reached. Investigators who know they will be unavailable for an extended time period may wish to make prior arrangements with the ARP for treatment of sick or injured animals. If the investigator or an alternative contact cannot be reached within a reasonable amount of time, treatment or euthanasia will proceed at the discretion of the attending veterinarian. If judged appropriate by the attending veterinarian, animals may be removed from a study and treated or euthanized to relieve unwarranted pain and/or distress.


Training for Research Personnel

Education and training in laboratory, husbandry and clinical procedures are available to all Penn State staff and students working with animals in research and teaching.

Well trained staff and students are the best way to ensure research accuracy and validity while providing humane treatment of animals. ARP offers small group seminars and workshops, internet tutorials and other web-based information in addition to one-on-one training for specific procedures to Penn State research investigators. More information on specific training classes is listed below. 

Mouse and Rat Biomethodology Classes are available online: scroll down to begin.

Please use the information and links on this page to complete the ARP Mouse or Rat Biomethodology classes. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in-person training classes are not being scheduled at this time. Instead, we are using hybrid versions that include online presentations with the opportunity for in-person training if needed. This training is intended for PSU faculty, staff and students listed on currently approved IACUC protocols using rodents. Please contact the ARP office for more information.

To complete the Mouse or Rat Biomethodology class:

Read through the online material specific to the class you are taking (i.e., rat or mouse). Each class contains multiple sections (presentations) and may include hyperlinks to videos that you are encouraged to watch. After completing the online presentations, please take the online quiz (specific to the class you completed). Your quiz score will automatically be submitted to ARP and recorded. A score of at least 80% is required to pass the quiz and be recorded as having completed the training. If you experience technical difficulties with the presentations or quizzes, please contact ARP at

If, after completing the online class, you would like hands-on training in a specific procedure, please contact the ARP (865-1495) or an ARP veterinary technician or veterinarian. We can schedule individual or pair training sessions to meet your needs.

Mouse Biomethodology Class

The mouse biomethodology class contains three sections (presentations). Please complete them in numerical order (i.e., 1, 2, 3) and submit your completed quiz at the end.

Please note that presentation format is best viewed full screen but hyperlinks will not work in full screen mode unless you right click on the link and open it in a new window.

Part 1: Introduction to Mice and the Facilities

Part 2: Health and Welfare

Part 3: Experimental Procedures

Please complete the following mouse biomethodology quiz and submit so your participation may be recorded.

Rat Biomethodology Class

The rat biomethodology class contains three sections (presentations). Please complete them in numerical order (i.e., 1, 2, 3) and submit your completed quiz at the end.

Please note that presentation format is best viewed full screen but hyperlinks will not work in full screen mode unless you right click on the link and open it in a new window.

Part 1: Working With Lab Animals and Humane Endpoints

Part 2: Health and Welfare; Euthanasia

Part 3: Blood Collection and Substance Administration

Please complete the rat biomethodology quiz so your participation may be recorded.

Rodent Breeding

The ARP provides a training seminar for PSU research personnel, Basic Principles of Mouse Breeding Colony Management. An online version of this seminar is currently under construction. Please check back frequently; the seminar will be made available as soon as it is completed.

IACUC Rodent Surgery Tutorial

All personnel listed on a PSU IACUC protocol that includes rodent surgery must complete the training steps listed below prior to performing surgery at PSU. This includes on online tutorial followed by a short quiz that must be submitted to the Office for Research Protections to document completion of training.


Rodent Training Videos

Video demonstrations of common laboratory procedures in rodents are available online through the ARP website.

Veterinary and Diagnostic Services

A wide variety of veterinary diagnostic and technical services, including pre-IACUC review of experimental protocols, clinical pathology and health surveillance services, are available to Penn State investigators through the Animal Resource Program. Diagnostic services may be utilized for clinical as well as research applications for many different animal species. Fees are charged for some diagnostic services.