Vertebrate Animal Section - PHS Grant

The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), in conjunction with the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutions of Health (NIH) has issued a document entitled "Preparing the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS)" as a means of assisting individuals who are submitting proposals to NIH. This document briefly outlines NIH's expectations for the VAS. In addition, investigators are reminded of two pieces of information found in Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) [http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/VASchecklist.pdf]:

"Applicant responsibilities - Each of the five points [as indicated in the worksheet] must be addressed in the VAS of NIH grant applications. Failure to address the five points may result in the application being designated as incomplete and will be grounds for the PHS to defer the application from the peer review round. Alternatively, the application's impact/priority score may be negatively affected.

Scientific review group (SRG) responsibilities - The SRGs evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment of the applications submitted to NIH according to the five points."

Therefore, it appears to be the expectation of OLAW and NIH that the responsibility for the accuracy and adequacy of the VAS rests with the applicant.

The Office of Research Compliance may be able to provide guidance, as may knowledgeable individuals within your department/division/unit. To reach the former please contact Mary Frances Braslow at 448-3094.

Vertebrate Animal Section - PHS Grant