The UQR&I Animal Ethics Unit is there to help applicants with the completion of their ethics applications.  Please do not hesitate to contact the unit for any queries or advice.  

Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator
Phone: +61 7 336 52713

Top Tips Brochures

UQR&I has prepared a Top Tips series of brochures as a resource for the UQ community, spanning various aspects of granting initiatives, research projects, and ethics.

The Top Tips for Success in Animal Ethics Applications has been produced in the ethics brochure series and provides tips for avoiding errors commonly seen by the AECs in animal ethics applications. It is recommended that you download and refer to the helpful tips to prepare you for writing an application. UQR&I and the AECs would like to minimise the time until your application is approved.



The Top Tips for Managing Mouse Breeding Colonies provides helpful advice for establishing, managing and reporting animal use on laboratory animal breeding approvals at The University of Queensland.


Using the Help functionality in the online application form

If you see this symbol  on the online form, you will be provided with hints for completing that question if you click on the symbol. We encourage you to use these helpful tips.

Ensure that experience, full qualifications and training of personnel have been provided relevant to the techniques and species to be used. For example, it is not appropriate to indicate 20 years of animal work which could mean observing elephants, and does not reflect experience needed for the current project using invasive heart surgery in rats.

Do you intend to engage a UQBR Animal House Technician on your application? Refer to this document for advice.

A declaration must be signed by all persons working on the project indicating that they are aware of the aims, the purpose of the project, the work to be undertaken, and their responsibilities within the project. Where a participant is interstate or overseas, email the application to them and have them print and sign the declaration and return by facsimile or via scanning.

You may submit an application before all signatures have been obtained, however approval will not be given or a certificate produced until all signatures are received by the Animal Ethics Unit.

Each person working on a project must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland. UQ staff and students are automatically registered. You must ensure that any person working on the project that is external to UQ has appropriate registration. Please contact the Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator who will provide advice with matters concerning registration.  

Where work on the project is performed intrastate, interstate and overseas work, the application needs to clearly identify:

  • where each component of the work is being undertaken,
  • who will be undertaking the work,
  • whether approval is required from another AEC,
  • who will be monitoring the work and
  • who will be reporting the work to regulators and NHMRC.

AECs are required to enter into agreements with other institutions regarding this aspect of experimentation.

Ensure that the location of the source of animals is properly provided and not just the generic definition indicated. Entities that breed and supply animals and house or otherwise participate in animals being used for scientific purposes in Queensland must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland.

It is not appropriate to obtain animals from interstate or overseas, if they are available locally, due to issues of transportation stress, unless strong justification can be provided for doing so.

Full details of transportation must be provided for each species. Where multiple species are to be used, details for each must be provided. Investigators are encouraged to refer to SOPs for transport details.

Holding and procedure rooms should be specific not generic as in "the animal house" or "building (65)" but rather should state the name of the facility, the building name, and the room number.  

If the animals are housed outside of a UQBR animal facility for more than 24 hours provide all details of the location of the holding area, who will monitor the animals, and how the animals will be cared for.

Environmental enrichment is an important aspect of animal work, and as such, details of what environmental enrichment will be available should be provided. If for the sake of the project none is to be given then this must be justified.

Ensure that re-use of animals is noted and appropriate details of how the re-use will be managed, especially from an animal welfare aspect and the time between uses. This is particularly relevant for animals that are used from University flocks and herds for both research and teaching activities on a rotational system. A log book system is usually required for this purpose at both the animal facility level and the project level. 

Check to ensure that the total numbers of animals requested are the same as the numbers indicated in the justification section and the numbers to be used in the experimental plan.

Advice from a statistician should be sought for statistical justification wherever possible and their name provided. In most instances, there is an expectation that statistical justification will be achieved through a power calculation.  The online form provides a link to a website that contains a power calculation tool.  If the number of animals is a reasoned estimate informed by evidence-based, past research experience, you should explain the process followed to arrive at the numbers proposed.  

Death as an end point has a very specific meaning whereby animals are expected to die during the course of a project without intervention. 'Death as an end point' experiments must be strongly justified and may in some instances require ministerial approval.