Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE)

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Initiated in 2013, the multiphase Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project includes the National Institutes of Health  Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (NIH OLAW), the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The goal of the project is to enhance the functioning of institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) by reducing noncompliance and self-imposed regulatory burden and enabling them to focus on animal welfare. This goal will be accomplished through the incorporation of active learning techniques into IACUC training curricula. The federal agencies of the ICARE Project funded an award administered by NSF in which PRIM&R will partner with the federal agencies in phase one of the ICARE Project, the ICARE Train-the-Trainers Institutes.

PRIM&R will convene two ICARE Train-the-Trainers Institutes (TTIs) to train experienced IACUC leaders and educators in the use of active learning pedagogy and to enhance the effectiveness of their own IACUC training programs. Curriculum development for the TTIs has been spearheaded by a group of subject matter experts in IACUC issues and training, along with active learning experts.  


Attendance at one of the two 3.5-day ICARE TTI offerings will offer participants training in active learning methodologies and to facilitate incorporation of these techniques into their IACUC training curricula. 

The two sessions will be held on July 14-17, 2016 and August 11-14, 2016 at the Bolger Conference Center in Potomac, MD. Costs for housing, registration, meals, and travel (economy class airfare) are supported by the program at no expense to the participants or their institutions.

Eligibility Criteria

Experienced IACUC educators are encouraged to apply to participate in one of the two TTI offerings. Wherever possible, selected participants will be given their preference of program dates. Due to the immersive nature of the institutes, participants are required to stay for the entire program. 

All applicants must include a CV that details their IACUC training experience, as well as a letter of support for their participation in the ICARE Train-the-Trainers Institute. Only complete applications will be considered.

Applications are available online or on paper and must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on April 26, 2016. Applicants will be notified regarding their selection by May 13, 2016.

TTI Structure

The TTIs include both large and small group interactive sessions. During the large sessions, facilitators will model active learning methods. Participants will work in small groups supported by active learning and subject matter expert facilitators to apply active learning methodologies in the creation of IACUC training models that will be presented to their colleagues on the last day of the institutes. All of these sessions will be highly interactive, with participants engaging in active learning exercises.

Participants must stay for the entire TTI, and are expected to fully participate in all activities.

Resources developed at the TTIs will be made available, at no cost, through PRIM&R’s website for public use, along with companion materials, tools, and resources. TTI participants will be recognized for their contributions to the project.

Post-TTI Participant Responsibilities

Participants will be expected to complete an evaluation at the end of the institute, as well as in post-program surveys in the months following their attendance. Participants will be qualified to volunteer as facilitators at future active learning training events sponsored by the ICARE project.

Curriculum Development Team

The following active learning experts and private sector IACUC subject matter experts have partnered with PRIM&R and the funding federal agencies to serve as TTI facilitators:

IACUC subject matter experts

  • J.G. Collins, PhD, Yale University
  • William G. Greer, BS, CPIA, RLAT, Pennsylvania State University
  • Melinda Hollander, MS, CPIA, West Virginia University
  • Donna Matthews Jarrell, DVM, DACLAM, Massachusetts General Hospital

IACUC federal subject matter experts

  • Patricia Brown, VMD, DACLAM, NIH, OLAW
  • Carol Clarke, DVM, DACLAM, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care
  • Elizabeth Goldentyer, DVM, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care
  • Susan Brust Silk, MS, NIH, OLAW

Active learning experts

  • Nancy Day Connell, PhD, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Clarissa Dirks, PhD, The Evergreen State College
  • James H. Stith, DEd, American Institute of Physics

Program Background

The US government agencies of the Interagency Collaborative Animal Research Education (ICARE) Project work together through the ICARE Project to empower IACUCs and their institutions to increase compliance with federal standards while minimizing regulatory burden. The ICARE Project addresses concerns and recommendations outlined in both the 2014 NSF National Science Board study, Reducing Investigators’ Administrative Workload for Federally Funded Research, and the 2014 USDA Office of the Inspector General report, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Oversight of Research Facilities Audit Report 33601-0001-41. Questions about the ICARE Project can be sent to Susan Brust Silk, Chair of the ICARE Project Federal Working Group, at

ICARE Project federal working group:

  • Patricia Brown, VMD, DACLAM, NIH
  • Carol Clarke, DVM, DACLAM, USDA
  • John Dennis, DVM, DACLAM, FDA
  • Elizabeth Goldentyer, DVM, USDA
  • Robert Gump, CMAR, FDA
  • Alice Huang, PhD, CPIA, VA
  • Estella Jones, DVM, FDA
  • Anne Maglia, PhD, NSF
  • Edda Thiels, PhD, NSF
  • Susan Brust Silk, MS, NIH, Chair
  • Jeffrey Ward, DVM, MS, PhD, FDA
  • Nora Wineland, DVM, MS, DACVPM, USDA

Active Learning

Active learning has been shown to enhance knowledge transfer and increase the effectiveness of adult education by emphasizing critical thinking, analytical skills, and hands-on learning.

Using interactivity, discussion, and problem solving techniques, TTI attendees will acquire skills and behaviors that will improve interpretation and implementation of regulations and guidances. Trainers who learn active learning pedagogy will be able to effectively guide learners to the discovery and understanding of federal regulations and standards through their application to realistic problems encountered in their own institutional animal care and use programs.

Location & Accommodations

The William F. Bolger Center is just 15 minutes outside of Washington DC, close to all three major international airports and a metro setting that creates a serene and peaceful retreat for every group or hospitality need.

Our Policy

It is the policy of this organization to be one of nondiscrimination, offering equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual preference, age, or disability.


Questions? Please contact us by telephone at 617.303.1873 or email us at

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1546975.

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