Standard on Documentation of "Monthly Principal Investigator (PI) Check Sheet"


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Standard on Documentation of "Monthly Principal Investigator (PI) Check Sheet"



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ("UNC-Chapel Hill") standards and procedures described below provide guidance in documentation to all researchers and animal handlers performing duties that would normally be performed by Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) Husbandry staff (i.e. feed, water, cage change).


This Standard applies to all personnel engaged in assuming normal animal husbandry duties typically performed by DCM Husbandry staff.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) expects that anyone involved in animal work at the University will comply with this Standard. Requests for exceptions to this Standard must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.


When research staff perform duties that would typically be performed by DCM staff within a DCM facility, proper documentation is required to ensure all pertinent parties are aware of who is responsible for completing respective husbandry duties (e.g., feed, water, cage change) and that these duties have been completed. The ‘Monthly PI Check Sheet’ template should be used unless another arrangement is made in advance with DCM Facility Management. [This template can be found in the "Attachments" section of this document.] Monitoring of cages, described in the protocol or required by DCM or IACUC, should also be documented using purple cage cards.

Completing the Check Sheets

  • A “Monthly Principle Investigator (PI) Check Sheet” is available through DCM or can be printed from this Standard or the IACUC website HERE. A new sheet must be completed each month and the building, room number and rack number must be listed on the sheet.
  • Check the appropriate box(es) in the top right-hand corner to indicate which husbandry duty/duties your laboratory personnel will be completing.
  • Indicate when a study is expected to begin and end on the sheet and place or remove the tape/card on the cages, so DCM technicians are aware of the necessary changes. If a study has finished or there is a break in between subsets of animals, a notation should be made on the sheet for clarification. This should be noted in pertinent duty boxes with either a note, a slash though the box, or both.
  • The PI must provide all required information and must place the sheet in the housing area according to the DCM directives. The sheet must be initialed with the time noted when the pertinent duty is performed. If the duty or duties were performed and documentation was missed at the time it was performed, please fill in the information as soon as possible.
  • The sheets are provided monthly by DCM facility management, and researchers must complete all information at the top of the sheet prior to initiation of the study to ensure effective communication between DCM and the research staff. Completed sheets must be available for IACUC to review.
  • Research staff are encouraged to coordinate upcoming experiments involving husbandry duty changes with the animal facility manager and/or room technician.
  • All feed, water and/or supplements that deviate from typical DCM procedures must be provided as described in the approved protocol prior to initiation of the study. All feed supplied by the PI must be labeled with the mill date and/or expiration date, the PI name and protocol number, and stored in sealed, vermin-proof containers. Unless indicated otherwise, feed must be discarded 6 months after the mill date. Sterilized water must be stored in sealed, vermin-proof containers with the expiration date and must be discarded 1 week after being autoclaved (sterilized using high pressure steam).
  • Research staff must identify all applicable cages with “PI WILL FEED” and/or “PI WILL WATER” tape on cage cards (ensure the DCM scan cage card barcode is still readable). This tape is in each DCM facility. “DO NOT CHANGE” cards are available for cages that the research staff has taken the responsibility for changing and should be placed behind the DCM scan card.
  • Research staff that have approval for offering modified water in bottles are required to ensure they are cleaned every week. Indicate on the PI Check Sheet with a triangle that you have changed the bottle as required. Research staff that have approval for offering food in bowls on the cage floor are required to ensure they are cleaned every other week. Indicate on the PI Check Sheet with a triangle that you have changed the bowl as required.
  • Ensure that each person responsible for providing husbandry understands that if a task is not documented, it is assumed that it did not occur. This may lead to interruption in study parameters, as DCM may feed, water, or change cages.


Requests for exceptions to this Standard must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC.


University Standard: The minimum acceptable limits or rules used to achieve Policy implementation, enforceable by the IACUC.

Related Requirements

University Policies, Standards, and Procedures

For more detailed guidance, please refer to the University Policy on the Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals for Research, Training and Teaching Purposes.

Contact Information

Contact Information Table
Subject Contact Telephone Email
Veterinary Services Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) 919-962-5335
Protocol or Standard Questions Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU) 919-966-5569

Important Dates

  • Effective Date and title of Approver: 11/2011; UNC IACUC
  • Revision and Review Dates, Change notes, title of Reviewer or Approver: Revised 08/2013; Revised 07/2015; Revised 10/2017; Revised, Placed on University Standard Template, Revisions to the check sheet 02/2019; UNC IACUC

Approved by: UNC IACUC

100% helpful - 1 review


Article ID: 132195
Thu 4/8/21 9:25 PM
Thu 4/18/24 12:55 PM
Effective Date
If the date on which this document became/becomes enforceable differs from the Origination or Last Revision, this attribute reflects the date on which it is/was enforcable.
10/21/2020 12:00 AM
Issuing Officer
Name of the document Issuing Officer. This is the individual whose organizational authority covers the policy scope and who is primarily responsible for the policy.
Issuing Officer Title
Title of the person who is primarily responsible for issuing this policy.
Vice Chancellor
Last Review
Date on which the most recent document review was completed.
01/26/2024 12:00 AM
Last Revised
Date on which the most recent changes to this document were approved.
04/20/2022 12:00 AM
Next Review
Date on which the next document review is due.
01/26/2025 12:00 AM
Date on which the original version of this document was first made official.
09/12/2019 12:00 AM
Responsible Unit
School, Department, or other organizational unit issuing this document.
Research-Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee