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Eligibility Criteria for Use of the NIA Aged Rodent Colonies

Notice: Eligibility Criteria

The NIA has long provided biological resources to the research community to facilitate research on the biology of aging. Due to a new interpretation of the regulations that govern contracting, as of January 1, 2014, the NIA stopped charging users for the aged rodents and any related shipping fees. The NIA is committed to continuing to provide these unique resources to the research community, but this change has significantly increased the cost to the NIA to maintain this service.

As a result of the Budget recently passed by Congress, which restores a portion of the funding cuts made during the Sequester, the NIA is now positioned in fiscal 2014 to maintain its investment in the aged rodent colonies at a level sufficient to meet the demands of the broader aging research community, including grantees funded by the NIH, U. S. government agencies outside the NIH, and U. S. private foundations funding aging research. As a result, stringent limitations are required on the distribution of the aged rodents to ensure the continued availability of the animals.

Please review NIA's new eligibility criteria and restrictions on number of animals per month per grant. While there is a mechanism to apply for an exception to the resource limit, only a very limited number of such requests will be granted, based on scientific need and availability. NIA asks that the research community continue to exercise care and restraint when requesting animals from the NIA aged rodent colonies because even a small increase in the number of animals per order will quickly decimate the animal colonies. Questions about eligibility should be sent to the NIA resources order desk.

In the interest of fostering scientific rigor and reproducibility as well as to be able to meet the needs of the broader customer base, we will not be able to fill your order with animals that are over two months younger or older than what is stated in grant.

Exceptions may be considered for female BALB/c mice, male F344 rats, male F344BN rats (NIA grants only).

The Jackson Laboratory provides aged C57BL/6J mice up to 78 weeks of age, so researchers not eligible for the NIA mice should contact JAX directly. More information is available on the JAX strain data sheet about phenotype, appearance and care, longevity, and other topics.

Eligibility criteria effective 4/6/2015

  1. The NIA aged rodent colonies are only available for projects that are directly related to aging and that are funded by grants from the NIH, other U. S. government agencies, and U. S.-based private foundations that fund aging research. Eligibility is NOT based on simply having an NIH grant on a topic related to aging, but rather is based on the funded grant including specific aims that are directly related to aging and that require aged mice or rats. Only the strain(s) described in the grant can be requested from the NIA colonies unless a request for exception is submitted and approved prior to ordering. Contract-funded projects are only eligible if they are funded by the NIA. Very limited exceptions might be made for investigators without such funding. Exceptions will be reviewed for scientific relevance and availability of the requested animals. Exceptions must be requested before the order is submitted, using the Exception Request Form-Funding source form (MS Excel, 11K). Requests for exception should be submitted a week before the order deadline for the desired delivery date, i.e. two weeks before the desired delivery date. The volume of business on the order desk does not allow us to guarantee evaluation of requests for exception on a same day basis.
  2. There is a limit to the number of animals that can be requested for delivery each month (the eligibility limit is based on the delivery date):
    1. NIA grantees are limited to a total of 20 animals delivered per month per grant.
    2. All non-NIA grantees are limited to a total of 10 animals delivered every other month per grant. See Notice on homepage.
    3. The caloric restricted colony is restricted to NIA grantees with specific aims requiring CR mice. Food is only provided for CR (and AL control) animals purchased from the NIA caloric restricted colony or for NIA-funded grants that include specific aims requiring caloric restriction of rodents. The NIA does not provide food for animals purchased from the aging colonies outside of the above stated criteria.
  3. Exceptions to the limit on the number of animals per month may be requested and will be evaluated based on scientific need and availability. Exceptions are likely to be limited due to the demand on the NIA aging colonies. Exceptions must be requested before the order is submitted, using the Exception Request Form-Monthly Limit form (MS Excel, 11K). Requests for exception should be submitted a week before the order deadline for the desired delivery date, i.e. two weeks before the desired delivery date. The volume of business on the order desk does not allow us to guarantee evaluation of requests for exception on a same day basis.
  4. Due to the heavy demand on the colonies, the NIA cannot reserve animals, so orders should be submitted no earlier than thirty (30) calendar days before the desired delivery date.
  5. Orders must be placed through the online rodent ordering system (ROS) and all information must be provided in order to allow the NIA to properly evaluate eligibility. Incomplete orders will be cancelled and will have to be resubmitted as there is no way to alter orders after submission. The project title and grant number refers to the NIH grant funding the research project to use the requested animals, and it must be entered as shown on the ordering pages (Ex. R01-AG-598765). Orders citing P01 grants must include the research subproject number, cores are not eligible. Do not provide the institutional accounting or animal protocol number. The name of the principal investigator on the grant cited on the order must be listed on the first line of the Ship To address.