Facility Access & Training

Initial access to facilities managed by Research Animal Resources (RAR) requires that personnel must:

  1. Have Animal Use Certification through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
  2. Be listed on an active animal care and use protocol through the IACUC.
  3. Be enrolled in the Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP) program and complete applicable requirements. 
  4. Complete the Initial RAR Clearance and Facility Access Form, RAR orientation and facility tour (registration is in the same form), and, if applicable:

Required training

RAR Orientation – Offered online

Orientation introduces you to the general principles of the disease control practices used in RAR facilities. We’ll cover facility traffic patterns and guidelines, procedures used in animal rooms, and many of RAR’s additional services for investigators. Duration is approximately 60 minutes. To register for RAR Orientation, submit an Initial RAR Clearance and Facility Access form to rartrain@umn.edu.

Facility tours

After completing RAR Orientation, you will receive additional information to complete the RAR animal facility tour(s).  You will receive a tour around the facility, and see the various rooms and equipment you will be using.  Tours of multiple areas may require additional scheduling.

Area- or animal-specific training

SPF areas: Microisolator technique training – Offered weekly

SPF rodent colonies at the University of Minnesota utilize the microisolator system of filtered cages to exclude organisms that can be detrimental to research, including mouse hepatitis virus, mouse parvovirus, rat Sendai virus, and Mycoplasma pulmonis. These cages can only be opened under a laminar flow hood or biosafety cabinet using specific techniques. View and register for upcoming trainings.

Non-human primate training – Offered online

Non-human primates (NHP) present a variety of challenges for human handlers, as NHP behavior is extremely complex. To protect both the animal and the handler, as well as other humans the handler may contact, proper preventative protocols must be followed. Call 612-624-9100 to inquire about training.


Elective training

To participate in elective trainings, you must complete a RAR Training Registration Form.

Training is offered periodically, as noted on the Training Calendar and announced on the rar-talk listserv. 

RAR veterinary technical staff offer hands-on training for topics such as:

  • Species-specific blood collection techniques
  • Animal handling
  • CO₂ euthanasia
  • Rodent gavage
  • Techniques of asepsis for rodent surgery
  • Suture techniques
  • Rodent anesthesia

CITI Program

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is dedicated to promoting the public’s trust in the research enterprise by providing high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, research administration, and other topics pertinent to the interests of member organizations and individual learners.  Several courses are available, some examples are listed below.

  • Working with Mice in Research
  • Working with Rats in Research Settings
  • Reducing Pain and Distress in Laboratory Mice and Rats
  • Working with Rabbits in Research Settings
  • Working with Non-Human Primates in Research Settings
  • Working with Dogs in Research Settings
  • Working with Swine in Research Settings

Please note that access to these courses is available from the CITI website at the link below.  To access the courses, you will be required to login with your UMN account information.

Log in to enroll in CITI Courses