Aged Rodent Colonies Handbook
Eligibility Criteria for Use of the NIA Aged Rodent Colonies
Notice: The NIA has long provided biological resources to the research community to facilitate research on the biology of aging. As of January 1, 2014, the NIA will no longer charge users for the biological resources, nor any related shipping fees due to a new interpretation of the regulations that govern contracting. Notice Regarding Pricing. However, due to the heavy demand on the colonies, the NIA will strictly adhere to the eligibility criteria below.
We cannot approve requests for exceptions for C57BL/6 or CB6F1 for the foreseeable future, but we can consider requests for exception for BALB/c mice (NIA grantees only) and all rat strains (NIA and non-NIA grantees)
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.
- 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.
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):
- NIA grantees are limited to a total of 20 animals delivered per month per grant.
- All non-NIA grantees are limited to a total of 10 animals delivered every other month per grant. See Notice on homepage.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.