Dear Faculty, Staff, and Colleagues:


We are excited to share the Office of Research Compliance (ORC) is currently migrating all approved AACUC protocols from the paper form to TOPAZ (new software). Several steps have been taken to achieve this, including transferring each approved, active protocol into TOPAZ.

Transferred protocols must now be managed in TOPAZ. To access the TOPAZ system please visit and bookmark MSU's TOPAZ page. Active protocols can be retrieved by going to Animal Protocols, Protocols/Open Approved Protocols. Note: Protocols will have the original approval dates, for example, if your protocol has a 2021 approval date it will expire in 2024.

In addition to being a portal to access AACUC protocols, the TOPAZ page also serves as a resource for users with valuable tips, FAQs and User Guides.

Below are other important elements of the AACUC migration and transition:

Starting May 1, 2023, AACUC paper protocol forms will no longer be accessed or accepted, and TOPAZ must be used to submit and manage all AACUC protocols.

ORC will be offering two upcoming Topaz trainings for Principal Investigators (PIs) on Thursday, May 4th from 1-2pm and Tuesday, May 9th from 2-3pm, both in ABB 145 conference room and (a formal calendar invite requesting an RSVP will be forthcoming). So, if you have previously been or will be a Principal Investigator on any future AACUC research or teaching protocols, you will need to participate in a training.

TOPAZ Approved Protocols

In the TOPAZ AACUC protocol form, there are several new/updated questions that will need to be addressed the first time the protocol is edited. There are three possible routes to edit a protocol:

  1. Amendment (modification)- An Amendment protocol must be submitted if you need to make changes to an approved protocol. An amendment can be submitted at any time. Do not describe in detail the changes in the Reason for Amendment text box. Edit the appropriate section/question to incorporate the changes.


  1. Interim Review (Annual Review)- An Interim Review protocol is submitted annually. During the review, edit the protocol to remove procedures that are no longer applicable and update questions directly to reflect current methodologies. Changes are made directly in the original protocol. The Interim Review replaces the PDF Annual Review form that was previously used.


  1. Renewal - A Renewal Protocol is submitted every three years following initial approval. During renewal, the protocol should be updated to edit personnel and remove and edit procedures if the work described in the protocol has changed. A renewal extends the expiration of the protocol for another three years.


As noted above, starting May 1, 2023, all new Protocols (Original in TOPAZ) must be submitted through Topaz as paper protocol forms will no longer be accepted.


For principal investigators requiring a new protocol, the following species are now active in TOPAZ:

o Bovine

o Equine

o Ovine

TOPAZ Communication

TOPAZ sends out automatic emails to applicable personnel regarding protocol status, Interim Reviews and Renewals. Please make sure these notifications are not sent to your junk email and flag the email address [email protected]as not spam. When it is time for submission of an Interim Review or Renewal, you will receive an email from TOPAZ. Please refer to the TOPAZ User Guide for detailed instructions.


Please let us know if you have any questions about this transition!


Best regards,

Diane Dorgan