Medical Clearance and Safety Training for Animal Researchers

All students, faculty and staff who conduct Princeton University-sponsored animal research are required to complete Animal Worker Health and Safety Training and visit Occupational Health to enroll in the medical surveillance program for animal users. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) approval for your research is contingent upon completion of training and receipt of medical clearance. 

Jump to: Annual Interim Surveillance

Health and Safety Training

Access the Animal Worker Health and Safety Training under the Biological Safety section of the Environmental Health and Safety e-learning page at

Medical Clearance

After you have completed the training, start the medical clearance process. You will need assistance from your laboratory manager to enroll. 

If you are new to the University or to animal research, please follow the below instructions.

Initiating the Medical Clearance Process for Animal Users

Note: Steps 1-2c are completed by the lab manager. Steps 3a-b are completed by the animal user. Step 4 can be viewed by both.

Step 1

Log in to SHIELD ( and verify that the new animal researcher appears as a member of your laboratory.  As you begin typing the name of the individual, the system will provide a list of names for you to select from. Select  the member’s role in your laboratory and click the "Lookup/Add" button to add new member to the lab.

Medical Clearance Step One

Step 2

Next, you will need to designate the newly added member as an “animal user.”  Select “edit.”

Step Two

Step 2a

You will see a variety  of job activities that can be assigned to the new lab member. Select all that apply.  

Medical Clearance Step 2a

Step 2b

Select the “Other” tab.

Medical Clearance Step 2b

Step 2c

Select “Uses Animals” and “Save.”

Medical Clearance Step 2c

Step 3

Submit medical/health history information. The lab member who has been designated as an “animal user” will receive an email from @bioraft that contains a link to the health history form. Click on the link to initiate the medical clearance process.

Medical Clearance Step 3

Step 3a

Upon submittal of the health history form, the animal user will receive an email confirming that the information is under review by the Occupational Health clinicians.

Medical Clearance Step 3a

Step 3b

The SHIELD system notifies all first-time animal users to make an appointment at Occupational Health for an in-person health evaluation. 

Medical Clearance Step 3b

Step 4: Approved

Occupational Health issues medical clearance approval after the animal user has completed the in-person evaluation. The animal user will appear as “approved” in the SHIELD system.

Step 4 Approved

Annual Interim Surveillance

Your animal user medical clearance must be renewed annually. Researchers who have enrolled and are cleared will receive email reminders approximately 6 weeks prior to medical clearance expiration. The email contains instructions on how to renew the clearance. In addition to updating your health history, the annual clearance may require a visit to Occupational Health, depending upon the type of research you conduct and your current health status.  
If you have questions about interim surveillance, please email [email protected]


Meagan Fitzpatrick
Biosafety Officer

Halina Staniszewska-Goraczniak
Sr. Laboratory Safety Specialist