UWYMV Loan Policies

The UWYMV provides loans of material to qualified researchers who are working on scientific studies, or for use in education. Researchers who are interested in requesting a loan, either a returnable loan of specimens or a non-returnable destructive loan should read the following information thoroughly and carefully. 

General Loan Policies

 Download the Official UW Museum of Vertebrates Collection Use Policy Here.

  • All requests made to the staff of the UWYMV must be made at least two weeks in advance of when the information, or material is needed. Requests made inside the two week window are unlikely to be granted.
  • All requests from undergraduate and graduate students must be co-signed by a faculty advisor who will be responsible for the loan. Requests from students without a faculty co-signer will not be granted.
  • All requests should be sent to both the faculty curator: Matt Carling and the staff curator: Beth Wommack.
  • All approved loans are subject to reporting requirement detailed in the loan agreement. 

Researchers interested in requesting a loan should first search our online database of specimen holdings, which can be accessed using Arctos. If, after searching our online database, a researcher has questions about our specimen holdings, they may contact Matt or Beth. In a request to for more information, please include a sentence or two describing the project, as well as what was learned (or not) from searching our online database. In addition, please be as specific as possible in any request for information about our specimens when contacting us.

Once a researcher has identified specimens they would like to include in a loan request, the type of loan dictates the next steps.

Specimen Loans

Requests for non-destructive specimen loans must include the following:

    1. The objectives of the work.
    2. Information on how specimens will be cared for, where they will be stored and who is responsible for their care.
    3. A list of the specific specimens that are requested with as much detail as necessary for the UWYMV to complete the loan.
    4. A discussion of the outcome of past projects that included materials from the UWYMV.

 Loans of non-destructively sampled specimens are typically made for 6 months. In general, a one-time extension of an additional 6 months will be granted if the extension request is made prior to the expiration of the original 6 month period. We may deny specimen requests if we cannot determine if appropriate facilities for housing and caring for specimens are available. Researchers are also required to provide copies of any required permits.

In general, the UWYMV will pay for shipping specimens to the requestor and the requestor will be responsible for paying for the return shipment.

Tissue and Destructive Sampling Loans

All destructive sampling loan requests must include a summary of the research project that includes the following:

  1. The objectives of the proposed project.
  2. A complete outline of materials that will be used in the project and the source of those materials. This would include requests being made to other museums and the researchers own efforts to collect samples for their work.
  3. A brief description of the methods that will involve the requested materials, including both molecular methods and analytical methods as appropriate.
  4. A timeline for completion of the project.
  5. A discussion of the outcome of past projects that included loans from the UWYMV.

The destructive sampling loan request must also include a list of individuals from which materials are being requested. The list must be as specific as possible given the nature of the proposed project. For example, if just any representative material for a particular taxon is requested, please state that. If specific individual materials are required, they must be identified.

In general, tissues are shipped in ethanol. For tissues shipped in ethanol, the UWYMV will pay the shipping costs. If a researcher requests tissues be shipped frozen on dry ice, the researcher is responsible for all costs associated with shipping including both the dry ice and shipping costs.

For requests of particularly large numbers of tissues, the UWYMV may require researchers to pay for the cost of cryovials.

Researchers are also required to provide copies of any necessary permits before a loan request can be granted.

For Researchers Outside of the United States:

In general, the same policies as outlined in the above sections for researchers in the United States apply. But be aware that for international loan requests, the borrower will be responsible for providing copies of all relevant foreign import and export permits. If permits are not necessary for the species being requested, this information should be included in the loan request.

Requests for Information

The UWYMV is happy to provide information with a couple of caveats. First, we will only entertain requests for information that cannot be accessed in our online database. Second, a request for information must include both the specific information being requested and an explanation for why the information is needed.


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