3Rs advice for project licence applicants

All scientific work carried out in the UK under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 must be part of a programme of work authorised by a project licence. An important part of the ethical review and licensing process is ensuring that the principles of the 3Rs are robustly applied. In order to achieve this, when applying for a project licence, applicants are asked to detail how they have considered and applied the 3Rs to their research. To learn more about the 3Rs and how they can drive better science and animal welfare, view our video presentation.

Here we provide advice and highlight resources to help applicants address the 3Rs aspects of a project licence application. This information is also relevant for more experienced project licence holders and members of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). The guidance was prepared by our Regional Programme Managers who have on-the-ground experience of providing 3Rs advice to applicants. We focus on each of the ‘Rs’ separately, but first highlight two key resources from the NC3Rs which can be used to identify replacement, reduction and refinement opportunities.

A PDF version of this guidance is available to download.

You can also watch a webinar presentation of this advice, given by three NC3Rs Regional Programme Managers.

NC3Rs research portfolio

The NC3Rs is the primary funder of 3Rs research in the UK. Head to our What we do page to find out more about the research projects we have funded, including new models and technologies that can replace, reduce or refine the use of animals. Use the ‘Search our science’ box to search for projects by research discipline, technology/approach, or ‘R’. On each project page you will find a summary of the aims, key impacts and any resulting publications.

NC3Rs gateway

Researchers funded by the NC3Rs are encouraged to publish their 3Rs approaches on the NC3Rs gateway, hosted by F1000Research. Here you’ll find novel 3Rs models and technologies, described in extensive methodological and technical details to allow these methods to be reproduced. To help researchers decide whether the approach could be used in their own research, articles on the gateway include a realistic evaluation of the scientific, 3Rs and practical benefits of the approaches described, along with their current and potential applications, and details of their validation against current “gold standard” models.

Page last updated: 8 September 2021