Workshop: Improving peer review of in vivo research proposals
The NC3Rs hosted a workshop on experimental design for our grant panel members along with those from the BBSRC, CRUK, MRC and Wellcome Trust.
The workshop aimed to raise awareness of:
- The importance of good experimental design and reporting;
- The expectations of the funding bodies in this regard, and their revised guidance to applicants;
- The crucial role of panel members in assessing the quality of information provided in in vivo research proposals.
The workshop formed part of a series of initiatives designed to improve the quality of animal based research. Growing concern about poor reproducibility in the biosciences led the NC3Rs and MRC to review the quality of information about animal use and experimental design provided to our various Panels and Boards. The review prompted both organisations and other funders to revise and update our guidance to applicants on what information needs to be provided to allow proper evaluation of the scientific strengths and weaknesses of in vivo proposals, and to make changes to our peer review processes to give greater consideration to these issues.
On this page you can find an introduction to the MRC's revised guidance (circa 2018), and links to the other presentations that made up the workshop. The presentations linked to on this page are useful to both panel members and applicants involved with reviewing and drafting research proposals involving animal experiments.
An overview of the MRC’s revised applicant guidance for proposals involving animal use, with an increased focus on experimental design, avoidance of bias and statistical considerations. The updated guidance for reviewers is also summarised.
Further information and resources:
To help guide researchers through the design and reporting of their experiments, the NC3Rs has also recently revised the ARRIVE guidelines, our recommendations for the reporting of in vivo experiments, and launched the Experimental Design Assistant (EDA), which is recommended as a resource by the funding bodies.
You can find out more about the ARRIVE guidelines in our ARRIVE webinar, and can find suggestions for ways to integrate ARRIVE into your policies and practices in our ARRIVE implementation Action Plans, for universities, journals and funders.