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Award holder information


We expect all NC3Rs-funded researchers to act as 3Rs ambassadors within their institutions and field, promoting the 3Rs outcomes of the research we support in publications, posters and presentations. In addition, CRACK IT Contractors are required to:

Contractor agreement extensions

The NC3Rs does not routinely extend CRACK IT agreements, except for maternity leave, gaps in employment or staggered start dates. Extensions for these reasons may be requested through a direct request to a member of the CRACK IT team.

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider extending the agreement. The delays or shortfall must seriously threaten the delivery of a significant proportion of the science outlined in the original application. Contractors must be able to demonstrate that the delays could not have been anticipated, were outside their control and that every effort has already been made to mitigate them.

Extensions cannot be used for:

  • The sole purpose of using remaining funds.
  • Starting new scientific work that was not outlined in the original application.
  • Managing RO or applicant changes to research plans and staffing.
  • Preparing new grant applications.
  • The purpose of writing up results.

With the exception of multiple periods of maternity/paternity/sick leave, an agreement will be allowed no more than one extension. If an extension has already been approved, further requests will not normally be considered. 

Requests for additional funds will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. 

Publications and open access publishing

We have adopted the RCUK’s policy on open access of publications. We expect CRACK IT Contractors to disseminate their results by publishing in appropriate scientific journals, detailing the 3Rs impact of the work. The NC3Rs contribution to Article Processing Charges (APCs) will be paid for via the MRC contribution to the RCUK block grant.

Peer reviewed papers reporting research that is wholly or partially funded by the NC3Rs should:

  • Make reference to the 3Rs implications of the research, including in the abstract and the main body of the text.
  • Be published in journals which are compliant with the RCUK policy on open access.
  • Include details of the funding that supported the research - NC3Rs support for an individual or research project should be acknowledged in all publications where such support has been significant (i.e. accounts for at least 20% of funding).
  • Provide a statement on how the underlying research materials such as data, samples or models can be accessed.
  • Be reported in accordance with the ARRIVE guidelines, taking into account the specific editorial policies of the journal concerned.
Guidance text for acknowledging the NC3Rs:

'We thank the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) for funding this work ([insert award number] to [insert author(s) initials]). Article processing charges were paid from the Medical Research Council contribution to the RCUK block grant to [insert name of institution].'

Please keep us informed of any publications or other material arising from an NC3Rs award by emailing a PDF copy to  Ideally, we would like to be informed pre-publication to enable us to prepare publicity material as appropriate. Any publication arising from NC3Rs-funded research should be deposited into Europe PubMed Central at the point of publication or within six months at the latest and included in your Researchfish grant record.

NC3Rs blog: NC3Rs-funded research now available for all

Reporting requirements and evaluation

CRACK IT Contractors should report on the outputs and outcomes of the research we have funded on a regular basis. In line with the Research Councils, we use Researchfish to collect this information. Log-in details are provided by Researchfish Ltd. Outputs and outcomes data should be submitted during and after the lifetime of the award. Data can be inputted at any time. In addition, there is an annual compulsory data submission period. Information in Researchfish should also be updated shortly before the grant is due to end. Failure to update within three months of the grant end date will result in an automatic financial penalty.

We reserve the right to sanction a grant at any stage if unsatisfactory progress has been made.

Researchfish reporting requirements
  • Compliance with Researchfish reporting is a requirement for every CRACK IT Contractor.
  • The lead contractor/ BGS awardee is ultimately responsible for ensuring their Researchfish record is up-to- date.

Contractors can, and should, submit information to Researchfish all year round and after the contract has ended:

  • Phase 1: for at least one year
  • Phase 2: for at least five years
  • Phase 3: for at least five years
  • Single Phase: for at least three years
  • BGS*:  for at least five years

In line with the Research Councils, the NC3Rs also has an annual collection period.


There is also a requirement to update Researchfish when your contract is coming to an end.

  • Details of all outputs, outcomes and impacts, when available, arising from the contract.
  • In particular, complete the sections on Publications and Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.
  • Researchfish is one method by which we monitor progress on contracts. Contractors who do not report into Researchfish when requested to do so, or use the system inappropriately, may become ineligible to apply for additional awards from the NC3Rs (and potentially the Research Councils).
  • Researchfish is not a publicly accessible data repository. However, data held in Researchfish may be used by the NC3Rs to populate our website and for production of publications such as our Annual Report.

Queries about our reporting requirements should be sent to