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NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

Dr Mark Prescott

Director of Policy and Outreach
Portrait of Dr Mark Prescott

Mark leads the Policy and Outreach Group, providing strategic oversight of our relationships with other research funders and the academic community (including our regional staff), peer review and advice service, and programmes on animal welfare and experimental design. He ensures that the NC3Rs has a long-term, coordinated, impact-driven and sustainable strategy for supporting changes in 3Rs policy and practice.

View Mark's Office-led projects

PA: Joanne James

Other programmes of work

External roles

Previous external roles

  • Impact Assessor for Sub-Panel 4 (Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience) in the Research Excellence Framework 2021
  • Member of the quinquennial review panel, Charité3Rs
  • Member of the University of Birmingham Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body
  • Impact Assessor for Sub-Panel 5 (Biological Sciences) in the Research Excellence Framework 2014
  • Chair of the AAALAC/IQ Consortium Global 3Rs Awards Committee
  • Member of the AAALAC Committee to Review the Role of AAALAC International in Scientific Reproducibility for Research Involving Animals
  • Expert Evaluator for the European Commission's Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes
  • Member of the European Commission's SCHEER Working Group on Non-human Primates Testing
  • Member of the MRC/BBSRC/Wellcome Trust Bateson Review of Research Using Non-Human Primates
  • Member of the MRC Cross-Board Working Group on Animal Guidance
  • Member of the UKRI Funding Research Involving Animals Task and Finish Group
  • Member of the UKRI Research Ethics and Responsible Innovation Task and Finish Group
  • Council Member and Convenor of the Captive Care Working Party of the Primate Society of Great Britain
  • Member of the Animal Procedures Committee
  • Member of the Technical Expert Working Group advising the European Commission on revision of Directive 86/609/EEC (representing European Federation for Primatology)
  • Member of the Primate Expert Group advising the Council of Europe on Appendix A to Convention ETS 123
  • Observer to the Multilateral Consultation on revision of Appendix A to Convention ETS 123 (representing World Society for the Protection of Animals)


NC3Rs publications

Baker KC, Prescott MJ. An international survey of behavioral management programs for laboratory nonhuman primates. (in prep)

Barkus C, Bergmann C, Branco T, Carandini M, Chadderton P, Galiñanes G, Gilmour G, Huber D, Huxter J, Khan AG, King AJ, Maravall M, O’Mahony T, Ragan CI, Robinson ESJ, Schaefer A, Schultz SR, Sengpiel S, Prescott MJ. Refinements to mouse high-yield behavioural experiments involving head fixation and fluid/food control. (submitted)

Jefferys JGR & Prescott MJ (2022) Refinement of rodent models of seizures and epilepsy. In: Engel J Jr., Moshe SL (Eds.) Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook, 3rd Edn. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (in press)

Prescott MJ, Truelove MA, Leach MC (2022). Harmonisation of welfare indicators for macaques and marmosets used or bred for research. F1000Research 11: 272. 

Buckmaster CL, Levesque D, Loy M, McMillan JL, Prescott MJ, Thompson-Iritani (2022). Five hot topics in refinement of nonhuman primate neuroscience research. Laboratory Animal Science Professional, Jan 2022: 24-26. Read in Issuu.

Prescott MJ (2022) Using primates in captivity: research, conservation and education. In: Robinson LM, Weiss A (Eds.) Nonhuman Primate Welfare: From History, Science, and Ethics to Practice. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-82707-6. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-82708-3

Scullion Hall L & Prescott MJ (2021) Behavioral biology of dogs. In: Coleman K, Shapiro S (Eds.) Behavioral Biology of Laboratory Animals. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. ISBN 9780367029234

Prescott MJ, Clark C, Dowling WE, Shurtleff AC (2021) Opportunities for refinement of non-human primate vaccine studies. Vaccines 9: 284.

Prescott MJ & Poirier C (2020) The role of MRI in applying the 3Rs to non-human primate neuroscience. NeuroImage 225: 117521.

Prescott MJ (2020) Ethical and welfare implications of genetically altered non-human primates for biomedical research. Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research 2(2): 151-176.

Milham M, Petkov CI, Margulies DS, et al. (2020) Accelerating the evolution of nonhuman primate neuroimaging: The PRIMatE data exchange (PRIME-DE) global collaboration workshop and consortium. Neuron 105: 600-603. 

Shurtleff A & Prescott MJ (2019) Workshop report: Refining CEPI-funded NHP vaccine development studies. CEPI & NC3Rs.

Lidster K, Owen K, Browne B, Prescott MJ (2019) Cage aggression in group-housed laboratory male mice: an international data crowdsourcing project. Scientific Reports 9: 15211.

Hawkins P, McBride A, Paiba G, Rose R, Prescott MJ, Mulley J, Izzard S, Ridley D, Melotti L, Kappel S, Hubrecht R (2018). Report of the 2017 RSPCA/UFAW Rodent and Rabbit Welfare Group. Animal Technology and Welfare 17(2): 75-83. 

Vermeire T, Badin RA, Langermans J, Prescott MJ (2017) Editorial to "Use of nonhuman primate disease models". Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models 23: 1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ddmod.2018.03.002

Prescott MJ, Langermans JA, Ragan I (2017) Applying the 3Rs to non-human primate research: barriers and solutions. Drug Discovery Today: Disease Models 23: 51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ddmod.2017.11.001

Prescott MJ (2017) NC3Rs Guidelines: Non-human primate accommodation, care and use. London: NC3Rs.

McMillan J, Bloomsmith MA, Prescott MJ (2017) An international survey of approaches to chair restraint of nonhuman primates. Comparative Medicine 67(5): 1-10. PMCID: PMC5621573

Vermeire T, Epstein M, Badin RA, Flecknell PA, Hoet P, Hudson-Shore M, Jones D, Krätke R, Langermans J, Prescott MJ, Simonnard A, Testai E (2017) Final opinion on the need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices (update 2017). Brussels: Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), European Commission. 

Prescott MJ (2017) The Three Rs. In: Fuentes A (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. doi: 10.1002/9781119179313

Prescott MJ, Lidster K (2017) Improving quality of science through better animal welfare: the NC3Rs strategy. Lab Animal 46(4):152-156. doi: 10.1038/laban.1217

Lidster L, Readman GD, Prescott MJ, Owen SF (2017) International survey on the use and welfare of zebrafish Danio rerio in research. Journal of Fish Biology 90(5): 1891-1905. doi:10.1111/jfb.13278

Hawkins P, Prescott MJ, Carbone L, Dennison N, Johnson C, Makowska J, Marquardt N, Readman G, Weary DM, Golledge HDR (2016) A good death?: Report of the second Newcastle meeting on laboratory animal euthanasia. Animals 6(9): 50. doi:10.3390/ani6090050 

Prescott MJ (2016) Online resources for improving the care and use of non-human primates in research. Primate Biology 3: 33-40. doi:10.5194/pb-3-33-2016 

Lidster L, Jefferys JG, Blümcke I,Crunelli V, Flecknell P, Frenguelli BG, Gray WP, Kaminski R, Pitkänen A, Ragan I, Shah M, Simonato M, Trevelyan A, Volk H, Walker M, Yates N, Prescott MJ (2015) Opportunities for improving animal welfare in rodent models of epilepsy and seizures. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 260: 2-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.09.007

Graham ML, Prescott MJ (2015) The multifactorial role of the 3Rs in shifting the harm‐benefit analysis in animal models of disease. European Journal of Pharmacology 759: 19-29. doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.03.040 

Chapman K, Bayne K, Couch J, Decelle T, Finch L, de Haan L, Koban T, Fris Mikkelsen L, Muller W, Palmer H, Prescott MJ (2015) Opportunities for implementing the 3Rs in drug development and safety assessment studies using nonhuman primates. In: J Bluemel, S Korte, E Schenck, G Weinbauer (Eds.), The Nonhuman Primate in Drug Development and Safety Assessment. Massachusetts: Elsevier. ISBN: 9780124171442 

Pickard J, Buchanan-Smith HM, Dennis M, Flecknell P, Joannides A, Lemon RN, Prescott MJ, Schultz W (2013) Review of the assessment of cumulative severity and lifetime experience in non-human primates used in neuroscience research. London: Animal Procedures Committee.

Prescott MJ (2013) Talking with the animals. Laboratory News, 18 March 2013, 35-37.

Prescott MJ, Nixon ME, Farningham DAH, Naiken S, Griffiths M-A (2012) Laboratory macaques: when to wean? Applied Animal Behaviour Science 137: 194-207. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2011.11.001

Prescott MJ, Brown VJ, Flecknell PA, Garrod K, Lemon RN, Parker AJ, Ryder K, Wolfram Schultz, Scott L, Watson J, Whitfield L (2012) Response to Westlund's commentary: 'Can conditioned reinforcers and variable-ratio schedules make food- and fluid control redundant?' Journal of Neuroscience Methods 204: 206-209. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.08.038

Smith AC, Surridge AK, Prescott MJ, Osorio D, Mundy N, Buchanan-Smith HM (2012) Effect of colour vision status on insect prey capture efficiency of captive and wild tamarins (Saguinus spp.). Animal Behaviour 83(3): 479-486.

Prescott MJ (2012) Changling the face of primate neuroscience. BNA Bulletin 66, 10.

Bateson P, Johansen-Berg H, Jones DK, Keverne EB, Matthews PM, Milner ADM, Prescott MJ, Ragan I, Shattock R, Strauss J, Peck H (2011) Review of Research Using Non-Human Primates: Report of a panel chaired by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS. London: BBSRC, MRC, NC3Rs, Wellcome Trust.

Prescott MJ (2010) Ethics of primate use. Advances in Science and Research 5: 11-22.

Ellegaard L, Cunningham A, Edwards S, Grand N, Nevalainen T, Prescott MJ, Schuurman T. (2010). Welfare of the minipig with special reference to use in regulatory toxicology. Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods 62(3): 167-183. doi:10.1016/j.vascn.2010.05.006

Prescott MJ, Brown VJ, Flecknell PA, Gaffan D, Garrod K, Lemon RN, Parker AJ, Ryder K, Schultz W, Scott L, Watson J, Whitfield L, (2010) Refinement of the use of food and fluid control as motivational tools for macaques used in behavioural neuroscience research: Report of a working group of the NC3Rs. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 193: 167-188. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2010.09.003

Jennings M & Prescott MJ (eds.) Joint Working Group on Refinement (2009) Refinements in husbandry, care and common procedures for non-human primates. Laboratory Animals 43(S1): 1-47. doi:10.1258/la.2008.007143

Prescott MJ (2007) Book review: Guidelines for the humane transportation of research animals. International Journal of Primatology 28: 505–506. doi:10.1007/s10764-007-9134-8

Prescott MJ, Buchanan-Smith HM (2007) Training laboratory-housed non-human primates, Part 1: A UK survey. Animal Welfare 16: 21-26. ISSN 0962-7286 

McCann C, Buchanan-Smith HM, Farmer K, Fitch-Snyder H, Jones-Engel L, Prescott MJ, Taylor S (2007) IPS International Guidelines for the Acquisition, Care and Breeding of Non-Human Primates, 2nd Edition. Captive Care Committee, International Primatological Society.

Prescott MJ (2006) NC3Rs Guidelines: Primate accommodation, care and use. London: NC3Rs.

Prescott MJ (2006) Finding new homes for ex-laboratory and surplus zoo primates. Laboratory Primate Newsletter 45: 5-8. 

Prescott MJ (2006) Primate sensory capabilities and communications signals: Implications for care and use in the laboratory. London: NC3Rs.

Prescott MJ, Bowell VA, Buchanan-Smith HM (2005) Training laboratory-housed non-human primates, Part 2: Resources for developing and implementing training programmes. Animal Technology and Welfare 4: 133-148.

Buchanan-Smith HM, Rennie AE, Vitale A, Pollo S, Prescott MJ, Morton DB. (2005) Harmonising the definition of refinement. Animal Welfare 14(4): 379-384. ISSN 0962-7286 

Swallow J, Anderson D, Buckwell AC, Harris T, Hawkins P (Eds.), Kirkwood J, Lomas M, Peters A, Prescott MJ, Owen S, Quest R, Sutcliffe R, Thompson K.(2005) Guidance for the transport of laboratory animals. Laboratory Animals 39: 1-39. doi:10.1258/0023677052886493

For additional publications pre-NC3Rs on the behaviour and welfare of non-human primates (captivity and field), dogs and other species, see Mark's ResearchGate profile

NC3Rs blogs:


PhD, Psychology
The University of Stirling, 1995–1999
Social learning in mixed-species troops of Saguinus fuscicollis and Saguinus labiatus: tests of foraging benefit hypotheses in captivity.

BSc Hons, Zoology
The University of Edinburgh, 1991–1995