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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Latest news from the NC3Rs: August 2023

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE appointed as Chair of the NC3Rs Board

As the Chair of our Board, Julia will help to deliver our strategy, prepare for the next core funding bid and promote the UK’s position at the forefront of 3Rs research and development. Her tenure will begin 1 January 2024, at the start of our 20-year anniversary celebrations, for what is sure to be an exciting year for the organisation.

Celebrating 20 years of 3Rs research with £2k public engagement awards open to all

Our public engagement award scheme invites scientists to step out of the lab and bring their 3Rs research to the public. To celebrate our 20-year anniversary we are increasing the funding to up to £2k to support your public engagement activities and events in 2024. What’s more, applications from all 3Rs-minded scientists and animal technicians, regardless of funder, are welcome. Early careers researchers are particularly encouraged to apply!

Effective and engaging communication for 3Rs research

A new blog post explores the value of effective science communication for both scientists and society and shares top tips for communicating your 3Rs research. From PhD students to postdocs and PIs, science communication skills and public engagement is important for your personal and professional development and the NC3Rs is here to support your skills. 

Introducing research round-ups

We have been using Twitter to share 3Rs advances with scientists and the public for years, but with turbulent times on the platform we want to make sure that this information is accessible for all. That's why we will be translating our twitter threads, where we focus on the 3Rs in a particular specialty or area of research, into research round-ups for our website. Our first one focuses on the work of NC3Rs-funded researchers to replace animals in the search for new stroke treatments.

Read our first research round-up: Replacing animals in stroke research.

Register for the 2023 CRACK IT Challenges launch events

We have announced four new CRACK IT Challenges in collaboration with 14 Sponsors from academia and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. This year’s Challenges include a leap forward in organ-on-chip technology, new approach methodologies for toxicity testing of pharmaceuticals and chemicals and systems for a step change in behavioural and welfare assessment for mice.

Register for the Challenge launch webinar to find out more:

  • SensOoChip – Increasing the reproducibility and predictive power of organ-on-chips through multiparametric real-time monitoring and data modelling.
    Tuesday 5 September, 14.00 – 15.15 (BST)
  • CrossDART – Multi-species in vitro developmental toxicity testing.
    Wednesday 6 September, 10.00 – 11.15 (BST)
  • FET4Thyroid – A Fish Eleutheroembryo Test for thyroid activity.
    Wednesday 6 September, 14.00 – 15.15 (BST)
  • aTRACKtive – Improved in vivo identification system for real-time, early-life individualised tracking and behavioural and welfare analysis in mice.
    Thursday 7 September, 14.00 – 15.15 (BST)

Applications to solve the Challenges will open after the launch webinars.

Conference: NC3Rs at WC12 Canada

Sunday 27 August – Thursday 31 August, Niagara Falls, Canada
The twelfth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will be held in Niagara Falls, Canada with the theme '3Rs over the edge: regulatory acceptance and next-gen education'. Several members of the NC3Rs team will be attending, chairing sessions and delivering talks and posters.

Opportunities to learn more about our Experimental Design Assistant (EDA)

Virtual demonstration of the EDA
Thursday 14 September, 16.00 – 17.00 (BST)

Our EDA tool helps researchers at any level design robust in vivo experiments. Following a presentation on the key aspects of the online tool, Dr Esther Pearl (NC3Rs Experimental Design Programme Manager) will answer questions on how you can use the EDA to design and plan your next study. Limited spaces are available on a first come first served basis and attendees are eligible for CPD points.

Improving experimental design: Ethical implications and how the EDA can help
Thursday 14 September, 18.00 – 19.00 (BST)/13.00 – 14.00 (ET)

Esther is also delivering a webinar organised by the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (NIH OLAW) to discuss how the EDA can support robust and reproducible research for US IACUC members and all those involved in NIH-funded animal research programmes.

Workshop: Implementing the 3Rs in WHO biologicals guidelines

Tuesday 19 – Wednesday 20 September, central London and online

Registration is open to attend a two-day workshop showcasing the outputs from our project to review animal use requirements in WHO biologics guidelines focusing on quality control and batch release testing. The workshop will highlight the findings and recommendations for inclusion of the 3Rs from the last three-years’ work. 

Workshop: Applying the 3Rs to urinalysis assessments in toxicity studies: refining procedures and adopting a case-by-case approach

Tuesday 31 October, 10.00 – 18.00 (GMT), central London 
The NC3Rs and the Association for Comparative Clinical Pathology (ACCP) are jointly hosting a workshop to bring a fresh perspective to urinalysis assessments in toxicity studies. 

The workshop will address welfare issues related to urine collection methods and the value of urinalysis for decision-making through a series of talks, case studies from pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors, breakout discussion sessions and posters.

Joint 3Rs symposium: Emerging fields in 3Rs

Tuesday 19 – Thursday 21 September, Brussels, Belgium

The Innovation Centre 3Rs (IC-3Rs) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in collaboration with RE-Place and the European consortium TWINALT are hosting their first joint symposium at the VUB Health Campus in Jette, Brussels, Belgium. The symposium will focus on human-relevant non-animal methods and implementing the 3Rs in biomedical research.

Workshop: Introduction to systematic review and meta-analysis of animal studies

Monday 25 – Wednesday 27 September, 12.00 – 16.00 (BST)

Over three half-days, this workshop from the CAMARADES group will cover how to use the Systematic Review Facility (SyRF), an online platform for researchers developed by CAMARADES using an NC3Rs infrastructure grant. Through a combination of lectures and hands-on practical activities and tutorials, you will learn the major steps required to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical animal studies.

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