Latest news from the NC3Rs: October 2023
In this issue
- Reviewing animal testing requirements in WHO guidance for biologics
- Eight years of the EDA: Updates and refreshed resources
- Introducing impact stories
- Research round-up: 3Rs innovations in Alzheimer’s disease
- Project grants scheme open for applications
- Deadline approaching: Join our Funding Panels from January 2024
- Last chance to apply: Single Phase 2023 CRACK IT Challenges
- Webinar: Virtual demonstration of the Experimental Design Assistant
- Webinar: Technology Partn3Ring
- Workshop: Introduction to Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis of Animal Studies
- CIRS-LAS: Transparent and constructive communication in laboratory animal science
Reviewing animal testing requirements in WHO guidance for biologics
We have completed a ‘3Rs audit’ of World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance documents for the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines and biological therapeutics. Co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and compiled by an expert international working group, the report is a culmination of three years of work and was recently presented to the WHO Expert Committee for Biological Standardization. We suggest new language to harmonise animal testing requirements and embed 3Rs principles in guidelines and recommendations for batch release testing.
The report and a searchable database of all animal tests identified and recommendations made are available on our website, alongside related publications and stakeholder engagement workshop recordings.
Find out more about our review of animal testing requirements in WHO biologics guidelines.
Eight years of the EDA: Updates and refreshed resources
This month marks eight years since we launched the Experimental Design Assistant (EDA) to help researchers design more rigorous in vivo experiments and reduce their animal use. To celebrate we have updated the EDA application and website, adding new functionality, making the programme easier to use and rewriting our experimental design support pages to help all researchers find the information they need.
Webinar recording: Improving experimental design
Ethical implications and how the EDA can help
Dr Esther Pearl (NC3Rs Experimental Design Programme Manager) recently delivered 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 ethics committee members and those involved in NIH-funded animal research programmes. The webinar is aimed at US-based researchers but is relevant to people working with laboratory animals around the world.
Introducing impact stories
Find out how NC3Rs funding supports scientists to develop innovative 3Rs tools and technologies, promote 3Rs advances nationally and around the world and build their careers as future scientific leaders. Our new impact stories are a celebration of NC3Rs-funded research, highlighting how the research, labs and individuals we fund are pioneering better science. This first batch tells the story of three groups working to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in their lab and beyond:
Research round-up: 3Rs innovations in Alzheimer’s disease
Last month was World Alzheimer’s Month. The second instalment of our new research round-up series explores almost 15 years of NC3Rs-funded research to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in Alzheimer’s disease research.
Project grants scheme open for applications
Do you have an idea for a new 3Rs method, tool or technology? Do you want to demonstrate your 3Rs method is fit-for-purpose and ready for use by the research community? Our Project grant scheme is open for applications on the UKRI Funding Service. Applicants should be able to demonstrate they can direct the proposed research – less experienced researchers are welcome to apply in collaboration with a more senior colleague. Applications can be for up to 36 months and are funded at 80% of the full economic cost. The NC3Rs funding team is available to answer any questions: 3Rsgrants@nc3rs.org.uk.
Deadline approaching: Join our Funding Panels from January 2024
We are inviting applications from talented researchers to join our Partnership and Impact, Studentship and Grant Assessment Panels. These Panels are responsible for assessing the scientific excellence and 3Rs impact of diverse, innovative applications for research and career development funding, and advising the budget holder on funding decisions. Applications from currently under-represented groups, including women and members of minority ethnic groups, and researchers with disabilities or long-term conditions are especially welcomed.
Find out more about our Funding Panel vacancies.
Last chance to apply: Single Phase 2023 CRACK IT Challenges
CRACK IT Challenges are set by industrial Sponsors and the NC3Rs, focusing on developing products and services that deliver scientific and 3Rs benefits in key areas of research.
- Challenge 46 – FET4Thyroid: A Fish Eleutheroembryo Test for Thyroid Activity.
- Challenge 47 – aTRACKtive: Improved in vivo identification system for real-time, early-life individualised tracking and behavioural and welfare analysis in mice.
Visit the Innovation platform for application forms and details of each Challenge and to get involved in networking and consortia building opportunities.
Webinar: Virtual demonstration of the Experimental Design Assistant
Wednesday 8 November, 14.00 – 15.00 (GMT)
Our Experimental Design Assistant (EDA) tool helps researchers at any level design robust in vivo experiments. Following a presentation of 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.
Webinar: Technology Partn3Ring
Wednesday 15 November, 14.00 – 15.00 (GMT)
Join us at our next webinar to learn about collaboration opportunities to accelerate the development and uptake of 3Rs technologies. November’s webinar will feature in silico tools for safety testing, a microphysiological system of nerve-muscle behaviour and a handheld device to refine the measurement of subcutaneous tumours in preclinical research. More information about the speakers and their collaboration opportunities is available on our website.
Workshop: Introduction to Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis of Animal Studies
Monday 4 – Wednesday 6 December
12.00 – 16.00 (GMT)/13.00 – 17.00 (CET) daily
Through a combination of lectures, practical activities and tutorials, this online workshop will focus on the major steps required to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical animal studies using the freely available online platform Systematic Review Facility (SyRF). This workshop, delivered over three half days by the CAMARADES group, is free to attend for all researchers and would be particularly useful to those who have never undertaken a systematic review before.
CIRS-LAS: Transparent and constructive communication in laboratory animal science
The CIRS-LAS (Critical Incident Reporting System in Laboratory Animal Science) project aims to increase transparency in communication and reporting of unexpected events, incidents or near-misses in laboratory animal science. By mirroring the anonymous reporting systems used for patient safety in human medicine, CIRS-LAS aims to improve animal welfare and reduce the number of animal used by preventing repetition of failed experiments.
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