NC3Rs e-newsletter - April 2020

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April 2020

Through these unprecedented times, the NC3Rs continues to operate to support researchers and animal care staff with their 3Rs initiatives. We are working to keep our website updated so it remains a comprehensive source of 3Rs information.


If you have any queries, please email to be put in touch with the right NC3Rs staff member or team. You can also visit our dedicated COVID-19 page for updates.

How we can help

Researchers: whether you are an NC3Rs grant holder, potential applicant or otherwise, our expert team can review information provided by email or have a virtual meeting with you.


Animal care staff: we’re here to support you with practical 3Rs advice, best accessed through our dedicated hub for animal technicians. You can also get in touch with our team, including your university’s Regional Programme Manager where applicable.


NC3Rs grant holders: We are doing our best to continue with business-critical activities and support our grant holders to do the same, including applying no-cost extensions on a case-by-case basis. Our grant holders are encouraged to email with any queries.


Anyone working in a laboratory setting: we have practical information on a wide range of topics to help you continue to do good science by keeping the 3Rs a priority. Topics include blood samplingexperimental designhousing and husbandry of common laboratory species and more.


Those undergoing NC3Rs peer review: our peer review and advice service is continuing to review proposals from 28 funding organisations, including many for COVID-19 research. Read more about this service and check out our tips for applicants for advice on preparing your application for this process.

International survey on non-aversive handling of laboratory mice

A global survey of mouse handling methods has revealed that respondents in the UK are more likely to have implemented non-aversive methods than those in the rest of the world. While there are a number of perceived obstacles to the uptake of these methods, the vast majority of survey participants worldwide were convinced of their welfare and scientific benefits.

Read more

  Mouse handling

2020 PhD Studentship funding scheme: call for outlines

Our 2020 PhD Studentship funding scheme is now open for informal outlines. This competition is run annually with up to twelve awards available, with a value of £30k (non-FEC) per annum for three years. This year's competition will also include up to three joint awards with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) for 3Rs projects in cardiovascular research, as well as up to two joint awards with Unilever for projects within non-animal safety assessment.

The deadline to submit the two-page outline form is 4pm on Monday 4 May.

Read more

  NC3Rs-funded PhD Studentships

Register now for our Studentship application webinar

Friday 24 April, 2-2.30pm (BST)

This webinar will provide prospective applicants to our 2020 Studentship funding scheme with guidance on completing the outline form. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the application process.

Register now


  NC3Rs online resources survey

NC3Rs/BHF Studentships – advancing cardiovascular science with 3Rs methods

To mark the opening of our 2020 PhD Studentship scheme, we are highlighting some of the scientific and 3Rs impacts from two of our earliest joint awards with the BHF. To date we have co-funded 12 PhD Studentships with the BHF, supporting scientific discovery across a range of areas in cardiovascular research, which will benefit patients and reduce reliance on animal models.

Read more


  British Heart Foundation logo
3 Minute 3Rs podcast
Latest news from the NC3RsExternal resources

COVID-19 contingency planning for animal facilities

Professionals from the UK's laboratory animal community have produced advice to help staff working under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (ASPA) with preparing COVID-19 contingency plans. These include suggestions for keeping personnel safe, managing animals and maintaining stocks of essential supplies.

Download the advice

  Technician in animal facility

Read the IAT's leaflet on how technicians can look after their mental health

Animal technicians around the world are continuing to play a vital role and go the extra mile in caring for laboratory animals. To support technicians in keeping mentally well during this difficult period, the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) has launched guidance on wellbeing and mental health, which can be downloaded from their website.

Download the leaflet

  Mental health

Help create a living evidence summary of COVID-19 research

The CAMARADES group is recruiting participants to help them build a continually-updated online summary of COVID-19 research by annotating studies with the NC3Rs-funded Systematic Review Facility. They are particularly seeking participants able to review primary research published in Chinese.

Learn more

  Systematic reviews