NC3Rs e-newsletter - February 2021

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February 2021

Apply now for the International 3Rs Prize

Is your research making a big difference to the 3Rs?

Wherever you are in the world, if you have published an outstanding paper with demonstrable 3Rs impacts in the last three years, we want you to apply for this year’s International 3Rs Prize. This prestigious award, sponsored by GSK, consists of a £28k prize grant and a £2k personal award. Past winners have advanced the 3Rs in a range of areas, from laboratory animal welfare to in vitro and in silico models and experimental design.


Submit your application for this year’s prize by 4pm (GMT) on Wednesday 3 March.

Learn more and apply

Visit our new research culture hub

The NC3Rs is committed to facilitating a good research culture, supporting reproducible and ethical research through effective application of the 3Rs. We have produced a new hub that features a range of resources to help you strengthen the research culture of your group, department or institution.

Visit the hub

  Research culture and the 3Rs

Join the NC3Rs funding team

We're seeking an Early Career Awards Programme Manager to join our team for a one-year maternity cover role. If you're interested in working with both early career and senior researchers to stimulate change and inspire the next generation of 3Rs-minded scientists, the deadline to apply for this role is Sunday 28 February.

Learn more and apply

  Join the NC3Rs team

Meet our new Training Fellows

We have awarded four new Training Fellowships that will support early career researchers to develop new skills and gain experience. Through these awards, the Fellows will establish their independent careers in 3Rs-relevant fields, including larval zebrafish models of stroke, pancreatic organoids, radiomics and human 3D models of lung fibrosis.

Learn more

  Meet our new Training Fellows

Last chance to share your experiences with microsampling

If you are a researcher in academia or industry who currently uses microsampling, or could but has concerns about doing so, please take 15 minutes to complete our survey and inform our future strategy. The deadline to complete the survey is Wednesday 24 February.

Complete the survey

  Help us understand how microsampling is used in research and safety studies
3 Minute 3Rs podcast

£2 million awarded for Phase 2 of the 2019 CRACK IT Challenges competition

Following the proof-of-concept Phase 1, two teams have been awarded funding to fully deliver two CRACK IT Challenges. A team led by Professor Wolfgang Weber (Technical University of Munich) will develop a non-invasive imaging approach to track adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapies and chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR-T) in vivo, while a team led by Dr Alessandro Rotilio (MOAB srl) will develop a human in vitro model to assess the safety of genome-edited human haematopoietic stem cells.

Learn more

  2019 CRACK IT Challenges

£900k awarded to deliver Phase 1 of the 2020 CRACK IT Challenges competition

Nine teams have been awarded funding for proof-of-concept studies to solve three CRACK IT Challenges, aiming to reduce reliance on animals and deliver commercial and scientific benefits. The Challenges include developing in vitro assays free from animal-derived reagents, and in vitro models for immunotoxicology and wound healing.

Learn more

  2020 CRACK IT Challenges

Register now: TaiNi by design – advancing the 3Rs in EEG recording in rodents (10 years of CRACK IT)

Thursday 25 February, 2-3pm


This webinar will showcase the TaiNi wireless EEG recording device developed to address the Cognition CRACK IT Challenge. The ultra lightweight system replaces the use of heavy tethered devices, allowing mice to be socially housed, move more freely and exhibit natural behaviours. The webinar will feature presentations by Professor Esther Rodriguez Villegas, who led the development of TaiNi, and Dr Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser, who has adopted the TaiNi device in his epilepsy treatment research.

Register now

  Cognition CRACK IT Challenge

Register now: Efficient management of genetically altered mouse colonies

Monday 1 March, 2.30-3.15pm (GMT)


This joint webinar from the NC3Rs and the Mary Lyon Centre (MRC Harwell) will explore how to address common challenges in the management of GA mouse colonies. The webinar will demonstrate how applying best practice can help you produce well-controlled and reproducible research and get the most out of the minimum number of animals. Anyone who manages mouse colonies, provides training in breeding and colony management, or uses GA mice in their research is encouraged to attend.

Register now

  Breeding and colony management

Register now: The worm that turned the tide on in vivo DART testing (10 years of CRACK IT)

Tuesday 16 March, 2-3pm


This webinar will showcase a C. elegans platform to assess the developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART) potential of chemicals developed to address the PreDART CRACK IT Challenge. This model, when used in combination with a zebrafish embryo screen also developed during the Challenge, is highly accurate, cheap and fast when compared to mammalian studies. The webinar will be presented by Dr Marjolein Wildwater, who founded the spin-out company to commercialise the platform, and Dr Martijn Rooseboom, one of the Challenge Sponsors.

Register now


Recording: Tickling rats for improved welfare

In this webinar, originally presented on Wednesday 27 January, Dr Megan LaFollette from the North American 3Rs Collaborative presents rat tickling as a positive handling technique. As well as sharing the welfare benefits of rat tickling, Megan provides guidance on putting it into practice for laboratory care staff and researchers.

Watch the recording

Find more rat tickling resources

  Rat tickling

Find and archive mouse strains with the new MRC Harwell Archive

MRC Harwell’s new archive portal makes it easy to search for and order over 3,000 mouse strains held by Harwell. Researchers around the world can also archive their strains free of charge, enabling them to reduce the number of mice being bred.

Visit the portal

  MRC Harwell Archive

RSPCA event: Focus on fish

Tuesday 23 February, 11am-4pm (GMT)


As fish are increasingly used in research and testing worldwide, the importance of improving their welfare and minimising harm is being recognised more widely. This RSPCA-led online event will bring together researchers, animal care staff, veterinarians and regulators to share the latest knowledge and approaches to refining fish use and how improving welfare will also improve translatability.

Register now

  Zebrafish tanks