NC3Rs e-newsletter - July 2021

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July 2021

Strengthen your 3Rs culture with our new 3Rs self-assessment tools

We have launched two interactive online tools for research groups and academic institutions, which allow you to collate, track and benchmark your 3Rs activities so you can demonstrate your commitment to the 3Rs and ensure your institutional policy is put into practice. Through scores and bespoke feedback, these secure and free-to-use tools can help you understand areas where your group or institution is doing well and identify new 3Rs opportunities.

Learn more and get started

3Rs self-assessment tool icon

We will be holding a webinar on at 3pm (BST) on Wednesday 28 July to support anyone interested in using the tools to get started. The webinar will be relevant for in vivo researchers, members of ethics committees and those involved in overseeing animal research within research institutions.

Register now

New resource for evaluating environmental enrichment

If you're trying a new form of enrichment in your facility, assessing whether it improves animal welfare is a vital part of the process, but it can be challenging if you don't know where to start. We have worked with the RSPCA and the IAT to create a new resource for technicians on evaluating environmental enrichment, filled with practical support and examples that you can tailor to your own project, whatever species you work with.

Explore the resource

Examples of enrichment for mice, fish and monkeys

Join the NC3Rs team and help promote replacement technologies

We are recruiting a Replacement Technologies Programme Manager to facilitate an increase in the availability and use of approaches that replace in vivo studies in academia and industry. If you have a PhD in a biological science and post-doctoral experience, as well as a demonstrable commitment to the 3Rs, this could be the role for you.

The deadline to apply for this role is Thursday 2 September.

Learn more and apply

Join the NC3Rs team

Promoting social housing during telemetry studies

A new paper co-authored by NC3Rs staff highlights an increase in the adoption of social housing for cardiovascular telemetry studies in dogs, non-human primates and minipigs – a positive step that leads to improved welfare and better quality data. While this refinement is becoming the new standard approach across the pharmaceutical industry, assisted by improvements in technologies and the sharing of experience and data between companies, a concerted cross-industry effort is required for it to become the global norm.

Learn more

Socially housed dogs

Survey: Help us understand 3Rs opportunities and barriers in biologicals testing

If you are involved in the quality control and batch/lot release testing of biological products, we would like to learn about your experiences of implementing 3Rs and non-animal approaches within these tests. Please take 30 minutes to fill in our survey and help inform the recommendations we make as part of our collaboration with the WHO on the wider integration of 3Rs approaches within their guidelines. Ultimately this work aims to reduce reliance on animal models and support faster access to cheaper products by the global communities who need them most urgently.

The deadline to contribute is Friday 20 August.

Download and complete the survey

Needle in vial of vaccine
"3 Minute 3Rs" podcast
10 years of CRACK IT

We are taking a break from our “ten years of CRACK IT” webinar series in August, but we will be back in September, October and November – visit our website to learn more and register.

10 years of CRACK IT product showcase: InPulse

Put in vitro platforms at the heart of your cardiotoxicity testing

Our latest webinar showcased the technologies and platforms developed to address the 2013 InPulse CRACK IT Challenge, to develop a human-based in vitro system to assess cardiotoxicity in new drugs. Speakers included Professor Chris Denning (University of Nottingham), who led the team that delivered the InPulse Challenge, and Dr Peter Clements (GSK), lead Sponsor of the Challenge.

Watch the recording

Multiple different technologies and platforms have been developed or advanced as part of the InPulse Challenge and are now available for use in cardiotoxicity testing:

  • EHT Technologies: 3D hydrogel-based engineered heart tissues, generated from isolated animal and human cells, which can replace in vivo studies in drug screening, disease modelling and basic research.
  • MuscleMotion: a versatile open software tool to quantify cardiomyocyte and cardiac muscle contraction in vitro and in vivo, avoiding the need for customised hardware or advanced informatics.
  • NCardia: fully functional human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for efficient and reliable preclinical safety assessment without the use of animals.

Learn more about these tools

Help validate an in silico tool to predict drug abuse potential

If you work in preclinical safety assessment, take a look at our latest collaboration opportunity on konfer. Joe Bradley and his team at Scitegrity are seeking collaborators to validate computational models for predicting drug abuse liability across a wide range of abuse mechanisms and targets, so they can better understand their potential 3Rs impact.

Learn more and connect

Scitegrity logo

Gain early access to new non-mammalian approaches for toxicology testing

Are you interested in early access to new 3Rs approaches that could improve your developmental neurotoxicology and developmental and reproductive toxicology studies? Newormics is seeking industry partners to connect via konfer and provide reference compounds to validate their toxicology assays, which use C. elegans as an alternative to mammalian models.

Learn more and connect

Newormics logo

Apply for this year’s Training Fellowship scheme

NC3Rs Training Fellowships support the development of researchers with less than three years’ post-doctoral experience, helping them develop new skills and gain experience to establish their independent research careers. This year’s scheme is now open for applications, which should be submitted via Je-S by Thursday 9 September.

Learn more

2020 Training Fellowships

Register for our webinar

If you’re thinking of applying for this year’s Training Fellowship scheme, we strongly recommend you attend our webinar at 11am (BST) on Thursday 29 July for further information and guidance. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about the application process.

Register now

Nine new awards in our fifth year of 3Rs knowledge transfer

This year we have awarded the largest number of Skills and Knowledge Transfer grants to date, including one award co-funded with Cancer Research UK. Through the scheme we tackle the lag in uptake of 3Rs methods by enabling their exchange between research groups. For the first time this year, SMEs were able to apply for the scheme – three awards fund partnerships between industry and academia.

Learn more

Skills and Knowledge Transfer award scheme

Celebrating over £100M of 3Rs funding

Our total funding since the NC3Rs was established in 2004 recently passed the milestone amount of £100M. We're thrilled to have supported so much great 3Rs research during the last 17 years; to celebrate, we took a look back at our funding schemes over the years and some of the key figures behind the milestone.

Learn more

Word cloud including words such as model, development, vitro and cell

Virtual demonstration of the Experimental Design Assistant

Tuesday 24 August, 9-10am (BST)

Dr Esther Pearl (NC3Rs) will give a live demonstration of the Experimental Design Assistant, online software to help researchers design robust in vivo experiments that are more likely to give reproducible results. It will be relevant to anyone involved in planning and designing experiments or teaching experimental design.

Attendee numbers are limited to enable a more interactive question and answer session. If you cannot attend this demonstration, more will be scheduled for upcoming months – keep an eye on future newsletters or our dedicated webpage for details.

Register now

Webinar: Best Practice in Experimental Design

The NC3Rs at WC11

Monday 23 August – Thursday 2 September

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC11) will be fully virtual in 2021, providing the global research community with an opportunity to attend. NC3Rs staff will be delivering talks on a range of 3Rs-related topics, from applying the 3Rs in drug development regulatory studies and minimising aggression in laboratory mice to highlighting NC3Rs resources on reproducibility and our new 3Rs self-assessment tools.

Learn more

WC11 logo

Submit an abstract for the 2021 LASA annual conference

Registration is now open for this year's online LASA annual conference, which will take place over six afternoons (16-18 and 23-25 November, 1-4.30pm GMT). The LASA 3Rs section conveners are inviting submissions for spoken presentations on any aspect of the 3Rs - in particular, techniques that have been used during the recent COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. contingency refinements or developments) and new 3Rs advances that are supported by scientific data.

The closing date for submissions is Monday 16 August. Abstracts for online posters are also being requested, with submissions closing on Friday 29 October.

Learn more


Complete the MRC’s survey on diversity in research

The MRC has launched a community survey on diversity in research design and conduct. The survey covers research involving human participants, animal models and in vitro models, and the results will support a review of MRC policies in the area, including the inclusion of sex as an experimental variable.

The survey should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete – the deadline to take part is Sunday 8 August.

Complete the survey