NC3Rs e-newsletter - March 2018


2017 International 3Rs Prize awarded


This year's International 3Rs Prize has been awarded to Dr Elisa Passini of the University of Oxford for her work on an in silico model that predicts cardiotoxicity more accurately than animal studies. The Prize, sponsored by GSK, is awarded annually to recognise a paper that has significant impacts on the 3Rs. Two other papers were also highly commended.




Listen to the latest episode of “3 Minute 3Rs”


This month’s edition of “3 Minute 3Rs”, the podcast co-produced by the NC3Rs and LabAnimal, is a 3Rs Prize special, featuring this year’s top three papers. We cover in silico cardiotoxicity testing, a novel experimental design and an animal-free alternative to antibodies – all in just three minutes.




Tail handling reduces the value of reward in laboratory mice


A study has found that tail handling makes laboratory mice less responsive to reward, suggesting a more depressive-like state compared to mice handled using a tunnel. This work, carried out by researchers at Newcastle University, adds to previous studies demonstrating that tail handling can be aversive, with implications for the welfare of the mice as well as for the design and interpretation of scientific studies.




Submit your outline to our 2018 PhD Studentship scheme


Our PhD Studentship awards embed the 3Rs in the training of graduate scientists from a broad range of scientific backgrounds. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit; those incorporating systematic reviews for 3Rs purposes are particularly welcomed due to our 2018 highlight notice. This year, up to three joint awards with the British Heart Foundation are available.


The deadline for submitting outlines to the NC3Rs office is 1 May 2018 at 4pm.




Register for our PhD Studentship webinar


3 April 2018, 2.30-3.30pm


We are hosting a webinar to provide prospective applicants to our PhD Studentship award scheme with further information and guidance on the scheme and application process.




£700k awarded in the 2017 CRACK IT Challenge competition


Seven teams have been awarded funding across three CRACK IT Challenges in the 2017 competition, which brings together industry, academia and SMEs to develop marketable products or improve business processes that will have a significant 3Rs impact. The three Challenges cover in vitro dosing strategies, mapping DART pathways and in silico models for predicting human respiratory irritation.




LocoWhisk: Quantifying rodent exploration and locomotion behaviours


LocoWhisk, our latest CRACK IT Solution, is an arena that can measure whisker movement and locomotion simultaneously. This provides a non-invasive assessment of rodent behaviour, generating improved data which can reduce the number of animals required to achieve statistical significance. LocoWhisk has been successfully piloted and now its developers at Manchester Metropolitan University are seeking collaborators to further validate and commercialise the system.




Celebrating female researchers for International Women’s Day 2018


To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 on 8 March, we highlighted a number of female researchers at different career stages, including NC3Rs grant holders, whose fantastic work across a broad range of disciplines is helping advance the 3Rs in the UK and internationally.




13 years and 900 applications: perspectives and advice from the NC3Rs peer review service


The NC3Rs has provided a peer review and advice service to the major UK funders of animal research for over a decade. In this blog post marking our 900th review, we discuss how the service fits into the overall peer review processes of the funding bodies and consider how applicants might best prepare for our review.




Survey on the awareness and uptake of enrichment in rodent studies


Dr Claire Gibson and her team at the University of Leicester are investigating how to improve the welfare of rodents in experimental stroke studies. As part of their research, they have designed a survey to establish the status of enrichment for laboratory rodents and the barriers that may be encountered.