NC3Rs e-newsletter - May 2020

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May 2020

For more information about how we’re supporting the research community through the COVID-19 pandemic, visit our dedicated page.

Read the latest issue of Tech3Rs

The May issue of our quarterly newsletter for animal technicians is now available online. As well as focusing on environmental enrichment and new online resources, this issue also includes our first Tech Journeys feature, in which we speak to John Waters, Chief Animal Technician and NACWO at the University of Liverpool, about his career so far.

Read online or download

  Tech3Rs May 2020

Announcing five awards supporting 3Rs knowledge and skills exchange

We have awarded five new Skills and Knowledge Transfer grants, bringing the total to 20 since the scheme launched in 2017. Each award will promote the exchange and uptake of models, tools or technologies with immediate and deliverable 3Rs impacts between research groups.

Read more

  Skills and Knowledge Transfer grants

Visit our new rat tickling hub

Tickling is increasingly recognised as an effective way to improve laboratory rat welfare by mimicking natural play habits. Our new online hub brings together resources on the correct technique for rat tickling, the evidence base supporting it and how it can benefit you and your rats.


Thank you to Dr Megan LaFollette and the Gaskill Lab at Purdue University for providing many of the scientific resources and photos for this hub.

Visit the hub

  Rat tickling

Pair housing of dogs in metabolism studies

A Covance-NovoNordisk collaboration has shown that dogs can be pair-housed during metabolism studies to assess the pharmacokinetic properties of new drugs. The authors conclude that pair-housing enhances dog welfare without compromising the scientific integrity of excretion balance studies conducted for regulatory purposes.

Read more

  Pair housing of dogs in metabolism studies
3 Minute 3Rs podcastLatest news from the NC3Rs

Approaches to evaluating environmental enrichment

Earlier this year, NC3Rs staff met with animal technicians from different universities around the UK to discuss how they introduce new enrichment items into their facilities. Our latest blog post summarises these discussions and explores the barriers staff face when it comes to evaluating the impact of enrichment on welfare, as well as potential solutions to facilitate more formal studies in this area.

Read more

  Environmental enrichment

E-learning and the 3Rs

FLAIRE Learning has released three new NC3Rs-funded e-learning modules on advanced anaesthesia for laboratory animal professionals. In this guest blog post, Professor Paul Flecknell and Jon Gledhill explore how e-learning can complement more traditional training approaches.

Read more


Using an award scheme to promote 3Rs innovation

Running a 3Rs award scheme is one way that biopharmaceutical companies can support scientists and animal care staff to put the 3Rs into practice. In this guest blog post, Paul Finnemore and Stewart Owen share how AstraZeneca is supporting communication and innovation in the 3Rs across its global sites.

Read more

  AstraZeneca mouse

Last chance to apply for this year’s AAALAC Global 3Rs Awards

The Global 3Rs Awards programme recognises significant 3Rs innovations by any researcher in academia or industry. Nominations should be based on a primary research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal in the last three years that advances any of the 3Rs.


The deadline to submit a nomination is 4pm (EDT) on Monday 1 June.

Learn more and apply

  AAALAC Global 3Rs Awards

Complete this survey on experimental surgery in rodents

Swiss 3RCC-funded researchers Felix Gantenbein, Petra Seebeck and Stephan Zeiter are conducting two surveys to understand the challenges faced by researchers and animal care staff involved in experimental rodent surgery and how these procedures could be refined.


The first of these surveys is now available in English, French and German – please consider taking 10-15 minutes to complete it and share your experiences.

Complete the survey

  AAALAC Global 3Rs Awards