NC3Rs e-newsletter - October 2020

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October 2020

Re-starting mouse breeding after lockdown?

Increasing numbers of researchers are returning to their animal work following the COVID-19 lockdown. Many are faced with the challenge of needing to rapidly breed experimental cohorts from reduced stock or to finish experiments started prior to lockdown. Working with an expert group of researchers and colony managers, we have produced guidance on how to re-commence experiments after a pause with an emphasis on minimising the number of mice used.

Learn more

  Breeding and colony management

Apply for funding to adopt or share a 3Rs approach

Our Skills and Knowledge Transfer scheme funds collaborations to transfer 3Rs tools, models and methods between research establishments so their 3Rs impacts can be maximised. This year it is evolving to facilitate greater connectivity between academics and industry, with SMEs now eligible to apply as the lead applicant (either the adopter or the developer of the method). Please note a Je-S account will be required to apply.


Informal outline submission is now open – the deadline to submit is 4pm (GMT) on Friday 27 November.

Learn more

If you are interested in applying for this year’s scheme, register for our webinar at 2pm on Tuesday 27 October (GMT), which will provide further details on making a competitive application.

Register now

NC3Rs collaboration leads to reduction in animal use for regulatory fish bioconcentration testing

Recommendations from an industry project led by the NC3Rs have been incorporated into guidance published by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The guidance relates to the use of fish in bioconcentration factor studies, which analyse the potential for waterborne pollutants to accumulate in fish and enter the food chain. The EPA estimates that this policy change will reduce fish use by one-third – around 240 animals per year.

Learn more

  Fish bioaccumulation studies
3 Minute 3Rs podcastLatest news from the NC3Rs

Apply to solve one of this year’s CRACK IT Challenges

CRACK IT Challenges 2020

Up to £3.5 million funding is available to UK and EU-based applicants to solve five Challenges that focus on delivering 3Rs, business and scientific impacts across diverse areas:

The closing date to apply is Thursday 5 November for Two Phase Challenges and Thursday 12 November for Single Phase Challenges.

Learn more

Help us fund the best 3Rs research – join an NC3Rs Funding Panel

Our Funding Panels are responsible for assessing the scientific excellence and 3Rs impact of diverse, innovative applications for research and career development funding. We are currently inviting applications from senior scientists to join our Grant Assessment Panel, Studentship Assessment Panel, and Training Fellowship Assessment Panel from January 2021.


The deadline for applications is 4pm (GMT) on Tuesday 17 November.

Learn more

  Funding Panel vacancies

Register now: 2020 Primate Welfare Meeting

Wednesday 18 November, 3-4.30pm (GMT)


This year’s Primate Welfare Meeting will take place online and will focus on sharing the findings of two international surveys on behavioural management of non-human primates and on welfare indicators for macaques and marmosets. Registration is now open to laboratory personnel working directly with non-human primates.

Register now

  Primate Welfare Meeting 2020

Register now: Organ-on-a-chip technology - from a scientific and 3Rs perspective

Tuesday 20 October, 11am-12pm (BST)


This webinar will showcase some of the organ-on-a-chip research we have funded through our CRACK IT and research funding programmes. Dr Jos Joore (CEO and co-founder, MIMETAS) and Professor Julien Gautrot (Professor in Biomaterials and Biointerfaces, Queen Mary University of London) will give insights into their research, highlighting the scientific and 3Rs benefits of using organ-on-a-chip technology.

Register now

  Organ-on-a-chip technology

The NC3Rs at the 71st AALAS National Meeting

This year's AALAS (American Association for Laboratory Animal Science) National Meeting will be taking place virtually – registered delegates can stream talks from 25 October to 31 December. The NC3Rs is co-sponsoring a session with Charles River Laboratories on research animal behavioural management, as well as participating in a session on best practices for inflammation-based animal models.

Learn more


Recordings: The 3Rs across Europe webinar series

Europe is home to a vibrant 3Rs community with a range of organisations who fund or promote science and technology developments that lead to opportunities to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research. To celebrate the 3Rs in Europe, six organisations came together in September 2020 to organise a virtual event highlighting the latest 3Rs advances over three days of talks. Recordings of each talk are now available to watch online.

Watch the talks

  The 3Rs across Europe

Explore fetal calf serum-free media for your next experiment

Fetal calf serum (FCS) is widely used in research, but it presents both scientific and ethical limitations. The FCS-Free Database was set up by the 3Rs-Centre ULS to provide information on FCS-free media. The database has recently been updated and now contains 630 media for 275 cell types, as well as resources to help you switch to FCS-free media.

Explore the database

  Exploring alternatives to fetal calf serum