NC3Rs makes a commitment to public engagement with research

Includes a programme of support for grant holders to facilitate public engagement on the 3Rs.

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) today announces its support for the UK research funding bodies' Concordat for Engaging the Public with Research. The Concordat aims to create a greater focus on public engagement with research and help embed this across all disciplines in the higher education and research sectors.

Developed in 2010, The Concordat has four key principles:

  1. UK research organisations have a strategic commitment to public engagement.
  2. Researchers are recognised and valued for their involvement with public engagement activities
  3. Researchers are enabled to participate in public engagement activities through appropriate training, support and opportunities
  4. Signatories and supporters will undertake regular reviews of their and the wider research sector's progress in fostering public engagement across the UK.

Current signatories and supporters of the Concordat include the Research Councils, the Royal Society, the Association of Medical Research Charities, the British Science Association and the Society of Biology.

The NC3Rs' commitment to public engagement comes as part of a new five-year communications strategy, which outlines a programme of support for grant holders from 2014 onwards to provide public engagement training, how-to guides and funding to support public engagement activities.

2014 will also see the relaunch of the dated NC3Rs website to mark the Centre's ten-year anniversary. This will feature improved accessibility to 3Rs research for both public and scientific audiences.

Dan Richards, Communications Manager at the NC3Rs, said: "The NC3Rs is now funding a diverse portfolio of inspiring science through a thriving cross-discipline community of researchers up and down the country. This critical mass of research provides us with a unique opportunity to better inform ongoing dialogue on animal research with cutting-edge technologies and approaches as alternatives to animals, along with significant improvements to animal care and handling.

"By applying the 3Rs, often improved scientific approaches not only benefit animals, but go a long way to further our understanding of health and disease, and can easily illustrate the 3Rs as a working scientific methodology."

Read a blog post from the NC3Rs on why the time is ripe for public engagement with the 3Rs.

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