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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Public Engagement awards – 20-year anniversary

What is an NC3Rs Public Engagement award?

In celebration of our 20-year anniversary we are opening our Public Engagement award scheme to all 3Rs-minded scientists and increasing the funding available to £2,000. 20 years after the NC3Rs was founded in 2004, sharing the advances which have replaced, reduced and refined the use of animals remains critical to our mission to pioneer better science, for animal welfare and human health. We aim to support more scientists than ever before to engage the public with 3Rs research and innovation in 2024.

In 2012 around 50% of the public wanted to find out more about work to find alternatives and improve the welfare of animals (Ipsos MORI, 2012). Despite a steady rise in interest over the years (Ipsos MORI, 2018), ten years on a survey commissioned by the RSPCA in 2022 found that 50% of people were still not aware of any alternative approaches being used to replace animals in research (Savanta, 2022). 

The Public Engagement award scheme encourages and supports scientists to share the benefits of 3Rs research to science and society. We aim to promote a series of thought-provoking events and activities across the UK for a range of different audiences. The awards will fund the development and delivery of almost any type of event or activity aimed at the general public. Applicants are encouraged to be creative in how they intend to engage their target audience. Ideas can include:

  • Online engagement activities, including videos and webinars
  • Laboratory open days
  • Hands-on workshops
  • School visits
  • Activity or talk as part of a local science event (e.g. university open day, science festival)
  • Partnership event with a local community group or scientific society

Key dates

The funding is available as an open rolling call, where the applications are reviewed quarterly by the NC3Rs Office. 20-year anniversary awards will support activities taking place in 2024 and applications received after July 2024 are not eligible for the 20-year anniversary funding arrangements.

Key dates Details

Application deadlines:

  • 23 October 2023
  • 22 January 2024
  • 22 April 2024
  • 22 July 2024
The assessment committee meeting will take place in the last week of the month
One month post assessment Outcome notification
During 2024 Award completion deadline
No longer than one month following completion of the activity Informal report on achievements

Please sign up to the NC3Rs Newsletter for updates on funding schemes.

Who can apply?

  • Scientists at all career stages whose research advances the 3Rs, regardless of funder.
  • Animal technicians and animal facility staff.
  • Applicants can be a current or previous recipient of an NC3Rs grant, Fellowship or Studentship.
  • Applicants must be based in a non-profit, academic institution, including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), Independent Research Organisations (IROs) and Research Council (RC) Institutes.
  • We particularly encourage applications that will support early career researchers develop their science communication skills.
  • Events and activities must take place within 2024.

How to apply

The application form can be downloaded below and submitted by email. Further information can be found in the guidance document, which applicants must read before submitting their application. 

Get in touch to discuss your idea or submit your application:

Assessment procedure

Applications will be assessed by the NC3Rs Office staff. Final decisions will be made by the NC3Rs Chief Executive. Full information can be found in the guidance document