NC3R’s Improving Research Proposals
The NC3R’s website now includes presentations from a workshop on experimental design they ran for panel members of the NC3R’s, BBSRC, CRUK, MRC and Wellcome Trust chaired by Mark Prescott. The workshop aimed to raise awareness of the importance of good experimental design and reporting, the expectations of funding bodies and their revised guidance to applicants.
The resources posted include presentations on:
– Background to the MRC’s revised guidance and its implementation (Dr Frances Rawle, MRC)
– The importance of good experimental design and the consequences of getting it wrong (Prof Malcolm Macleod, University of Edinburgh)
– Statistical power and the perils of chance (Dr Kate Button, University of Bath)
– Study design: effect sizes and statistical analyses ((Prof Hazel Inskip, University of Southampton)
– Improving the design and reporting of animal studies: the ARRIVE Guidelines and Experimental Design Assistant (Dr Nathalie Percie du Sert, NC3R’s)
– Improving bench-to-bedside translation (Prof Ulrich Dimagl, Charite)
Each talk includes useful links to resources such as the Experimental Design Assistant which funding bodies now encourage you to use in your submissions.
The NC3Rs has released a new video tutorial to help technical staff and researchers to handle mice using non-aversive methods. The tutorial is based on research by Prof Jane Hurst and colleagues at the University of Liverpool, funded by the NC3Rs and BBSRC. The aim is to promote widespread uptake of refined methods of handling laboratory mice by providing practical advice and tackling common misconceptions about the improved techniques.
Mice are the most common animal used in biomedical research, but until recently little was known about how best to approach and handle them from the animal’s perspective. Yet handling is an important part of everyday husbandry and precedes many experimental procedures. Depending on the method used, handling can cause mice stress and influence their behaviour and physiology, and so it can be a potential source of (unexplained) variability within and between studies. Widespread use of the tutorial has the potential to significantly improve animal welfare and the reliability of mouse studies.
1.Hurst JL, West RS (2010) Taming anxiety in laboratory mice. Nat Methods. Oct;7(10):825-6. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1500
2.Gouveia K, Hurst JL (2013) Reducing Mouse Anxiety during Handling: Effect of Experience with Handling Tunnels. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66401.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066401
The Macaque Website is a free resource for everyone who works with, or is interested in, laboratory macaques: animal care staff and technicians, facility managers, veterinarians, researchers, students, policy makers and IACUC/AWERB members. Developed by the UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), this site provides referenced information and practical guidance on the natural history and behaviour of macaques, their care and management in captivity, and ways to assess their welfare. The overall aim is to help improve the welfare of macaques in laboratories and the quality of science derived from them. This educational resource is intended to complement the published literature and features over 200 videos and images from research and breeding facilities around the world with different animal management procedures.
The weblink for the page is: http://www.nc3rs.org.uk/
STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE IN WILD ANIMAL RESEARCH
This document is designed as a list of principles and expectations for gold standard research on wild animals. It is intended for those funders, scientists, peer reviewers, editors, publishers, or reporters who are supporting, conducting, reviewing, or communicating research to any audience. Stated simply, gold standard research aims for the strongest inference conducted with the highest standards of evidence and scientific integrity.
Treves, A. (2019) Standards of evidence in wild animal research. Report for the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Policy & Law. 30 June 2019
Full article / DOI can be found here.
Projects funded by USDA
A list of current projects funded by the USDA can be found on this link: USDA-NIFA Animal Welfare Competitive Awards Dec 2016