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Animal use in research

This page provides information and resources on the use of animals in research, to be considered when applying for funding from BBSRC.

Whilst we endeavour to keep this page ‘live’ and up-to-date, please be aware that legislation and guidance does change and it is your responsibly to ensure you are compliant with this.

Our grants guide provides detailed information on how to approach the use of animals in research in your application and where to include this information in Je-S.

BBSRC research grants: The guide (PDF 557KB)

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BBSRC position statements

Our position on the use of animals in bioscience research can be found below:

The use of animals in research – the position of BBSRC (PDF 64KB)

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Our position on the use of genetically modified animals can be found below:

Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), BBSRC, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Medical Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council and the Wellcome Trust have produced this document to clarify their expectations with regard to responsibility in the use of vertebrate animals in bioscience research:

Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research (PDF 4.49MB)

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Experimental Design Assistant (EDA)

When considering the experimental design of their projects, applicants may find it helpful to utilise the Experimental Design Assistant (EDA), a free access tool from NC3Rs:

Choosing contractors for animal research (including overseas)

The NC3Rs have developed a resource to assist researchers in finding appropriate contractors for conducting animal research; this resource is particularly helpful when considering animal use in research being conducted overseas:

These two NC3Rs resources are available on the('Template-Link-Basic', getFileLink(filename='links/nc3rs-peer-review-and-advice-service'))[/MURA] hub that also contains background information on the review process and tips for applicants whose proposal will be reviewed by the NC3Rs.

Overseas animal use

If the research involves the use of specific animals (rodents; rabbits; sheep; goats; pigs; cattle; Xenopus) overseas rather than in the UK, please also complete the Additional questions that can be found at NC3RS: Use of animals overseas The completed forms are required to be attached as a letter of support in Je-S.

Signed statement requirement

All applications involving animal research conducted overseas are required to submit a signed statement. This is to confirm that this research would be conducted in accordance with regulatory systems in the UK (and applicable regulation in the host country) and that all applicants understand the requirements. This statement must be signed by all Primary Investigators, UK based and overseas, to ensure that:

  • They will adhere to all relevant national and local regulatory systems in the UK and overseas
  • They will follow the guidance laid out by “NC3Rs: Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research” and ensure that the work is carried out to UK standards
  • Before initiation of the proposed research, appropriate approvals from institutional and/or central animal ethics committees will be obtained for experimental protocols to be adopted in their projects.(Please note that successful projects may be expected to provide copies of these permissions before funding is released.)
  • Details are provided to indicate where the animal research will take place and through which funder the resources are being sought.

Please note, these additional documents are not required for applications that only involve animal research being carried out in the UK.

Use of pigs in research

All applicants carrying out research involving the use of pigs are required to address the NC3Rs standardised pig questions within the body of the application:

NC3Rs: Standardised questions on the use of pigs (PDF 27KB)

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Further information on animal use can be found on our Animals in bioscience research page.