Comprehensive curricula, applicable across the Biosciences, for the use of research animals

[Speaker] Anna Y Zecharia:1
[Co-author] Lisa Hevey:1, Michael Collis:1, Manasi Nandi:2, David I Lewis:3
1:British Pharmacological Society, UK, 2:Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, Kings College London, London, SE1 9NH, UK, 3:School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK

In 2016, the British Pharmacological Society released its evaluation of the Integrative Pharmacology Fund (, which recommended that the Society should develop core learning outcomes for undergraduate education in the use of animals in research, continue financial support for the education modules, and facilitate the sharing of educational resources. The aim of this project was to develop a curriculum to support undergraduate and taught masters degree programmes across the Biosciences in which students are expected to analyse and critique literature and/or data that has been generated from studies involving research animals. Further, that this curriculum is accessible to students at Institutions that have research animal facilities and also those that don't.

The project was led by the authors of this communication. An Expert Group was formed, comprising 34 stakeholders with expertise in education, research, animal welfare, Industry and regulation. Two curricula were developed: a core curriculum for all relevant students (that doesn't require any hands-on animal work), and a supplementary curriculum, which provides experiential learning and support for those students who wish to go on to study research animals in their education and/or careers. To support educators in the delivery of these curricula, individual learning outcomes are being mapped onto resources within ETRIS (, a repository of free, online research animal educational resources. The Society is also working with educators to identify where additional educational resources are required and to facilitate their creation and sharing.

These curricula will support students to develop knowledge and understanding of the appropriate use of research animals and the data generated from such studies, of the ethical, legal and welfare issues surrounding research animal studies, and to be better able to analyse and critique the literature and data from them. They will also facilitate students to make informed career choices.

This initiative will greatly facilitate the development and delivery of research animal education across the Biosciences, both within the UK and internationally in partnership with IUPHAR's IOSP initiative, including at Institutions where, traditionally, this has not been provided.

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