Education and training events
Advanced education and training of researchers are essential for the 3Rs. FIN3R organises training and education events on 3Rs. Further it also takes part in organizing other courses and doctoral training in cooperation with universities’ doctoral schools.
- FIN3R WEBINAR: One sex fits all? The current thinking on sex inclusive in vivo research
November 14, 2023 at 14:00 (EET)
In recent years, there has been a strong drive to improve the inclusion of animals of both sex during in vivo research, driven by a need to improve sex representation in fundamental biology and drug development. This has resulted in inclusion mandates by a variety of funding bodies (e.g., NIH and MRC) and journals. This talk will dispel the common misconceptions that are no longer appropriate justification for studying only one sex. We then explore, how to build an appropriate justification to study only one sex at a case-by-case level. Finally, I will touch upon the impact of including both sexes on data analysis.
SPEAKER: Dr. Natasha Karp (AstraZeneca, UK)
Natasha is a Director of Statistics within AstraZeneca leading a team of statisticians supporting preclinical research. In addition, Natasha is an active researcher publishing papers with a focus on the challenges within preclinical research with a particular interest in improving replicability, reproducibility, and generalizability of the studies. More recently, Natasha has published meta-research articles around the process of research. This has included qualitative research into blinding in in vivo studies, blockers to the engagement with sex inclusive research and the impact of sex inclusive research on statistical power.
Recording of the webinar is availble here.
- FIN3R webinar on October 11th, 2023 at 14h (EET)
TOPIC: The positive welfare impacts of playpens and ball pits in laboratory rats
Laboratory rodents display a rich behavioural repertoire such as rearing and climbing that is not possible in the current ‘shoebox’ style caging in which they are typically housed in animal facilities. Access to playpens or ball pits in small groups has been identified as a way in which rats can engage with a complex environment while also fulfilling social needs. In this talk I will discuss our recent work showing that just 5 minutes of access to a playpen objectively induces a positive affective state, and can reduce the potential negative welfare impact of common laboratory oprocedures.
SPEAKER: Dr. Megan Jackson (University of Bristol UK)
Megan is a teaching associate at the University of Bristol. Her research involves the development of ethologically relevant behavioural tasks to assess rodent motivation, with a specific focus on apathy. She is the co-chair of the early career researcher 3Rs group, and she is a culture of care researcher representative.
Recording of the webinar is available here.
- Fin3R Webinar on August 22, 2023 at 2 pm (EEST)
Title: “The benefits of systematic review and meta-analysis of animal research”
Speaker: Dr. Kim Wever (Radboud University Medical Center, The Netherlands)
Host: Vootele Voikar (University of Helsinki)
In this webinar, Dr. Kim Wever will outline how systematic review and meta-analysis can be valuable tools to inform and improve animal research. She will explain the basic principles of these methodologies, highlight their benefits and direct you to tools and resources in the field.
Recording of the webinar is available here!
About the speaker: Dr. Kimberley (Kim) Wever is a meta-research expert dedicated to maximizing the value of animal studies for human health and works at the Meta-Research team - Radboudumc (https://www.radboudumc.nl/en/research/departments/anesthesiology/meta-research-team). She is specialized in the use of systematic review and meta-analysis methodology to drive improvements in the design, validity and transparency of animal research, having more than 10 years’ experience in performing (methodological research on) evidence synthesis and validity assessments of animal studies, and in training scientists to do better research. The team has achieved many milestones in this area together with their long-standing colleagues at SYRCLE and CAMARADES (https://www.ed.ac.uk/clinical-brain-sciences/research/camarades ).
- Fin3R online seminar on August 21, 2023 at 12.15 (EEST)
Title: “3R workshop: Advances in alternative non-animal methods and policies”
Online seminar “3R workshop: Advances in alternative non-animal methods and policies” organised together with Fin3R and Finnadvance. The seminar will focus on on alternatives to animal research from the perspective of policies and recent scientific advances.
Confirmed speakers: MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, Reetta Hinttala (University of Oulu), Tuula Heinonen (University of Tampere), Tuuli-Maria Sonninen (University of Eastern Finland), Susanna Miettinen (University of Tampere), Jeffrey Browns (PETA, UK), Heidi Haikala (University of Helsinki) and Anita Ghosh (Experimentica Inc, US) .
Full program available here!
Recording of the webinar is available here.
Second FIN3R webinar - Animal distress during handling and procedures
When: May 9, 2023, 02:00 PM Helsinki
Title: What the mouse face tells you - recognising distress during handling and procedures
Speakers: Elin Törnqvist (Karolinska Institutet and National Veterinary Institute in Sweden) and Julia Swan (University of Oulu), hosted by Vootele Voikar (University of Helsinki)
Recording of the webinar is available at: https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/unitube/video/1a1d3b3d-f4ef-45f6-9794-f197c2d29854
The refinement aspect of 3Rs aims to alleviate or minimize potential pain, suffering, and distress, as well as enhance animal well-being. Understanding mouse behaviour and signs of distress is pertinent to evaluate efforts aiming at refinement.
In 2010, the mouse grimace scale was developed to assess pain in laboratory mice . This method allows for the identification of the degree of pain experienced by mice, shown in their facial expressions. Is it possible for signs of distress to also be found in their facial expressions?
We conducted a study to explore this question and will present our findings in this webinar. In addition, we will provide some practical tips on how to assess distress using facial expressions as well as how to train and handle your mice.
Reference Article: Swan J, Boyer S, Westlund K, Bengtsson C, Nordahl G, Törnqvist E. Decreased levels of discomfort in repeatedly handled mice during experimental procedures, assessed by facial expressions. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2023 Feb 2;17:15. DOI10.3389/fnbeh.2023.1109886
 Langford, D. J., Bailey, A. L., Chanda, M. L., Clarke, S. E., Drummond, T. E., Echols, S., et al. (2010). Coding of facial expressions of pain in the laboratory mouse. Nat. Methods 7, 447–449
- As a next step in connecting the animal welfare bodies in Finland, you are invited to Fin3R webinar – National Networks of Animal Welfare Bodies.
When: Mar 31, 2023 02:00 PM Helsinki
Title: Stronger together – The role of the Portuguese Network of Animal Welfare Bodies in raising and harmonising standards across the country
Speaker: Nuno Franco (University of Porto), hosted by Vootele Voikar (University of Helsinki)
Recording of the webinar is available at: https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/unitube/video/a97397a2-8a60-44b5-abcd-9596850e1d70
Abstract: While 2010/63/EU Directive demanded of scientific institutions to establish an Animal Welfare Body, there was no tradition in Portugal of having such bodies with such competences and attributions. This raised a challenge for newly-created AWB (ORBEAs, in Portugal) regarding how to define their mission, find their place, and establish authority in institutions, as well as in regard to liaising with the competent authority and national committee.
Faced with little to no guidance from the authorities, veterinarians, technicians, and laboratory animal scientists from across the country gathered in 2015 to discuss the most pressing matters in order to kick off AWB in their establishments, and the idea of working together as a network was born. The RedeORBEA was hence constituted, with a model of organization that is informal and decentralized, with no membership nor fees, and two co-opted coordinators. It holds regular surveys and censuses, disseminates information, and organizes courses and workshops, as well as annual symposia (with the 8th edition now being prepared), with support by SPCAL.
The most important contribution of RedeORBEA is providing a forum within which AWB members can ask questions and exchange experiences with peers facing the same problems, and be a unified voice when interacting with authorities.
Altogether, RedeORBEA has allowed raising and harmonising standards of competence and functionality in the planning, following, and evaluating procedures within institutions, benefitting both animals and the humans caring for them, thus promoting a culture of care.
FIN3R Annual Symposium
November 6-7, 2023
FIN3R is organizing the Annual Symposium at Meilahti Campus, Helsinki University. The aim of the Symposium is to present current situation in fundamental biological and pharmacological research and drug development, focusing on scientific excellence, quality, as well as 3R principles in animal testing - refinement, reduction and replacement. Over two days, you will have a chance to discuss different topics related to each R with keynote speakers from all around the world.
As part of the Symposium, "Power analysis workshop" will take place on November 7th, bringing credits for PhD and M. Sc. students.
Symposium is organized in collaboration with University of Helsinki Docotral Programes in Biomedicine, Drug Research and Brain and Mind. Students can receive credits for participation - 1cr for participation in lectures and power analysis workshop; 1cr for poster presentation.
Program of the event is available here.
- Fincopa & Ecopa joint meeting - 6.10.2023.
On October 6th, Fincopa, the Finnish National Consensus Platform for Alternatives, celebrates 20 years! For that occasion, together with Ecopa, they are organizing a workshop - Replacing animal experiments in science and in regulative testing. Event is ogranized as hybrid, on Teams and in Helsinki. For more information about the organization, check their website, and for more information about the event click here.
Participation is possible through the registration on this link.
- Turku Pet Center - 20.3.2023.
Turku Pet Center is organizing a new course on PET Imaging in the field of physics, radiochemistry, and data analysis. Course takes place from Apr 3rd to Apr 5th, and you can find more information below on how to register, by March 20th!
The Finnish 3R Centre and the Animal Welfare Body of Oulu Laboratory Animal Centre organises three joint webinars in November. Save the dates
Registration and links to the webinars:
FIN3R and OULAC joint webinar series 1 - 10/11/2022:
Animal-centric care and management – the importance of handling and training
Dr. Dorte Bratbo Sørensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
FIN3R and OULAC joint webinar series 2 - 17/11/2022:
Applied operant animal training in the lab – challenges and benefits
Dr. Dorte Bratbo Sørensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
FIN3R and OULAC joint webinar series 3 - 29/11/2022:
The influence of age on experimental outcomes and animal care
Dr. Paul Potter, Oxford Brookes University, UK
Congresses and Symposia
Three Rs symposium on 7.-8. Dec, 2022: Improving the quality and translatability of biomedical research through 3R principles
The objective of this symposium is to give an overview and examples of the current state-of-the-art in fundamental biological and pharmacological research and drug development, with a focus on scientific excellence, research quality, communication and Three Rs in relation to using laboratory animals. The symposium is organized by the University of Helsinki Doctoral Programme in Drug Research and the Finnish 3R Center.
Join us to learn and discuss about recent developments in the field of Three Rs, good research practice and communication in animal research!
Also - workshop on power analysis and session on disease modelling!
Universities organise regular education and training for competence for people working with experimental animals. The courses are harmonized throughout Finland, and they cover procedures on animals and project design. Course information is available on the websites of the host universities, or their laboratory animal centres.
Webinars, seminars and courses
- Improving Openness in Animal Research in Denmark - an in-person even gathering everyone who's work implies animal research to discuss how to improve open communication with different stakeholders. Event is organized by European Animal Research Association and Copenhagen University, and takes place on November 8th. More information about the schedule and registration form could be found here.
- "Systematic review of animal studies" course by Dr. Carlijn Hooijmans and Dr. Kim Wever will be held at the Radboudumc, Nijmegen, (The Netherlands), on November 10th. More informarion about the course is availabe here and registration is possible by clicking here. Places for the event are limited.
- TARC Force 3R Center organizes series of webinars covering different topics related to 3R principles in laboratory sciencies. Webinars are held monthy, and more information about schedules and registration can be found here. The first ucoming webinar in on Ocotbar 10th, followed by November 10th, November 24th and December 15th. More sessions will be organized during the year 2024.
- Technology Partn3Ring webianr organized by National Center for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R) serves as a platform for conecting researchers, enterprizes and others interested into presenting their 3R related technologies with potential collaborators. Participants will have time to pitch their ideas, followed by audience questions. More information and registration is available here. Webinar will be held on November 15th.
- Ocober 12, Ocotber 19 and October 26 are reserved for 3 Days for 3R. Sessions will be helad on Teams, lasting from 15h to 17h15 min. Registration is possivle by sending email to: email@example.com. More details about the program could be found here.
- Berlin-Brandenburg research platform (BB3R), Einstain Center 3R and Freire Universität Berlin are organizing "Alternatives to animal use in research and education - refine, reduce & replace" - a series of educational webinars covering topics of ethics, law and regulations, culture of care, and 3R principles - refinement, reduction and replacement. The session are held on Thursdays, from October 19th until November 30th. More information about the scedule is available here. To register, click here.
- Experimental Design and Analysis of Data from Animal Experiments course organized by i3S takes place on December 5-7. Find more information about the program and registration here.
- 1st Annual Meeting of 3R Competence Network of North Rhine-Westphalia takes place on December 7-8. Find more information here.
- A Transdisciplinary Conference on Alternative technologies and models (NAMs) to Reduce the use of laboratory animals in Industry, June 6-7th 2023 . Click here for registration and more information.
- The 2023 Animal Research Tomorrow (ART) Award Ceremony and Conference, June 8th 2023. Click here for registration and more information.
- Centro 3R is hosting a IV Annual Meeting in Milano, on September 13-15th, 2023. The topic of the meeting is "The role of 3Rs in the age of One Health: where we are and where we’re going", and more information about regisration, attendance and abstract submission (by July 1st, 2023) is available here.
- Swiss 3R Competence Center is hosting an annual confereces, Swiss 3R Day, with the focus on research advances, innovations, and issues in the field. The conference takes place in Lugano, on September 19th, 2023. More information and registration link is available here. Poster submission is open until August 19th, 2023. More information about submission could be found here.
- European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) organizes the Annual Conference 2023: Protection of people and our environment through NAMs, in Brussels (Belgium), on November 15th. More information is available on the link here.
- 6th International Annual Conference SAAE-India is sceduled for November 20-21. Post-conference workshop takes place from November 22 until November 29. More information is available on this link.
- LASA's 60th Anniversary Conference takes place from November 21st to November 23rd. Preliminary program can be found here, and more information regarding registration on this link.
- SGV Meeting hosted by Swiss Laboratory Animal Science Association on November 28-29. Find more information about the event here.
- Austrian 3R Days, December 5-7. More information available here. Meeting is organized by Asutrian 3R Center, RepRefRed Society, MUI animalFree Research Cluster, Cell Culture Days Graz and Advanced Cell and Tissue Culture (ACTC).
Congresses and Symposiums
- 1st European Academy of Laboratory Animal Surgery's (EALAS) congress takes place in Rome, from November 22nd to November 24th. More information about the event, program and registration form are available here.
- The Danish 3R Center is organizing Annual Symposium on November 6-7. The program of the event is available here, and the registration is possible via this link.
- Annual Symposium hosted by National Center for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R) and Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) takes place on October 17-18. More information about the even is available here.
- 12th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC12), August 27-31st 2023. More information and registration is available here.
Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science, www.etplas.eu, https://etplas.eu/learn/
EU-10: Design of procedures and projects – level 1, https://etplas.eu/learn/eu-10-experimental-design/
EU-11: Design of procedures and projects – level 2, https://etplas.eu/learn/eu-11-1-design-of-procedures-and-projects/
EU-12: The severity assessment framework, https://etplas.eu/learn/eu-12-the-severity-assessment-framwork/
Eu-25: Project evaluation, https://etplas.eu/learn/eu-25-2-project-evaluation/
EU-52: Searching for (existing) non-animal alternatives, www.etplas.eu/learn/eu-52/
EU-60: Developing in vitro methods and approaches for scientific and regulatory use, www.etplas.eu/learn/eu-60/
Webinars and seminars
- CPD LAS Webinars /Karolinska Institutet: “Proactive actions from industry to drive forward animal welfare, the 3Rs and science” will be presented by Dr. Kirsty Reid, Director Science Policy, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Brussels, Belgium.
Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2022 × Stockholm 1 PM CEST
The pharmaceutical industry is committed to the science-based phase-in of methods to replace the use of animals for scientific purposes and the deletion of animal tests which are obsolete or redundant. EFPIA members aim to lead progress on this by engaging in a wide range of practical activities to help drive the development, uptake and promotion of non-animal technologies (NATs) and new approach methodologies (NAMs) so that these can be phased-in as soon as it is scientifically possible to do so. There are a large number of initiatives underway within the pharma sector going beyond the legislative requirements for 3Rs. There are also a number of opportunities to join forces and drive this work forward on dialogue and collaborations. Dr Kirsty Reid will highlight some of these during the webinar session.
Dr. Kirsty Reid is team leader and Science Policy topic lead at EFPIA, where her focus includes innovation policy implementation with particular focus on science and research matters. She has over 16 years experience in EU public and regulatory affairs covering various EU legislation and policy areas, working specifically on animal experimentation; alternatives to animal testing, and environment, health and safety issues.
The Impact of the Animals’ Lived Experience” will be presented by Jennifer L Lofgren, Global Head of Animal Welfare and Compliance, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, U.S.
Date: Thursday, 3 November 2022 × Stockholm 2 PM CET
While details such as how much nesting material we place in a cage, how we pick up a mouse during cage change, or which analgesic we administer may be fleeting and minor to in-vivo staff, these decisions can result in significant and impactful changes in the lived experience of our laboratory rodents. These impacts are not only to the animals’ welfare but also to the research results they produce. While these refinements were once considered nice to have, but far from necessary, published studies have now established that reducing stress associated with suboptimal housing, handling, and post-procedural pain management are important steps to improving laboratory rodent quality of life and the quality and success of the biomedical research to which they contribute. In this lecture we will explore this literature and learn about the relative impact on a variety of research models of both providing and withholding appropriate enrichment, reducing handling stress, and effective analgesics.
Jennie Lofgren, DVM, MS, DACLAM, is Global Head of Animal Welfare and Compliance at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. At Novartis, Dr. Lofgren has worked with the global Animal Welfare Compliance team to increase education and transparency about the need for and value of animals in research and increased 3Rs opportunities for internal and external animal studies.
Webinar on Safer and Sustainable Innovation Approach for More Sustainable Nanomaterials and Nano-enabled Products will be held on Thursday 3 November 2022 at 14:30-16:30 CET / 09:30-11:30 EDT.
The Safer and Sustainable Innovation Approach (SSIA) is an approach aiming to boost safer and sustainable innovations by integrating safety and sustainability at an early stage of the design phase of innovative materials, products, applications, and processes. SSIA combines the Safe-and-Sustainable-by-Design (SSbD), Regulatory Preparedness (RP), and Trusted Environment (TE) concepts to identify and minimise sustainability impacts along with potential health and environmental risks in the innovation process. SSIA relies on early dialogue between industry and regulators and is facilitated by a Trusted Environment. SSIA aims to anticipate the regulatory challenges posed by innovative nanomaterials, nano-enabled products, or other advanced materials by minimising the gap between technological innovations and the development of suitable risk assessment tools and frameworks.
The second focus event of the Austrian 3R Center "Severe Suffering in Animal Experiments and How to Refine" will be held on the 7th of November 2022.
Annually, the Austrian 3R Center coordinates its focus topics with the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and this time the focus is on severe suffering in animal experiments.
Webinar “Do ‘euthanasia’ methods for laboratory rodents really give them a ‘good death’?” will be presented by Dr Huw Golledge BSc PhD, Chief Executive & Scientific Director, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Hertfordshire, U.K.
Date: Friday, 25 November 2022 × Stockholm 1 PM CET
Euthanasia means a ‘good death’. Most laboratory rodents are killed with Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a procedure which is often referred to as euthanasia. In this talk I will summarise the extensive evidence that CO2 negatively impacts animal welfare when used to end the life of rats or mice. This evidence shows that CO2, even in low concentrations causes fear or anxiety which cannot be avoided if it used to kill rodents. Therefore, CO2 cannot be considered a method which offers a ‘good death’ for these species, and, moreover, that it should be considered a harm and factored into harm-benefit analyses when it is used to kill experimental subjects. I will then compare current and potential practical alternative methods to consider whether any of these offer the potential of a good death.
Huw Golledge is Chief Executive and Scientific Director of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) - an international charity dedicated to the promotion of Science in the Service of Animal Welfare. Prior to joining UFAW he was an animal welfare researcher at Newcastle University in the UK and was a member of the UK’s national Animals in Science Committee from 2013-2016.