BAP News

New Curriculum for Research Animals

Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Updated: Wednesday, 13th June 2018

A new curriculum for University education in the use of research animals has just been launched. Developed by the British Pharmacological Society and supported by a range of life sciences organisations, it aims to support the next generation of researchers in gaining the education, skills and understanding of animal welfare needed to carry out these vital studies.

The new curriculum is intended to support undergraduate and taught Masters degree programmes in which students are expected to analyse literature and/or data that have been generated from studies involving animals that are subject to regulation ("research animals"). The new curriculum stresses the need for educators to place greater focus on ethics and animal welfare while understanding that to develop these skills and awareness does not always require hands-on contact.

The curriculum has been designed to:

  1. help students understand when research requires the use of animals, and when it does not
  2. provide education in the skills needed to interpret and critique reported data obtained from research animals
  3. share good practice on how to design animal experiments and to integrate animal welfare as part of that process
  4. foster openness about the use of research animals

The curriculum has been developed over the course of a year by the British Pharmacological Society in partnership with a range of stakeholders. At launch the curriculum has the support of some 23 national and international learned societies and research organisations, leading UK universities, UK animal welfare organisations, and industry. The curriculum is available on the British Pharmacological Society website.

BAP has always been committed to education in psychopharmacology research, which necessarily involves the humane use of animals. Supporting training and funding in this area is part of our core remit. We are pleased to endorse this animal research curriculum for undergraduates which highlights the knowledge, skills and attributes the BAP seeks to instill through its education initiatives for pre-clinical psychopharmacology research.

Dr Sarah Bailey, Secretary for Non-clinical External Affairs University of Bath