Funding boost for post-graduate training across the UK to minimise and improve animal research
The ten PhD studentships will each receive £90,000 over a three-year period. The projects range from developing a model of ovarian cancer in a small silicone device, to seeking insights into the underlying biology of aging using roundworms.
Two of the projects funded will focus on improving welfare and minimising the suffering of rodents used in stroke research. Dr Claire Gibson, from the University of Leicester, will supervise a project aimed at improving well-being by providing enrichment, improving understanding of the humane use of non-invasive monitoring and assessing whether a surgical intervention can reduce mortality and morbidity in experimental stroke rodents. A project supervised by Dr Rebecca Trueman at the University of Nottingham will also assess and promote the use of a milder model of stroke. Since stroke is a major research area, the findings of these studies could have significant impact on a large number of animals.
Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of the NC3Rs said: "We are committed to supporting scientists at the start of their careers as it is vital to embed the 3Rs principles at this early stage. These young scientists are the people who will take the 3Rs approach into the future. The PhD projects that we have funded in the past have explored some really exciting areas of science and the findings are already having a real impact on the use of animals in research.”
Studentships vacancies arising from our 2014 awards will be advertised by the relevant research institutions and on our website in early 2015.
Information on the PhD Studentships awarded (each receiving £90k over three years):
- 'Enhancing mouse whole embryo culture for use in birth defects research' – University College London. Supervisor: Professor Andrew Copp.
- 'An ovarian cancer model on a chip' – Queen Mary University of London. Supervisor: Dr Julien Gautrot.
- 'Improving the welfare and monitoring of rodents undergoing experimental stroke studies' – University of Leicester. Supervisor: Dr Claire Gibson.
- 'C. elegans model to unravel the role of Klotho in ion metabolism and aging' – University of Huddersfield. Supervisor: Dr Tarja Kinnunen.
- 'An organotypic model of bronchial dysplasia' – University of Cambridge. Supervisor: Dr Frank McCaughan.
- 'A non-mammalian model for neurofunctional studies of vertebrate dopamine signalling' – University of Leicester. Dr Jonathan McDearmid
- 'Using proxy measures of a depressive-like state to assess the impact of pre-clinical models of chronic diseases on the welfare of mice' – Newcastle University. Supervisor: Dr Tom Smulders.
- 'Development of a 3D mouse atlas tool for improved non-invasive imaging of orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic cancer' – Queen Mary University of London. Supervisor: Dr Jane Sosabowski.
- 'Developing tools for functional assessment of a milder model of stroke' – The University of Nottingham. Supervisor: Dr Rebecca Trueman.
- 'Replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in anti-filarial drug testing' – Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Supervisor: Dr Joseph Turner.