Winners announced for the NC3Rs public engagement awards 2016

Four NC3Rs-funded scientists have been awarded funding under our public engagement scheme. The researchers will showcase their work through a variety of events taking place in the coming year. This is the second group to benefit from our public engagement awards after the inaugural funding scheme in 2014.

The awards of up to £1,000 will fund a range of activities, each aiming to educate diverse audiences on the work to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for scientific purposes (the 3Rs). The events will take place throughout the country, highlighting scientific developments which have been achieved through 3Rs-focused research. Interactive workshops and presentations will be held at schools and universities, as well as at exhibitions within science centres and community spaces.

Participants will be able to explore 3Rs-related research in a hands-on way; for example, in a project led by Professors John Greenman and Nicole Pamme from the University of Hull, schoolchildren will be able to see how ‘organs-on-chip’ work, by pouring lemon juice through a large scale ‘chip’ model with ‘mini organs’ made from moulded jelly. This visual activity will represent in an accessible way the work of research technology capable of replacing the use of animals.

Another project will involve PhD students at the University of Aberdeen discussing their research with visitors who can also attend tours of the laboratories at the Institute of Medical Sciences. Managed by Dr Donna MacCallum, the event will encourage a dialogue about the 3Rs research conducted at the university.

Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of the NC3Rs, said: In our experience many people want to know more about the work we are doing to apply the 3Rs - these awards highlight the depth of research that the NC3Rs funds and the wide breadth of science that the 3Rs can affect. The awards reflect our commitment to public engagement and build on the great activities that we have supported earlier in the summer such as the national Pint of Science festival.”

Due to the growing demand and the year round opportunities for engaging with the public, the NC3Rs public engagement awards will now be run four times a year.

Information on the projects funded by the 2016 awards:

  • Interactive ‘in vitro’ science day for schools: Dr Katherine Chapman, Swansea University, £993.71.
  • Life and death: Alternatives to Animal Research: Dr Daniel Cozens, University of Glasgow, £900.
  • Explaining lab-on-a-chip to the public – hands-on-activities to show how patients’ biopsies can be used directly to find the right medicine: Professors John Greenman and Nicole Pamme, University of Hull, £1,000.
  • Opening Doors: the 3Rs in medical sciences: Dr Donna MacCallum, University of Aberdeen, £930.

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