For researchers - Animal-Free Science Advocacy

For Researchers

Researchers can drive a paradigm change towards non-animal research methods. Already, many Australian researchers have joined a call for increased funding for the replacement of animals in research. If you wish to join these researchers please review Animal-Free Science Advocacy’s Business Case for Alternatives funding to replace animals in medical research, and contact us to be listed as a supportive researcher, supplying your name, email, research institution and area of research. 

Additionally, Animal-Free Science Advocacy is keen to promote the innovative new research methods being used by Australian researchers to profile in our podcast, non-animal case studies or interviews.

If you would like your research to be featured, have any questions, need assistance in finding a non-animal replacement method, or would like to engage with Animal-Free Science Advocacy, please contact Animal-Free Science Advocacy‘s Science Outreach Consultant Natalie Anderson via info@animalfreesci.org.au.

If you are interested in becoming an adviser to Animal-Free Science Advocacy, please contact info@animalfreesci.org.au as we greatly value research expertise. 

You may also like to follow Animal-Free Science Advocacy’s LinkedIn account as we often post content relevant to researchers.

Support to research community 

Whilst we do not operate any grant funding programs, Animal-Free Science Advocacy endeavours to support researchers via our resources, alternatives search assistance, supportive statements for funding applications, and by advocacy efforts to reduce barriers to adopting non-animal methods. 

For researchers - AFSA new branding (3)
For researchers - AFSA new branding

Why look for alternatives?

There are increasing scientific and ethical concerns with animal research in recognition of the limitations of animal models to replicate human-biology. You can view recent papers discussing these limitations here. Publications co-authored by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the progress already being made in alternatives in regulatory science can be viewed here.

Animal-Free Science Advocacy’s Business Case for Alternatives outlines the economic advantages of a transition to non-animal research methods.

CSIRO’s 2023 report ‘Non-animal models: A strategy for maturing Australia’s medical product development capabilities’ details the opportunities for Australian research.

Reports on alternative scientific methods to animal testing

Better Ways to Do Research- an overview of methods and technologies that can replace animals in biomedical research and testing.
Optimising inhalation research transitioning to human-relevant research

Recommended journals

Alternatives to Animal Experimentation 

Alternatives to Laboratory Animals

Alternatives to animal models

Please see the below list of Alternatives Validation Centres associated with universities or scientific institutes:

ECVAM – The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.
ICVAAM (USA) – Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods 
Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) John Hopkins University (US) 
• CAAT Europe University of Konstanz
CaCVAM – Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods University of Windsor 
NKCA – The National Knowledge Centre on Alternatives to Animal Experiments (Netherlands).
JaCVAM – Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods. 
NC3RS – National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (UK)
SKoCVAM – the Korean Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods
Swiss 3R Competence Centre  
• The German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals and their associated Unit:
Centre for Documentation and Evaluation of Alternative Methods to Animal Experiments (ZEBET) 

Some recommended sites are:

For guidance from a librarian on alternative searches, read this useful article. 

Consult our webpage on replacing animals which lists more websites and alternatives databases. Also see the resource Optimising Inhalation Research. 

If you want to learn more searching for and developing alternatives, free online training modules are available through the Education and Training Platform for Laboratory Animal Science.

Learn more about Target images on animal-free research, which describe clear transition objectives for each research domain aimed at reducing the use of laboratory animals with equal or better research quality.

There may be career networks for your field of research. For example, the Early Career Investigators Interest Group – International MPS Society

Can’t find the alternative you are looking for?

Contact us and our Science Outreach Consultant will respond with advice specific for your research area.

Image Credit: Microphysiological system CN-Bio 

Our guidance page for AECs provides some tips and resources on how those working in the animal research industry can best serve the interests of both animals and the validity of research.

We have profiled a selection of Australian research without the use of animals in our non-animal case studies.

Non-animal cell cultures

Replacing animals means elimination of the use of all animal and their products. Discover alternatives to fetal calf serum.

Funding

Currently, university funding schemes in Australia tend to be restricted to 3Rs funding. However, this is still an opportunity to apply for funding for replacement research and advance human-relevant science. If your university does not offer funding, why not ask that they offer a replacement funding scheme?

Details of 3Rs funding can be found via the University of WA, Griffith University, and the University of NSW websites. Contact the University of Sydney to inquire about their annual 3Rs award.

Global 3Rs awards or alternatives funding allowing international applicants

Global Annual:
https://lushprize.org/
https://www.aaalac.org/awards/global-3rs-awards/
https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/international-3rs-prize
https://www.berlin.de/lb/tierschutz/preisauslobung/artikel.1121707.php
https://www.ardf-online.org/ardf-grants.html (preference is for USA applications)
http://www.ifer.org/available-fellowships.html

The PETA Science Consortium also offers a variety of funding awards 

Global Occasional 3Rs award:
https://www.ufaw.org.uk/grants-and-awards/ufaw-grants-and-awards
https://www.ufaw.org.uk/ufaw-professor-william-russell-research-fellowship/professor-william-russell-research-fellowship

Support

Using animals in research can cause internal conflict and take a personal toll. For support resources, please see here.

Research methods to cease immediately.

Due to reasons of scientific validity, animal welfare and the availability of validated alternatives, Animal-Free Science Advocacy calls for research using the below procedures to be immediately prohibited.

Please note in December 2022 the NHMRC issued policy statements restricting funding of smoke inhalation research and the forced swim test. These methods are not prohibited but funding withdrawal is a positive step towards a phase-out. If you are a researcher seeking non-animal methods to use in place of these methods, please contact our science outreach consultant Natalie Anderson via info@animalfreesci.org.au.

Image: The inhalation chamber used to restrain mice in forced inhalation research

 

External resources

Please consult the below external resources of interest to the research community:

NHMRC Paper on the Implementation of the 3Rs.

NSW Research Review Panel Animal Ethics Committee education and training resources survey

Responsible Research provides free webinars on responsible research practices.

Publication Bias

Please see an ‘Author Guide for Addressing Animal Methods Bias in Publishing‘ created by the Coalition to Illuminate and Address Animal Methods Bias. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Read Animal-Free Science Advocacy’s responses to some commonly posed questions on the subject of animal experimentation.

Animal research in Australia

Review the regulations pertaining to animal research and review a summary of recent publications involving animals.

See historical statistics of animal use in research and education.

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