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University Biomedical Services (UBS)


Using methods which actively reduce the number of animals used is a study or part of a study by gathering information from fewer animals, or more information from the same amount of animals, avoiding more animal use.

Researchers are expected to liaise with specialists to consider experimental design and statistical analysis, and to share data and resources (e.g. animals, technology) between individuals, groups and organisations, and the use of techniques such as imaging in studies using the same animals.

A reduction in numbers of animals should not be applied to research at the expense of increased suffering to individual animals and the number of animals used must satisfy statistical needs. If reducing the numbers of animals makes it impossible to reach a valid conclusion from the experiment, this is inherently unethical.

Experimental Design Assistant

The Experimental Design Assistant is a free resource from the NC3Rs to support researchers in the planning of animal experiments - ensuring robust study design and reliable and reproducible findings. Also a downloadable app.

New 3Rs self-assessment tools from the NC3Rs

The NC3Rs has launched two online 3Rs self-assessment tools to help research institutions and research groups collate, track and benchmark their 3Rs activities. As well as enabling you to demonstrate your commitment to the 3Rs, they can help you ensure your institutional policy is being put into practice.

Through scores and bespoke feedback, the tools can help you understand what your institution or group is doing well and identify opportunities to strengthen your 3Rs culture. They are secure and free-to-use internationally.

Arrive Guidelines

The Arrive guidelines were developed as part of an NC3Rs initiative to improve the design, analysis and reporting of research using animals, maximising information published and minimising unnecessary studies.


The SYstematic Review Centre for Laboratory animal Experimentation was founded in 2012, Systematic reviews help to improve scientific quality, facilitate the implementation of the 3Rs in animal studies towards more evidence-based translational medicine. SYRCLE developes education, methodological tools and guidelines, organizes workshops and coaches individuals wishing to perform a systematic review themselves.