MMU Research and Knowledge Exchange Blog

Funding opportunities, news and guidance from RKE at Manchester Met

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Upcoming 3Rs Webinars

NC3Rs have created a dedicated resoucre on their website that lists the support provided for researchers and animal care staff which you can visit here. They also have a dedicated hub detailing their upcoming webinars, including the following:

3Rs advice for project licence applicants

Thursday 9th July, 2-2:45PM (BST)

This webinar will provide advice and highlight resources to support Home Office project licence applicants to address the 3Rs aspects of the application form. It will be delivered by NC3Rs Regional Programme Managers who have on-the-ground experience of providing advice to applicants. Anyone involved in the project licence application process is welcome to attend, including in vivo researchers in academia or industry, AWERB members and administrative staff.

Scientific validity and EURL ECVAM recommendations for the replacements for animal-derived antibodies

Wednesday 29th July, 2-3pm (BST)

This webinar will provide an overview of the scientific and welfare benefits of moving to the use of animal-free antibodies and affinity reagents and will highlight the recent Recommendation on Non-Animal-Derived Antibodies from the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM). The target audience is all researchers who use antibodies in their laboratories.

2019 International 3Rs Prize Annoucement

For only the second time in fifteen years, we awarded the 2019 International 3Rs Prize to two joint winners: Dr Francesca Nunn of the Moredun Research Institute and Dr Marta Shahbazi of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology. If you missed our virtual award ceremony featuring talks from the two winners, head to our YouTube channel to catch up on this year’s prize-winning research.

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CRACK IT Launch Event

The 2019 CRACK IT Challenges will be hosting a launch event on Wednesday 11th September 2019. The event will take place from 11am – 3:30pm in Central London.

This free event will be a chance to:

  • Learn more about this years challenges.
  • Meet the sponsors and network with potential collaborators.
  • Find out what makes a good application.
  • Deliver a lightning talk on your work (apply by 28th August)

You must Register by 4th September to attend. To register for the event please complete the registration form (below) and email it to:

There are three challenges this year that have been identified by NC3R’s and their sponsors:

  • Transgene Track: Development of sensitive, absolute quantification method for tracking AAV gene therapies and CAR-T cells in vivo.
  • CleanCut: Animal free tumourigenicity assessment of genome edited human haematopoietic stem cells.
  • Sharp and to the Point: Developing needles for high throughput and critical compound administration in mice.

For more information on the programme please visit the NC3R’s website.

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Latest News from NC3Rs

The National Centre for Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) are the go to funder for projects which look for alternative methods to animal testing. Their funding schemes include Project Grants, PhD Studentships and Training Fellowships.

Here’s an update on the latest news from NC3Rs.

A Pint of 3Rs Science

There will be three events held as part of the Pint of Science event – a worldwide festival that brings scientific researchers to your local pub!

There will be three events held in Birmingham, London and Newcastle. Topics include:

  • Happier animals, better science!
  • Replace, Reduce, Refine: The future of laboratory research
  • Stem cells getting on your nerves?

Tickets for the events are £4 and you can find out more about it here.

Explore the Evidence for Refined Mouse Handling Methods

NC3Rs have produced a table that summarises the research published to date on the tunnel handling and cupping methods for mice handling.

If your research involves mice you can take a look at their web page for more information or download the document here:

Improving the Welfare of Macaques in Research

Behavioural Assessment of Wellness and Pain in Macaques

A new observational study has been launched which will help to improve the wellfare of macaques used in research after identifying behavioural indicators of wellfare and pain.

You can read more about the new study here.

Efficient Transport Box and Chair Training of Rhesus Macaques

A new paper has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods looking at refinements in how rhesus macaques used in fundamental neuroscience research are trained to enter transport devices.

You can read more about this story here.

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PhD Studentship Launch Event from NC3Rs/Unilever

This spring NC3Rs will be launching a new collaboration with Unilever in the field of non-animal safety assessment. As part of the collaboration Unilever will be co-funding a number of PhD Studentships.

NC3Rs will be holding a launch event to allow potential applicants to find out more about the scheme, network with other researchers and discuss ideas with Unilever and NC3Rs staff.

Registration: Online (the event is free but on a first come first serve basis)

Deadline: 27th Match 2019

Location: Central London

The Studentships will focus on the following areas:

  • Local exposure – microbiome, skin, lung
  • Clearance mechanisms – renal, liver, metabolism
  • Repeat dosing
  • Non-animal models with human focus

For more information about this event please visit the NC3Rs website.

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2015 CRACK IT Challenges Announced!


The 2015 CRACK IT Challenges competition consists of two Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors:

The CRACK IT scheme is a challenge-led competition that funds collaborations between industry, academics and SMEs to solve business and scientific ‘Challenges’ which if solved will deliver 3Rs and commercial benefits, either by improving business processes or developing a commercialisable product.

The latest challenges are:

Challenge 20: Metaboderm: Development of a new tool to predict metabolism in human skin.

Challenge 21: InMutaGene: Development of a technology to address the risks of insertional mutagenesis/oncogenesis and to improve the efficiency of translational research in gene therapy.

This year the competition is funded by the NC3Rs and supported by Innovate UK, Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) with in-kind contribution from the Sponsors.

Full and Further details of the Challenges and Sponsors and registration for the Launch Event on 10 September will be released on 3 August 2015 on the CRACK IT and SBRI websites.

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Advancing the Development and Application of Non-animal Technologies: TSB and NC3Rs call



There will be a formal announcement later in the year of £4 million of funding planned for feasibility studies to advance the development and application of non-animal technologies. The competition will be funded jointly by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), NC3Rs, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).

Building on the output of workshops held by the TSB and the NC3Rs earlier this year, a key aim of the funding is to harness the commercial potential of technologies in this area. The competition is open to companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, agrochemical, personal care and contract research industries with support from businesses in manufacturing, ICT and informatics.

Projects must be business-led and collaborative, and academic partners can claim no more than 50% of the project costs. Projects should haver a duration of 12 to 18 months, and range in size up to £250k.

The TSB and the NC3Rs are to hold a series of networking events to highlight the scope of the competition and facilitate consortia building. To sign up for the consortia building workshops please visit here: The dates and locations of these events are:
■ 10th December, Manchester
■ 12th December, London
■ 16th January, Edinburgh
■ 22nd January, Cardiff

This competition opens on 03 February 2014. All applicants must first register via the website by noon on 19 March 2014. The deadline for applications is noon on 26 March 2014.

For full details of the competition, and to register your interest in applying please visit