Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, FRAME has made the decision to alter the Summer Studentship Programme for 2020. We anticipate laboratory research projects are unlikely to be possible in the current environment and have therefore made the decision to redirect the funds this summer to awards for IT and desk-based research projects which can feasibly be carried out in the continuing climate of social distancing. We have some pre-defined project areas below that you can explore, adapt and apply for. Alternatively, you can propose your own project.
FRAME is an independent charity dedicated to promoting the Three Rs and the development of new techniques that will replace the need for laboratory animals in medical and scientific research, education, and testing. FRAME believes in the development of better scientific methods for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment and our aim is the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals in any kind of medical or scientific procedures.
This FRAME Summer Studentship Programme has been developed to support undergraduates in undertaking summer research projects in an area relating to the development of alternative methods. The research project may not have been planned as an ‘alternative’ technique to animals but must have the potential to advance methods which will lead to the replacement of animals in research. The Programme provides a grant award to help fund this short project.
- To give promising undergraduates a first-hand opportunity to gain greater experience of research which relates to the development of alternatives.
- To promote and fund research which fits within the aims of FRAME.
- To raise the profile of non-animal based research careers amongst undergraduate students.
- To interest students in postgraduate research in the Three Rs, and Replacement in particular.
Priority Project areas:
The projects below have been identified by FRAME as priority areas as they have the potential to inform our understanding of the behaviour change needed to move forward the adoption of human-relevant methods and reduce the numbers of animals used in reserach. Projects 1 and 2 involve the analysis (both quantitative and qualitative) of large data sets. Evidence of competence with such analysis will be required. Projects 3 and 4 involve investigating attitudes and might include online surveys, telephone interviews or focus groups, and associated analyses.
- Analysis of FDA and/or EMA submissions for medical/drug regulatory testing to analyse the use of animal species in toxicology tests against opportunities for single species use as laid out by current regulatory guidelines. This project may analyse data or study justifications given for species use. Research questions could include:
- How many applications are approved/declined that used two-species, when legislation would have permitted single species use?
- What is the prevalence of use of different species? What is the justification for use of particular species.
- Are there differences in the approval rates between submissions using one species or two species? Do these vary by country (if analysing both US and EU data)?
- Analysis of Non-Technical Summaries published by ASRU (Animals in Science Regulation Unit) in the UK. This analysis will provide information on current projects that apply for licenses to use animals under ASPA. Research questions could include:
- Identification of patterns or trends in animal use, in particular by institution or disease.
- How consistent are the summaries in terms of quality, language, detail and justification for animal use?
- Are there areas of disease research where animals are consistently used with no useful research outcomes? This might include analysis of projects that do and do not achieve publication.
- Are there areas of animal use in testing or research where there are proven alternatives?
- Attitudes within pharmaceutical companies to relevant species choice and opinions on single species and multiple species use in certain areas of testing against current guidelines (If the legislation permits single species use but they continue to use two, why? What are the challenges and barriers to change?)
- Academic attitudes to animals use in particular around the relevance of using GM animals, and continued animal use in areas where there are alternatives. What are the reasons for animal use? Are there human disease areas where humanised GM animals are regularly used with limited progress in understanding and treating the disease? What are the barriers to increasing take up of non-animal methods?
- Two studentship awards will be available for Summer 2020.
- Duration: 6 – 10 weeks
- Stipend: £250 per week
- Consumables & research costs: Up to £1000 maximum.
Eligibility and Application Information:
- Applicants must be associated with Universities or Research Institutes within the UK. The applicant must be supported or advised by an academic project supervisor based there.
- Applicants must be undergraduate or Masters students
- Applications must be made by the student and contain the information and support documents specified. The application should be written by the student, with guidance from the project supervisor.
- The application must include:
- Main aims of project
- Lay summary
- An explanation of how the project has the potential to reduce animal use or advance alternative techniques.
- Plan of work (with timescales/Gantt chart)
- Simple budget outlining research costs (we do not anticipate significant costs for this work beyond the stipend)
- Student personal statement.
- References – including supporting statement from project supervisor.
- The deadline for applications is 31st May 2020. Applications can be filled in and emailed to email@example.com.Download an application form here: PDF Word (.doc)
- Applications will be reviewed by FRAME nominated experts.
- Applications will be judged in the quality of the application itself, the potential of the research to replace animals, cost, achievability and the possibility of the work leading to future research opportunities.
- Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March 2020. Unless requested, feedback on unsuccessful applications will not be provided.
- Successful applicants must submit a report of minimum 1000 – 1500 words within 3 months of the project completion. Reports must be of publishable quality. There may be an opportunity to cover them in the scientific journal Alternatives to Laboratory Animals (ATLA).
- Successful applicants are encouraged to support any PR or publicity relating to the summer internships, to benefit and promote the activities of FRAME and The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory.
To find out about the 2019 winners of the FRAME Summer Studentship programme and their research projects, click here.