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Experimental Design

Experimental Design

Good planning and design can have a major impact on reducing animal usage in research programmes and on the welfare of the animals used.

To help researchers using animals in biomedical research, FRAME has developed a flowchart for planning a programme of experiments. It outlines steps to follow during research involving animals, taking account of ethical considerations.

Experiments using animals don’t normally occur as isolated ‘one-off’ studies, and assessment of experimental results in the context of the complete programme may offer considerable scope for decreasing overall severity and reducing the number of animals.

Experimental design texts usually provide no guidance on how to design an individual experiment to minimise severity, or on how to organise a sequence of experiments. A well-planned programme incorporating the steps indicated here should allow the achievement of an experimental goal that involves minimal animal use and severity, while maximising the quality of the resultant scientific output. Our flowchart poster has been designed to be displayed in laboratories and staff meeting areas.

FRAME also runs an accredited Training School that provides training in experimental design and statistics and is held in collaboration with the University of Nottingham.

Margarita Kalamara, a PhD student from the University of Dundee joined us for a three-month Professional Internship Placement in 2021, to investigate the current provision of experimental design training for Biosciences PhD students.

Read the report: ‘A review of experimental design training provision for biosciences PhD students at UK universities’ here.

Find out why experimental design is important.

Download the Strategic Planning Poster Find out more about the Training School More about the 3Rs Read the Experimental Design Training Provision Report

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