PREPARE for better science online course

By failing to PREPARE, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

Here at Responsible Research in Practice we are not afraid of failure. Our preference is to focus on the learning opportunities it can give rise to.

To this end, we pride ourselves on providing professional training with engaging, passionate and experienced tutors that supports individuals to succeed.

We believe as Malcolm X once said Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who PREPARE for it today”.

So with these quotes in mind, let me tell you about the PREPARE for Better Science course running online in January (29th-31st).


About the PREPARE for Better Science Course

The PREPARE for Better Science course is the product of a collaboration between myself (Dr Nikki Osborne) & Prof. Adrian Smith at Norecopa (Norway’s National Consensus Platform for the advancement of “the 3Rs”).

Dr Nikki Osborne

Dr Nikki Osborne

Prof. Adrian Smith

Prof. Adrian Smith









The training content is uniquely structured around the PREPARE guidelines. Thus the topics discussed will be familiar to many working within the Laboratory Animal Sciences. But this doesn’t mean that there is nothing new to be learnt.

This positive collaboration has resulted in the creation of a truly one-of-a-kind training course. Indeed, every session is crammed full of our mutual passion, experience, expertise and know how to empower participants to deliver better science. The result is an intensive and interactive online course packed full of insights, and resources. Our focus is on supporting participants to identify opportunities to implement change.

Whether you are involved in the care, or use of animals in science, or the review, management and oversight of animal studies this course can help you to:

  • deliver better science by planning studies using the PREPARE checklist.
  • identify what can be done differently and understand how to implement change using freely available tools and resources.
  • reflect upon the benefits of implementing the PREPARE guidelines in different research areas and organisations.
  • advise others on how to use the PREPARE checklist, website and resources to plan future research activities.

Importantly, all participants will receive a certificate of attendance for CPD purposes, plus 10 LASA CPD points!


Course requirements and content

In order to achieve these learning outcomes, participants are required to attend three live online training sessions. These are scheduled over three consecutive mornings (29th,  30th & 31st January 2024), 9:30-13:00 GMT each day.


Day 1 – Session 1: Formulation of the study

This session covers: literature searches; legal issues; ethical concerns and key issues with experimental design and statistical analysis.

Are you wondering why literature searches are important? Or you would appreciate some guidance on how best to conduct them, or how to review the evidence to select the best experimental approach? Maybe you would like to check your knowledge and awareness of the research framework? Or perhaps you would appreciate some discussion and guidance regarding how welfare, scientific validity, experimental design or other concerns can be addressed during research application or ethical review stages?


Day 2 – Session 2: Dialogue between scientists and the animal facility

This session covers: objectives, timescale, funding and division of labour; facility evaluation; education and training plus health and safety.

Do you ever wonder if there is a better way to facilitate collaboration and good communication between researchers and animal facility staff? Is there ever a mis-match in understanding relating to the availability of facilities or services, support staff and/or equipment? Does your facility encourage and support researchers to work within the animal facility, or do animal facility staff carry out all housing, husbandry and experimental work? Perhaps you would appreciate some insights into the pros and cons of how different facilities manage animal studies, funding, the division of labour, education and training?


Day 3 – Session 3: Quality control of study components

This session covers: test substances and procedures; experimental animals; housing, husbandry, quarantine and health monitoring; experimental procedures; humane killing and study end points.

Have you ever thought about where you get your information on test substances and study protocols or procedures from? Do you ever question, quality control or review this information or do you take it at face value? How often or how rigorously can you review materials and methods? Do you ever check that cell lines, reagents, experimental animals and equipment are not contaminated, or validate their function? Does your facility have SOPs, policies or guidance that dictate how research is conducted? Do you tailor protocols and procedures to individual study requirements? Are you good at identifying opportunities for refinement and reduction? Can 3Rs information be disseminated more effectively? Are you maximising the information and knowledge gained from every study? Could you learn more from unexpected events or adverse effects with a little more planning or forethought?


Additional course benefits

At the end of each live training session participants have the opportunity to test their knowledge and understanding of key information by means of assessed online quizzes. There are also homework activities to complete and submit to receive personal 1:1 feedback and coaching from the course tutors. These activities provide an opportunity for reflection and to practice applying lessons learnt from each training session.

In addition, course participants have direct access to myself and Adrian as tutors throughout the 3-day course. At the end of the course participants are also invited to connect with us, plus other course participants and like-minded individuals via the Responsible Research in Practice LinkedIn Group. All participants also leave with their own PDF copy of the course content and resources. This includes links to all referenced material to keep and refer back to (for personal use only).


What more can I say!

Don’t miss out – book your place today!

For more information visit the PREPARE for better science course webpage.

And if you are still not 100% if this course is right for you, then please do get in touch via email, and I will reply to you as soon as I can.

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