Ethical project design for research involving animals

Animal Ethics

  • Start: Nov 10, 2020 14:00
  • End: Dec 2, 2020 13:00
  • Speaker: Zuniga, Mende, Jordan, Fiedler, Müller and Bella Williams
  • In house speakers and external course by ThinkWrite
  • Location: Online
  • Room: Online
  • Host: IMPRS for Organismal Biology and MPI of Animal Behavior
  • Contact: imprs@uni-konstanz.de
Ethical project design for research involving animals
Ethical awareness lies at the heart of any research-programme that involves using animals. While we tend to design a project and then consider the ethics, placing research ethics and animal welfare foremost in the development process does more than help to gain approval for the work; a clearly defined harm-benefit analysis can shape the project’s development, underpinning all aspects of the work, and identifying the research benefits from the beginning.In this workshop you will cover all aspects of ethical thinking covered by research regulations and FELASA requirements. You will understand the different attitudes to animals held by society, the core ideas that underpin perspectives and how they have influenced current legislation and practices. Considering ethics in practice does not provide the ‘truth’ but will help you understand the differences between views held by different members of society, and why those perspectives are important. This training uses ethical thinking as a foundation to create a protocol with clear outcomes, and with benefits that can be clearly understood by both those who assess its suitability and those who will work within it. You will learn how to write a clear harm-benefit statement and use it as the focus for a successful research application: one that is approved first time.

In House Speakers-Animal Ethics Introduction - Daniel Zuniga and Michael Mende

10 November, 14:00-16:00

In House Speaker-Vertebrates Research in Fish - Alex Jordan

10 November, 16:00-17:00


Session 1: An ethical foundation for animal research - Bella Williams

11 November, 10:00-13:00

In this session the group will discuss the different ethical concepts and contexts that underpin human-animal relationships in general, and research animals in particular. We will consider at key schools of ethics and situations where they become relevant to the ways we make decisions, including society’s expectation of how scientists use animals and the policies that ensure that they are met. We will look at practices employed to ensure that animals are treated ethically, including understanding harm and severity, particularly when working with species other than common laboratory animals.


In House Speaker-Vertebrates Research in Birds and Bats - Wolfgang Fiedler

Physiology in Vertebrates - Inga Müller

16 November, 10:00-12:00


Session 2: An ethical foundation for animal research - Bella Williams

19 November, 10:00-13:00

In this session we will build on our knowledge of how society approaches animals in research, and consider how these ethics apply to research protocols. We will discuss in depth who they are written for and how to ensure that we write useful, effective documents. The group will have a chance to practice assessing protocols, weighing up the harms and benefits and considering the information that allows them to reach a clear decision about whether the programme is justified.

Session 3: An ethical foundation for animal research - Bella Williams

25 November, 10:00-13:00

In the third session we will consider the specific requirements of local legislation that protects animals used in science, as well as the requirements of the University of Konstanz. We will consider the harm-benefit statement in greater depth, looking at how we can use project planning and thinking tools to consider the aims, objectives and measurables of our own work, and clearly communicate the anticipated benefits of our projects. We will think carefully about the proposed species, expected numbers of animals and expected harms, to fully define ethical aspects of our proposal before we begin to write.

Session 4: An ethical foundation for animal research - Bella Williams

2 December, 10:00-13:00

In this final session we will talk through the ANTRAG form, examining the components in turn and ensuring that we have thought through the required information before completing it. We will look at where to spend the emphasis and time, as well as how to frame critical aspects of your work so that you describe your plans clearly and ethically.

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