The Pirbright Institute continues to hold the Leader in Openness award for 2022-2025. This has been awarded by Understanding Animal Research (UAR).
This award recognises the Institute’s commitment to the UAR Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK which has been signed by 128 UK life science organisations.
This weekend (14 May 2022) marks the 8th anniversary of the Concordat on Openness which is a set of commitments to help organisations such as universities and charities enhance their animal research communications.
These commitments include being clear about when, how, and why animals are used in research, improving communication with media and the public about using these animals, proactively providing opportunities for the public to find out about animals in research and reporting on this progress annually.
The Leader in Openness awards celebrate the achievements of organisations in honouring the Concordat and aim to recognise those who champion openness.
Pirbright has continued to be open about animals in research and this award comes from finding innovative ways to change attitudes and improve transparency regarding the use of animals in research.
As part of the application for the award, the Institute started several new initiatives to improve openness, these include:
- Improving internal communications about animal research at Pirbright
- Having virtual tours of animal facilities at the Institute
- Changing staff inductions and training to improve awareness of Pirbright’s animal research
- Asking Pirbright’s Director to write a blog on the Institute’s position on animal research
Lots of existing initiatives that were implemented for the last award are also ongoing and improving.
Professor Bryan Charleston, Director of The Pirbright Institute said: “I am extremely proud of our scientific community and supporting services, particularly our Animal Services team for the way they have worked together to promote our use of animals in research openly and transparently. It is pleasing to see this commitment acknowledged in this way. The Institute strives to apply the principles of 3Rs (reduce, refine and replace) in its research where possible, but in order to test vaccines and discover more about how immunological systems respond to viral infection we have to use animals. We publish detailed information on the use of animals on our website: https://www.pirbright.ac.uk/animalresearch.”