Research involving animals

At Manchester we're committed to research excellence and impact, seeking to be a force for positive change in societies and environments across the globe. To pursue this commitment, we accept that there is sometimes a need to use animals in our research – but only when it is absolutely necessary, and carried out at the highest level of ethical conduct.

To make the progress needed to alleviate human and animal suffering and benefit society, our research must be underpinned by an understanding of disease mechanisms and the study of immunology, genetics and cell biology, including stem cell therapies.

Sometimes this research may involve animals where absolutely no alternative is available in order to progress drug treatments for particular diseases.

Research may involve animals where absolutely no alternative is available

Transparency and accountability

The University is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research. Signed by higher education institutions, bio-industry companies, charities and research councils, this pledges transparency and public engagement on research involving animals. The Concordat informs our standards and governance.

The University of Manchester’s Animal Welfare Review Body (AWERB) meets bi-monthly and publishes minutes from their meetings. You can download these on our ethical review process page.

We also have a proud culture of care among our staff working with animals, based on a strong collaborative environment and a shared collegiate philosophy. Innovative research techniques are willingly shared, creating a highly effective research environment.

We apply the same standards and governance regardless of whether we are working with animals in a laboratory, or involved with conservation work in the field.

We also have a Communications and Engagement Strategy on Research Involving Animals.  

In 2019, the University's communications lead for anmial research joined a European Animal Research Association working group, consisting of specialists from across Europe, to draft a template for Non-Technical Summaries – the part of a project license which is accessible to a lay audience – as an input into the drafting of the European Commission’s  new obligations on openness and accessibility in animal research. 

In May 2020 the European Commission decided to include the EARA guidance document produced by this working group in the materials supplied to the member states before the new reporting obligations begin.