Universiteit Leiden

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Education and training on animal experiments

Our scientists working with laboratory animals undergo training on animal experiments. In this training, researchers learn how to handle laboratory animals responsibly. Read more about the requirements we set for researchers working with laboratory animals.

Anyone working with laboratory animals is legally required to undergo education on this matter. This primarily applies to research technicians and researchers:

  • (Bio)medical research technicians have completed a bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Research, with a specialisation in laboratory animal science. In this programme, they learn extensively about complex procedures involving animals, such as conducting experiments and performing intricate surgeries.
  • Researchers hold a master’s degree in biological, biomedical or zoological sciences with a focus on the anatomy and physiology of humans and animals. Additionally, they have completed an extra course in laboratory animal science.

We also cover animal experimenting in general integrity education, ensuring that even students and scientists wo are not directly involved in research with animals have knowledge of this subject.


Central to all education is the researcher’s attitude towards the animals: how to responsibly interact with sentient beings.

Course on laboratory animal science

The course on Laboratory Animal Science is also offered at Leiden University, in collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). The course takes place four times a year and spans over three weeks. The objective of the course is to impart knowledge and raise awareness among participants regarding all aspects of animal experimental research. During the course, researchers learn to design experiments and make important considerations regarding animal species, nutrition, anesthesia, pain relief, and attention to animal welfare. Participants also gain insights into the ethical considerations preceding animal research. The course concludes with an examination.

The laboratory animal science course comprises a foundational section and a species-specific section (rodents). Additionally, in Leiden, specific courses have been developed for other species, such as fish and bird research.

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