We train our researchers and students in how to use laboratory animals in a responsible manor in their research. The attitude of the researcher towards the animals is crucial here.
Everyone who works with laboratory animals is obliged by law to follow specialist training. This mainly concerns (bio)medical research technicians and researchers:
- (bio)medical research technicians have a bachelor’s degree in Laboratory Research, specialising in laboratory animal science. In this programme, they learn a great deal about executing complex activities in animals, such as how to conduct an experiment and carry out complex surgical interventions.
- Researchers have a master's degree in biological, biomedical or zoological sciences, with a focus on the anatomy and physiology of humans and animals. In addition, they have taken an extra course in laboratory animal science.
Course on laboratory animal science
This course in laboratory animal science can also be followed at Leiden University in cooperation with LUMC. It is organised about four times a year. In the course, researchers learn to design an experiment and discuss the issues that are important to consider, such as animal species, nutrition, anaesthesia, analgesia and attention to animal welfare. We also give researchers a thorough training in the ethical considerations that precede animal research.
The course lasts three weeks and is concluded with an exam. The aim of the course is to provide participants with knowledge and awareness of all aspects of animal experimentation. The course in laboratory animal science consists of a foundation part and a species-specific part (rodents). Additional species-specific courses have also been developed in Leiden, such as experiments with fish and with birds. A key factor in all teaching is the attitude of the researcher towards the animals.
In addition, in the general teaching on research integrity, attention is paid to animal experiments as well, so that students and scientists who are not involved in animal experiments still have knowledge of this subject.