3R Research Foundation Switzerland - Front page


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Principal areas for financial support of research projects

Basic principle

Basically, the Foundation provides financial support according to its principles for research projects within a broad biomedical field, in particular biological and medical basic and disease-specific research, developing new medicines and toxicological safety testing (methods for testing chemicals, vaccines and environmental pollutants) which indicate a promising outcome. The projects should:

  • reduce the impact on animals used in animal experimentation and/or
  • reduce the number of animals needed for a specific research topic (animal model) and/or
  • to replace specific experiments using animals.

Funding for research is not provided in the following areas:

  • in vitro mechanistic experiments or those involving invertebrates where there is no question of achieving the aim of the research using animal experimentation;
  • non-invasive imaging methods for further observation of structures (e.g. using computer tomography, magnetic resonance imaging or fluorescence imaging) or functions (e.g. using positron emission tomography, bioluminescence or telemetry) in animals during an experiment following a primary intervention;
    In exceptional cases, funding will be considered:
    • if the primary intervention can be considerably improved, refined or replaced using an imaging method,
    • if marked 3-R relevant improvements can be made using an imaging method to an existing animal model that causes suffering;
  • projects or methods in veterinary medicine which have no impact on animal experiments from the point of view of the 3R principles;
  • screening methods such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics or metabonomics/metabolomics (including drug targeting and drug library screening) where it is not possible to demonstrate that the methods in question would lead to the reduction or replacement of animal experiments;
  • projects where in vitro methods or methods involving invertebrates are used that have already been published and are aimed at addressing specific questions, which:
    • are of interest only to the research group in question, or
    • would not seem likely to make the method more acceptable as an alternative to using animals, unless it would signify a vast improvement on the standard method in use;
  • the development or improvement of testing methods in the field of regulatory toxicology (international or European bodies [ECVAM, EU research project] are responsible in this case).
    Initial funding will be provided in exceptional cases where:
    • it can be demonstrated that the aim of the project is to create a new concept or to develop a new method, and
    • how it can be ensured that the concept and the method will be accepted for subsequent international validation.

Tips for applicants

The following types of projects are of particular interest to the 3R Research Foundation:

  • those in which results from animal experiments are to be replicated using an alternative method so that conclusions concerning the relevance of the in vitro testing or the validity of the in vivo procedure can be drawn from the results;
  • those with 3R effects in connection with animal models for psychiatric illnesses, degenerative brain disease, diseases involving inflammation, cancer, infectious diseases, diseases of the respiratory tract, metabolic abnormalities and cardiovascular disease, among others;
  • alternative methods for acute and chronic toxicity testing;
  • alternative methods for developing vaccines and batch testing as well as quality control.