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Guidelines for Awarding Research Grants

(15th March, 1987)

A. General remarks

1.To the extent of its financial capacity the 3R Research Foundation supports research projects aimed at developing alternative experimental methods to animal experimentation.

The 3R Research Foundation principally sponsors research projects in Switzerland.

Applications from researchers working outside Switzerland will be considered only in exceptional cases. They must show that they have links with an institution in Switzerland or with a researcher in Switzerland.


Funding is granted to projects to research new methods or develop accepted methods up to validation and which offer practical alternatives to current animal experimentation in line with 3R's principles of Reduce, Refine and Replace.

The areas of research indicated in the appendix are those principally considered for financial support.

3.Preference is given to projects or subprojects which are part of an overall research programme with clearly defined aims which can be realised within 3 years.
4.Grants are awarded:
  1. principally for:
    _remuneration of scientific and technical staff;
  2. in addition for:
    _non-durable supplies;
    _purchasing and keeping animals;
    _purchasing apparatus and instruments (in exceptional cases);
    _travel expenses (see point 12a).
4a.Contributions towards expenditure on long-term equipment will only be approved in exceptional cases where good reasons can be given.

These guidelines apply to applicants and project managers as well as to the administrative organs and staff of the 3R Research Foundation.

All applicants must abide by the regulations laid down by the 3R Research Foundation, in particular the Charter of Foundation of 13 February 1987, the Regulations of 30 March 2011 and the present guidelines.


B. Grant Applications


Applications should be addressed to the 3R Research Foundation in electronic versions. The Administrative Board sets the deadlines. The Evaluation Committee specifies the structure of the application and the procedure to follow in the Instructions for submitting Applications for Research Funding.


In the case of projects planned to run over several years, an overall budget should be drawn up, with an indication of annual costs and budget.

If any application for funding for the same research project has been submitted to another institution, this should be indicated in the application.




In order to find out whether a concept of a project conforms to the basic principles of the Foundation, an outline comprising one to two A4 pages which refers in brief to the 3R principles (possible impact and implementation), the experimental procedure, the expected results, the time needed and the required budget, may be submitted at any time.

If the outline is submitted at least 2 months before the next deadline for grant applications (see website) the applicant will receive an answer within 4 weeks with a provisional opinion.


C. Awarding of Grants


The Evaluation Committee of the 3R Research Foundation assesses all applications received and advises the Board whether to give its approval or not.

The committee may pass the application and project documents on to outside referees for their opinion.


The Administrative Board approves the research project and decides on the amount of the grant as well as the conditions under which it will be awarded, or rejects the application. All approved projects are given a number which should be referred to in all correspondence and indicated on invoices.

Applicants have no legal claim to financial support.

The project manager is nominated when the Administrative Board approves the application. The research grant is awarded to the project manager in person. The project manager's employer has no independent claim to the research grant. If the project manager changes his or her employer but continues to manage the project, he or she is entitled to the remaining grant monies.

Research funds are granted on condition that, once the application has been approved, the project manager submits a letter of confirmation from his or her employer stating that the latter agrees to the project being carried out using his or her infrastructure according to the approved research plan and in line with the present guidelines.


The Foundation undertakes only to provide the amount of funding promised to the applicant or the institution named by him or her.

It is the responsibility of the successful applicant to draw up contracts of employment with staff, to pay salaries, to arrange insurance, to pay all social security contributions and to sign any purchasing and rental agreements.

The grant shall cover all social security contributions, including those paid by the employer.


If for any reason the project manager cannot continue to manage the project the Foundation will decide whether the research should continue. If necessary it will appoint a new project manager who is qualified to continue the project.

10. Applicants who are not satisfied with the decision of the Administrative Board may lodge a written request for reconsideration, with justification, within 30 days of notification of rejection. This should be sent to the Secretary's Office.

D. Payment of the Grant


Once a project has been approved the successful applicant should inform the Secretary's Office in writing of the postal or bank account number to which the funds should be transferred.

The Foundation will then pay out the total amount approved by the Administrative Board in annual or more frequent part-payments.

Five per cent of the approved total budget is normally paid out only upon receipt of a reprint of a paper in which specific reference is made to the 3R principles (see point 16a) and which has been accepted by a scientific journal with a recognised review procedure (see point 16) and the other final procedures have been completed (see point 15.8).

In the case of projects lasting several years, the amount actually needed for the year in question should be applied for by 15th February at the latest. Any changes to the original research plan or budget should be indicated (see Article 15).


The grant awarded is a maximum amount. Only actual expenditure based on a final account will be reimbursed. Funds that have not been used are to be repaid or may be credited.

The applicant shall pay his or her invoices. Vouchers with the project number and signed by the project manager should then be forwarded to the Secretary's Office together with the annual account by 15th February of the following year at the latest.

As far as concerns salaries and social security contributions the applicant or employer should present his or her account to the Secretary's Office by 15th February of the following year at the latest.

12a.Upon request, the Foundation will pay for travelling expenses up to Fr. 2,000 in connection with a scientific conference where the results of a project are presented in the form of a poster or a paper.
13.The Administrative Board may ask the applicant to pass on apparatus, instruments and other equipment bought with funds from the 3R grant to other interested institutions.
14.If 3R funding is used inappropriately or if the applicant fails to respect the conditions attached to the grant, the Administrative Board may withold the transfer of further funds, demand reimbursement of funds already paid out or take other measures.

E. The Applicant's Obligations


The applicant undertakes:

  1. to use the grant received for the purposes of the approved research project and to present regular accounts;
  2. to use as few animals as possible for any experiments involving live animals and to strictly respect all regulations concerning the keeping of animals and experimental methods involving live animals;
  3. to inform the cantonal authorities and obtain a permit if necessary before starting any experiments;
  4. to request the 3R Foundation's approval before any changes are made to the conditions under which the grant was approved, i.e. in the case of technical modifications, alterations to the research schedule or changes in the budget;
  5. to inform the Secretary's Office in good time if any funds allotted are not likely to be needed;
  6. in the case of projects lasting several years, to submit an interim report to the Secretary's Office by 15th February at the latest concerning results obtained during the previous year;
  7. immediately after approval of the application, to draw up a scientific summary of the project in English for inclusion in the Foundation's website, the text being set out according to the guidelines indicated (titles of sections); the Foundation's scientific adviser will be pleased to help in this task;
  8. to submit a final report including results on the special Foundation form to the Secretary’s Office at the latest 3 months after the project has been completed; at the same time the scientific summary on the Foundation’s website should be modified accordingly;
  9. after successful completion of the project and if requested, to write a brief report about the results obtained, in collaboration with the Foundation’s scientific adviser; this report will then be supplied to those interested as a “3R-Info-Bulletin” and posted on our website;
  10. to inform the Secretary's Office of any patent applied for in relation to work carried out as part of the research project funded by 3R. If a patent is registered, grants should be reimbursed in full or in part to the Foundation. In this case the Administrative Board will decide on the amount to be paid to the Foundation.

The 3R Research Foundation generally requires that the scientific results of a research project be published in a specialised journal with a recognised review procedure and that they be made available to interested parties. Open access publication is preferable. Three reprints of the article plus a corresponding pdf file are to be forwarded to the 3R Foundation.


Recipients of grants must include "animal use alternatives" or "animal testing alternatives" in the keywords for the publication so that it can be located by the relevant search engine through this focus. Furthermore, the support of the 3R Foundation and the research project number must be mentioned.

17.The 3R Research Foundation reserves the right to use the results of projects funded by it in any way it wishes and to publish them for promotional purposes.

Bern, 15th May, 1987 (most recent amendment 4 December 2014)

For the 3R Research Foundation

The Chairwoman of the Administrative Board
Christine Egerszegi

E. Diener, Administrator