3Rs Prize

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research awards an annual UK prize for an original contribution to scientific and technological advances in the 3Rs in medical, biological or veterinary sciences published within the last three years. The awards are part of the Centre's commitment to recognise and reward high quality research which has an impact on the use of animals in the life sciences.

Each year the NC3Rs awards a prize to highlight an outstanding original contribution to scientific and technological advances in the 3Rs, published in the last three years.

The award consists of a £28,000 prize grant and £2,000 personal award. Highly-commended entries receive a £4,000 grant and a £1,000 personal award.

The prize grant can only be used to support the further development of the 3Rs, for example, for research or training.


Before You Start

The 3Rs Prize is made by the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to recognise and reward research leading to a scientific or technical advance in the use of animals in medical, biological or veterinary science. UK research establishments, including Higher Education Institutions, Hospitals, NHS Trusts and private sector research companies can nominate any primary research published in a peer-reviewed journal in the past three years that has contributed to the advancement of the replacement, reduction, or refinement ('3Rs') of the use of animals in research.

In addition to the contribution that the research has made, competition entries will also be assessed on proposals for using the grant element of the prize.


Review papers are not eligible.

What You Need To Know

Key Criteria

The prize is awarded to the principal investigator, research team leader or other nominated author and is open to any researcher in academia or industry, in the UK or overseas.

The prize candidate must be the first author of the paper and must be the person nominated.  The nominator may be a head of department and/or final author on the paper, but does not necessarily need to be closely associated with the research or publication.  A candidate may also self nominate.

Nominations are welcomed from any UK research establishment, including higher education institutions, hospital/NHS trusts, Research Council establishments, charity laboratories and industry.

The Prize is awarded to the first author on the paper, where there are joint first authors, the Prize is awarded collectively.

Match Funding

Match funding is not applicable to this award scheme.

Eligible Expenditure

The prize grant can be used to support the further development of the 3Rs including research and training.

The prize is awarded for a piece of primary research published in any peer-reviewed journal in the last three years which advances, or has the potential to advance, one or more of the 3Rs.

How To Apply


Currently closed. The 2016 deadline for submission of nominations was 4pm on Friday 9 December 2016.

Details and deadline information for any future rounds will be reported when available.

Frequency: Annual award scheme.

Link to guidelines:


Useful information:

The online application process for the prize comprises two stages; a nomination by a proposer and a short statement by the candidate of how the prize grant will be used.

The following information must be provided on the nomination form:

  • A summary of the paper which should include the full reference for the paper and the funding sources for the research.
  • A lay summary of the paper summarising the key outcomes of the research in terms suitable for a non-specialist reader.
  • Details of what the work has achieved, including scientific and technological advances.
  • Details of the impact this research will have on the 3Rs.
  • Details of how the implications of the research have been communicated to peers and colleagues.
  • Details of how the prize grant will be used.
  • A personal profile detailing the employment history and professional qualifications of the candidate.

A PDF of the published paper must also be uploaded.

The NC3Rs and will be presented at an awards ceremony in London in early spring.