The University of Bath has been named a Leader in Openness around its use of animals in research.

The University received the title from Understanding Animal Research (UAR) as recognition for committing considerable resource and energy to following best practice, embedding openness within the organisation, and making the aims of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK a reality.

The Concordat was established five years ago and the University will be recognised as one of the first Leaders in Openness from 2019-2022. To receive the award, one of 13 announced among the 121 signatories, the University had to demonstrate evidence of meeting the four commitments laid out in the Concordat:

  1. We will be clear about when, how and why we use animals in research.
  2. We will enhance our communications with the media and the public about our research using animals.
  3. We will be proactive in providing opportunities for the public to find out about research using animals.
  4. We will report on progress annually and share our experiences.

Professor Bernie Morley, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Provost, said “The University is delighted to receive this award from Understanding Animal Research as a reflection of the outstanding efforts of all our staff and students in striving to achieve openness and transparency around our research involving animals.

“As a signatory of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK since its launch in 2014, the University embraces its commitments seriously and has made significant progress since those early days. Our animal research is communicated through social media sites, filming regularly takes place in the animal facility and we have dedicated public-facing animal research web pages. The University is proud to be recognised as one of the first Leaders in Openness and will endeavour to further promote the ideals of the Concordat by being open about how and why animals are used in research at Bath.”

A three-step judging process considered applications for Leader in Openness status through a public panel, peer review and public review. Applicants had to demonstrate that the organisation published clear, accessible and balanced information about the use of animals in research, and that organisations were clear and transparent with media, staff, students and the general public about the use of animals in scientific research.

Bella Williams, Head of Engagement at UAR, said: “I am delighted to announce our first Leaders in Openness for 2019 – 2022. These organisations have shown tremendous leadership and innovation in fulfilling the objectives of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research and I hope they will inspire other organisations.”