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Deadline 2021/09/06 - Refinement prize 2021: Call for submissions

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) is proud to announce its 2021 Refinement Prize. This prize of €6000 will be granted to a laboratory technician, animal care- taker or technologist who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in new, novel approaches to advance implementation and/or awareness raising of refinement of animal testing.

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Laboratory technicians, technologists and animal caretakers carry out much of the work using animals for regulatory safety and efficacy testing purposes and are thus closely involved in efforts to apply refinement strategies in such studies. Refinement is one of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement of testing on animals). Refinement refers to the modification of any procedure, husbandry and care practices with laboratory animals along their entire lifetime, to minimise pain and distress and enhance their well-being.

The purpose of this prize is to target those implementing alternative approaches to animal testing and/or raising awareness of their role for the day to day application and innovation of the refinement principles in particular.


The EPAA partners will sponsor a €6000 prize to be awarded in 2021. The prize can be applied for by an individual or a team. The team must consist of at least one laboratory technician, technologist, or animal caretaker. The team can be supported by maximal one young scientist (master student, PhD-student or Postdoc). The money awarded is a prize, not a grant, therefore it does not require any prior justification of how it will be used. Nevertheless, the EPAA recommends linking its use to (further) promotion of alternatives, eg. for travel and accommodation fees for a conference, publication costs, etc. The winner (or the winning team) will be invited to the EPAA Annual Conference in October 2021 to receive the prize and briefly describe his/her/their contribution to the 3Rs.

The EPAA will publish the methodologies in the winning submission, as well as those of runners-up at the discretion of the jury to facilitate widest dissemination and uptake.

Eligibility criteria

Application is strictly restricted to candidates who

1) Work in a laboratory and/or an animal facility as a technician, technologist or animal caretaker, master student, PhD-student or Postdoc
2) Contribute significantly to the development, wider implementation and/or promotion of a refinement approach
3) Agree to make themselves available for the EPAA annual conference on 27 October 2021
4) Work in a European entity (EU countries and neighbouring countries).
Specifically, applicants from the following countries may apply: EU countries, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Monaco, Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, Ukraine, Moldova and North Macedonia.

Please note that any application not fulfilling all the aforementioned eligibility criteria will not be considered. Applicants from previous winning teams may be eligible, provided they base their new application on a completely different case study.

Selection criteria

a) Impact on animal welfare – evidence based
b) Creativity and innovation
c) Practicability, applicability and implementation potential to regulatory testing and/or quality control
d) Potential for wider impact beyond immediate area
e) Publication of data or potential for publication

Application process

To apply, eligible candidates should send the following documents by email to grow-epaaatec [dot] europa [dot] eu before 12.00 CET on Monday 6 September 2021 (deadline extended).

This email should include

  • a cover letter (max. 500 words) explaining why the evaluation committee should consider the applicant’s application
  • a brief CV, listing in particular relevant (refinement) work experience
  • a case study (max. 5 pages) describing the refinement approach developed/applied/promoted and describing how the application meets the above selection criteria. Include pictures, video or other evidence as appropriate.

A selection panel comprising representatives of the EPAA partners (European Commission and industry) as well as of the EPAA mirror group will evaluate the submissions and propose a short list to the EPAA steering committee. The decision of the EPAA steering committee will be communicated to the applicants by 1 October 2021.The decision is always final.


Indicative timeline is as follows

  • 27 March 2021: Launch of the call for applications
  • 6 September 2021: Deadline for submission of applications
  • 1 October 2021: Information of applicants on the outcome of the selection procedure
  • 27 October 2021: Winner to speak at the EPAA Annual Conference