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Refinement Prize 2023: call for submissions

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) is proud to announce its 2023 Refinement Prize.

This prize of €6,000 will be granted to a laboratory technician, animal caretaker or technologist who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in new, novel approaches to advance the 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. They 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).

It involves the modification of any procedure, husbandry and care practices with laboratory animals along their entire lifetime, so as to minimise pain and distress and enhance their well-being.

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


The EPAA partners will sponsor a €6,000 prize to be awarded in 2023. Applications can be submitted by an individual or on behalf of a team. The team must consist of at least one laboratory technician, technologist, or animal caretaker.

The team can be supported by maximum one young scientist (master's student, PhD student or postdoc). The money awarded is a prize, not a grant. It therefore does not require any prior justification of how it will be used.

Nevertheless, the EPAA recommends linking its use to (further) promotion of alternatives, e.g. 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 November 2023 to receive the prize and briefly describe his/her/their contribution to the 3Rs.

The EPAA will publish and/or communicate about the methodologies described in the winning submission. To facilitate the widest dissemination and uptake, the work of the runners-up will also be covered at the discretion of the jury.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are strictly restricted to candidates who

1) work in a laboratory and/or an animal facility as a technician, technologist or animal caretaker, master's student, PhD student or postdoc.

2) contribute significantly to the development, wider implementation and/or promotion of a refinement approach.

3) work in a European entity (EU and neighbouring countries).

4) will be available for the EPAA Annual Conference on 15 November 2023.

Please carefully note that any application not fulfilling all of the above 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 (grow-epaa[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) by 17:00 CET on Monday, 25 September 2023.

  • a cover letter (max. 500 words) explaining why the evaluation committee should consider the applicant
  • 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's partners (the European Commission and industry experts), as well as the EPAA Mirror Group, will evaluate the submissions and propose a shortlist to the EPAA Steering Committee.

The decision of the EPAA Steering Committee will be communicated to the applicants by 16 October 2023. This decision is always final.


  • 8 March 2023: Launch of the call for applications
  • 18 September 2023: Deadline for submissions
  • 16 October 2023: Information on the outcome of the selection procedure
  • 15 November 2023: Winner to speak at the EPAA Annual Conference

More Information

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing