The University of Manchester is one of the UK’s leading research institutions. One aspect of its medical research that the University is keen to promote is its work around the “3 R’s” of animal research – Reduction, Replacement, and Refinement. The university showcases some of this work on its website, but some of the examples were out-of-date.
I was commissioned by the University of Manchester to write new impact case studies about some recent successful 3Rs projects, which would form part of a campaign from the University to promote openness on animal research.
What I felt make these case studies unique was that I had to demonstrate the impact of the research for both its disease area, as well as on animal research more widely. This meant getting to grips with the disease areas, the researchers’ achievements within them, as well as the details of the methods they used.
Combining these aspects into a relatively short article for a broad lay audience was a real test of my ability to gather and communicate key information.
The impact case studies were written with the help of an interview with the leading researchers involved in each of the projects. The case studies and the wider campaign were shared widely to coincide with Be Open On Animal Research Day in 2022:
- Using fruit flies to study heart failure
- Unravelling breast cancer metastasis in the lab
- Creating a lung in the lab to study fungal infection in cystic fibrosis
Mike Addelman, Media Relations Officer for the University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, said:
“Richard is a talented and reliable writer. His work was to the highest of standards, beautifully written and structured… The project was commended by senior colleagues and had a positive impact on various social media platforms. It was great working with Richard – we would definitely commission him again.”
This was a unique and rewarding project. I feel the content I wrote demonstrates how research involving animals can be carried out differently in the future, as well as the impact it can have for thousands of people with life-threating diseases.
Update Dec 2022: My impact case studies were one part of a campaign from The University of Manchester to support openness on animal research. In December 2022, this campaign won a prestigious award from Understanding Animal Research. You can read more about the award here: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/pioneering-manchester-bags-prestigious-openness-award/