ASPA research

Science research involving animals and cephalopods is carefully monitored within the UK and may require licensing. Guidance may be required to establish whether your proposed research will cross ASPA threshold and require licence authority. Guidance may also be required to establish whether the proposed research is covered by an existing licence. Guidance can be provided by the Home Office licence contact ( If you require Home Office approval, you must submit both a Home Office application and an Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) application in order that your project can be assessed in accordance with the University's ethical review process.

Prior to commencing any research the following must be in place: 

  • Establishment licence - appropriate designation for the site of research
  • Project licence - appropriate description, authority and justification
  • Personal licence – all personnal must be trained and competent in procedures that they perform

There must also be a study plan in place detailing the project and personnel involved.  Guidance can be provided by your NACWO.  Principal investigators must ensure that all other permits and permissions are in place when working at a Place Other than a Licenced Establishment (POLE).   

The UK government has guidelines for applying for a licence to carry out animal research and for improving your project application

Internal review

The principal investigator should submit the AWEC application forms, along with their Home Office application, to the Home Office liaison contact ( three weeks before the AWEC meeting in which they wish their application to be considered.

The AWEC application forms should be completed in language understandable to a lay person, and it should provide a summary of planned work to the committee.