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Research involving animals

As a part of the University’s ethical review process, all research involving vertebrate and cephalopod species must be critically evaluated for any ethical and welfare issues.

The University’s Animal Welfare and Ethics Review Body (AWERB) is responsible for overseeing, reviewing and approving research involving all vertebrate and cephalopod research, including collaborative work.


Policy on animals in research

The University is committed to maintaining a thorough and objective process of ethical review that requires researchers to justify animal involvement and maximise animal welfare.

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Purpose of research involving animals

Learn more about why the University performs research involving animals and the number of animals involved.

Ethics text

Ethical review

The Animal Welfare and Ethics Review Body (AWERB) is responsible for ensuring that the University carries out research involving animals in accordance with animal regulations.


Applying for research involving animals

All researchers at the University of St Andrews conducting research involving animals must submit an application to either their School ethics committee or the Home Office Liaison contact (, detailing all proposed activities. This process assists in refining the proposal as well as potentially providing necessary ethical approval required for journals.

Prior to any work beginning, researchers must obtain ethics approval either by their School ethics committee or the Animal Welfare and Ethics Review Body (AWERB); for licence research, Home Office approval will also be required. The AWERB may ask for further clarity or for a review of the research.

Application procedures

Step-by-step guides on applying for new personal licence or project licence are available.

University forms can be downloaded to be used for applying for new licences, amending existing licences or preparing submissions in relation to reviews of project licences.


Links to various organisations (official, training and advisory) whose activities are of relevance to all of those who work with animals.


University Teaching Research and Ethics Committee (UTREC) provide guidelines on ethical issues related to all “funded research” See Automatically approved ethical funders (PDF, 179 KB). If the funding body is not an approved funder, special permission needs to be obtained.