Where Ideas Grow

XXXI Laboratory Animal Science Course
6-17 September 2021 | i3S, Porto


Note that this course will be adapted to the pandemic circumstances and will be held according to all the preventive measures required at the time.

Appropriate training in animal biology, experimental techniques and other relevant topics are a prerequisite for responsible conduct with animals in research. In Europe, the standard for such training is set by FELASA (Federation for European Laboratory Animal Science Associations). To be considered competent to work with animals, a researcher should have a degree in a life sciences discipline and have participated in a Laboratory Animal Science course.
This course covers Functions A, B and D of the European Directive 2010/63 for the animal species mouse, rat, zebrafish and fish, and is the only FELASA accredited course in Portugal (since 2008). The training combines theory (lectures, seminars, online lectures) with practical sessions and group assignments. The focus is on how to design, plan and carry out experiments to minimize animal harm.
The course has an approximate duration of 80-h over two consecutive weeks and will give you the necessary training to obtain a permit to work with animals in most European countries. To get the actual permit, you need to apply to the competent authority; in Portugal, permits are handled by Direção Geral de Alimentação e Veterinária (DGAV).
Attending this course is the first step towards meeting the challenge of doing good research with animals in a responsible way.

General Information: The official language of the course is English.

[FELASA accredited Course for functions A, B and D (mouse, rat, zebrafish and fish species-specific) aligned with the European Directive 2010/63]
Functions (according to directive 2010/63, article 23 – Competence of personnel):
A. carrying out procedures on animals;
B. designing procedures and projects;
D killing animals.

FELASA accredited courses


Course Duration
80 h | Two consecutive weeks - Monday to Friday | Full Time from 9 AM to 6 PM
Email: training@i3s.up.pt
(*preliminary schedule - course dates will be confirmed upon registration acceptance and prior to requisition payment)


Poster download >>



Covered species: Mouse, Rat, Zebrafish and Fish


The following themes are addressed:

Biology and husbandry of laboratory animals | Mouse, Rat, Zebrafish and Fish
This theme focuses on aspects related to biology and the husbandry of animals used in research, including behaviour, stress, welfare, husbandry, genetics, nutrition of laboratory animals. A combination of lectures, group assignments, and self-study exercises is used.

Microbiology and disease
This theme covers microbiology/gnotobiology, diseases of small laboratory animals (Mouse, Rat, Zebrafish and Fish), pathology and necropsy. A combination of lectures, hands-on practical classes, and interactive software is used.

Health hazards and safe practices in the animal house

Design and conduct of animal experiments
This theme covers statistics and methodology, including experimental design, power analysis and statistical analysis of data.

Anesthesia, analgesia and experimental procedures
This theme combines lectures with practical classes and demonstrations. Basic theory in anesthesiology and pharmacology is covered in lectures, whereas practical classes give students the opportunity for hands-on training in different experimental procedures.

Alternatives to animal use

Ethical aspects and legislation
This topic includes ethical theories, the ethical dilemma of animal research, harm-benefit analysis and decision-making, as well as Portuguese and European legislation.

Analysis of scientific literature
This group exercise consists of a critical analysis of specific literature and hypothesis formation and testing.

Project work
Throughout the course, the students have to prepare a complete protocol for a research project or an experiment, as if it was to be presented to an ethics committee. The projects are presented and defended orally on the evaluation day.

Course textbook
Hau, J.H., Schapiro, S. J.; Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science: Essential Principles and Practices, 4th ed.; CRC Press, 2021.
External fee registration includes this hardcover textbook.




The course is organized and coordinated by the Laboratory Animal Science group in collaboration with the animal facility.

Responsible for scientific and pedagogical content:
Anna Olsson - i3S / IBMC (behaviour, stress, welfare, ethics, alternatives to animal use, introduction to laboratory animal science, legislation and supervision, and evaluation of projects)


Regular collaborators:
Ana Maria Valentim - i3S / IBMC (Refinement of procedures /Humane endpoints/ Euthanasia)
Ana Lourenço - UTAD (Nutrition)
Andreia Costa - i3S / IBMC (Handling and Procedures with animals)
Fátima Gartner - i3S / IPATIMUP (Diseases of laboratory animals/pathology and necropsy)
Hugo Santos - CIMAR (Fish as animal model / Procedures with fish)
Irina Amorim - i3S / IPATIMUP (Diseases of laboratory animals/pathology and necropsy)
João Neves - i3S / IBMC (Pathology and necropsy)
Joana Marques - i3S / IBMC (Zebrafish animal model)
Luís Antunes - UTAD (Anaesthesia and analgesia, Perioperative care, Surgery and microsurgery, Telemetry)
Nuno Franco - i3S / IBMC (Experimental design with animals)
Pedro Brites - i3S / IBMC (Laboratory Animal Genetics; Transgenics)
Pedro Oliveira - ICBAS (Statistics & Methodology)
Renata Freitas - i3S / IBMC (Zebrafish animal model)
Sofia Lamas - i3S / IBMC (Microbiology of Laboratory animals/Gnotobiology/ Procedures with animals)



Limited number of participants (24).
Only applicants holding at least a BSc - Bologna 1st cycle degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Veterinary, Medicine, Pharmacy or similar will be admitted.

Applications will be selected according to defined criteria.

Registration as external participant
Participants will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration as UP member
Priority will be given to candidates with a completed Master degree

Registration as i3S member
Internal selection criteria apply.


Registrations fees


Early bird
until July 15

between July 16
and July 30

from July 31













* Including students in the doctoral programs: BiotechHealth; GABBA; MCbiology


Registration for external participants includes lunch ticket, coffee breaks and coursebook.

For U. Porto members, registration includes lunch ticket and coffee breaks.

For i3S members, registration includes coffee breaks.

i3S and U.Porto members may purchase the course book at a reduced price through the course organization.


Registration closing dates   
Applications deadline will be anticipated to July 25.

i3S             July 25
U.Porto      July 25
External     July 25


i3S/ IBMC reserves the right to close registrations before the pre-announced closing dates if applications exceed the places available for the course.
Changes to pre-announced course closing dates will be indicated at the course page at least one week prior to the closing date.


Course pre-registration

Pre-Registration form >>

Please note that your pre-registration does not confirm that you have been selected for the course.


Documents required to register:
Documents required for pre-register:  Copy of degree and/or master and/or PhD diploma.
Please note that the requested information will be used for selection and registration purposes.


More Information:
Advanced Training Unit | E-mail: training@i3s.up.pt | Tel: +351 226 074 900