Where Ideas Grow

Laboratory Animal Science Course | 34th edition 

8-19 May 2023 | i3S, Porto

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.


[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 


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

Course Duration
80 h | Two consecutive weeks - Monday to Friday | Full Time from 9 AM to 6 PM
Email: training@i3s.up.pt


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 the biology and husbandry of animals used in research, including behavior, stress, welfare, husbandry, genetics, and 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 - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, Porto (behavior, stress, welfare, ethics, alternatives to animal use, introduction to laboratory animal science, legislation and supervision, and evaluation of projects)


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

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

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

Registration as an i3S member
Internal selection criteria apply.


Registrations fees

  Early bird
until January 31
between February 01 
and February 28
From March 01 
to March 31
i3S members / P.CCC Raquel Seruca members 450 € 650 € 750 €
U.PORTO 650 € 850 € 950 €

1150 €

1350 €


Registration includes:

External participants: lunch ticket, coffee breaks, and coursebook.
U. Porto members:  lunch ticket and coffee breaks.
i3S and P.CCC Raquel Seruca members: coffee breaks.
i3S/ P.CCC and U.Porto members may purchase the course book at a reduced price through the course organization.

Candidates selection: 
i3S/PCCC    February 28
U.Porto      February 28
External     February 28

i3S reserves the right to close registrations before the pre-announced closing dates if applications exceed the places available for the course.
Changes to candidates' selection dates will be indicated on 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. Payment will be requested only after confirmation of acceptance. Details for payment will be sent in the confirmation registration e-mail.

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

Cancelation policy:
In case of cancelation, the registration fee will not be refunded.
The organizer reserves the right to cancel the course in case of an insufficient number of participants, organizational reasons, or other unforeseeable events that render the execution of the course impossible. The organizer shall immediately inform the pre-registered participants of such changes.

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