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XXVI Laboratory Animal Science Course
10-21 September 2018* | i3S, Porto


Appropriate training in animal biology, experimental techniques, and other relevant topics is 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 scientist should have a degree in a life sciences discipline and have participated in a basic course in Laboratory Animal Science.

This course follows the recommendations of FELASA for laboratory animal science training for scientists (Category C). The course combines theory (lectures, self-study) with practical exercises and group assignments. The focus is on how to design, plan and carry out experiments to minimize animal harm.

We organize this 80-h course either over 2 subsequent weeks or as modules of 3-5 days over one month.

This course 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 Veterinária.

Attending this course is a first step to meet the challenge of doing good research with animals in a responsible way. But laboratory animal science is a developing discipline, and what is best practice today may not be so in five years. For regular updates about current best practice, we recommend that you attend congresses and workshops in laboratory animal science. The easiest way to keep informed about such events is to join a FELASA member association, such as Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciências em Animais de Laboratório.


General Information:

The official course language will be English.

[Accredited FELASA Category C - Persons responsible for directing animal experiments]

[Functions (a), (b) and (d) according to Directive 2010/63/EU]


Limited number of registrations (24). If registrations complete the requirements will be accepted by a first-come-first-served approach based on the date when we receive the registration.

Group discounts to institutions that register submit 6 or more participant’s registrations – will be dependent on the number of places available (please contact the organizers for more details).

The candidate has to hold at least a BSc - Bolonha 1 cycle degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Veterinary, Medicine, Pharmacy or similar.



80 h | Two subsequent weeks - Monday to Friday | Full Time from 9 AM to 6 PM



EMAIL: lasinfo@ibmc.up.pt

(*preliminary schedule)




The following themes are addressed:


Biology and husbandry of laboratory animalsThis theme focuses on aspects related with biology and 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, pathology and necropsy. A combination of lectures, hands-on practicals 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.

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

Alternatives to animal use | Ethical aspects and legislation, including 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 in critical analysis of specific literature and hypothesis formation and testing.

Project work for Cat C course 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.


As textbook for the course, we use:

  • Hau, J.H., Gerald L. Van Jr. (eds) Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science: Essential Principles and Practices (CRC Press, 2002, 2nd edition).



As complementary reading, we recommend:

  • Festing, M.F.W., Overend, P., Gaines Das, R., Borja, M.C. & Berdoy, M. Desin of animal experiments: reducing the use of animals in research through better experimental design. (Paperback, January 2002).
  • Flecknell, P.A. Laboratory Animal Anaesthesia: An Introduction for Research Workers and Technicians (Academic Press).
  • Hau, J.H., Gerald L. Van Jr. Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science: Essential Principles and Practices (ed. Boca Raton, F.) (CRC Press, 1994).
  • Percy, D.H. & Barthold, S.W. Pathology of Laboratory Rodents & Rabbits (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007).
  • Ruxton, G.D. & Colegrave, N. Experimental Design for the Life Sciences (Paperback, 2006).
  • Svendsen, P. & Hau, J. Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science: Animal Models (ed. Boca Raton, F.) (CRC Press, 1994).
  • Thurmon, J.C., Tranquilli, W.J., Benson, G.J. & Lumb, W.V. Lumb & Jones' Veterinary Anesthesia, 3rd (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1996).
  • van Zutphen, L.F.B., V. Beynen, A. C. . Principles of laboratory animal science, revised edition (Elsevier, 2001).

The course is coordinated by the Laboratory Animal Science group with support from the Animal Facility.


Responsible for scientific and pedagogical content:

Anna Olsson - Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology, Porto (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 - IBMC / i3S (Refinement of procedures /Humane endpoints/ Euthanasia / Zebrafish animal model)

Andreia Costa - IBMC / i3S  (Handling and Procedures with animals)

Dolores Bonaparte - (Laboratory animal genetics/ Gnotobiology/ Transgenic and KO animals)

Fátima Gartner – IPATIMUP/ i3S (Diseases of laboratory animals/pathology and necropsy)

Hugo Santos – CIMAR (Fish as animal model / Procedures with fish)

Irina Amorim -  IPATIMUP/ i3S (Diseases of laboratory animals/pathology and necropsy)

João Neves - IBMC / i3S (Pathology and necropsy)

Luís Antunes - UTAD (Anaesthesia and analgesia, Perioperative care, Surgery and microsurgery, Telemetry)

Nuno Franco – IBMC / i3S (Experimental design with animals)

Pedro Oliveira - ICBAS (Statistics & methodology)

Sofia Lamas –  IBMC / i3S (Microbiology of Laboratory animals/Gnotobiology/ Procedures with animals)




Early Bird registration extended until JUNE 25: 900€;

Standard Registration from JUNE 26 to JULY 31: 1000€

Late registration from AUGUST 1: 1200€

 (**) including lunch, textbook and coffee-break





Applications must be submitted at the link: http://bit.ly/2FL8aqs

* i3S applications will be placed in the waiting list. 


Documents required:

Application form

Copy of degree and/or master and/or PhD diploma.

ID photo