This report contributes to a growing body of advice around how to involve people affected by health conditions in laboratory or biomedical research. It draws on work completed as part of the Animal Research Nexus Programme (2017-2023) and brings together our findings with resources to help people who might be involved in conversations around the use of animals in laboratory research in the UK.
Involvement is now increasingly well established in clinical and health services research. Extending involvement to laboratory research can help to ensure that this work is also as relevant as possible to people affected by different health conditions. However, there are challenges to involvement in laboratory research: terminology can be different and complex, research takes place in unfamiliar locations, and conversations can involve sensitive topics like animal research.
Our report offer practical support for the moments when people affected by health conditions may be involved in conversations around animal research, including:
• Opening up conversations about animal research
• Preparing for site visits
• Exploring how to talk about animal models from different perspectives
• Understanding how involvement and ethical review processes are related
• Outlining how institutions and research cultures can better support involvement
This report is the product of many conversations and interactions with people affected by health conditions, involvement and engagement professionals, scientists and other academics. We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this report. We have learnt so much from each person who took part and who encountered our work.