Wellcome grants involving animal research 2016/17

We support the use of animals in the research we fund if researchers can show that it is legally, ethically and scientifically justified. 

This is our analysis of Wellcome grants involving animal research between October 2016 and September 2017.

Grant analysis

The figure below shows the percentage of grants we’ve awarded over the past five years that have involved the use of animals. 

This number peaked at 26.7% in 2014/15, but has fallen over the past two years.  

15.5% of the grants we awarded in 2016/17 involved animal research. 

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Breakdown of animals by species

Mice and rats are the most-used species in Wellcome-funded research, accounting for 67% in 2016/17.

Birds also make up a large proportion (26%), but this figure includes the use of chicken eggs for the study of embryo development. 

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Other species include:

Rhesus Macaques accounted for 0.03% of the animals used.

About the data

This data is an estimation, based on the number of animals that applicants ask to buy in their grant applications. There were some cases where this data was unavailable – our Seed Award and Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship schemes didn’t include the necessary fields in the application form to allow us to report on the numbers – which resulted in small gaps in our final figures. 

Since then we have taken steps to improve our reporting, so that in future we will have more accurate data.

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If you have any questions, contact Sam Alvis


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