NEVR8014 - Laboratory Animal Science for Researchers / Course in Animal Research in Norway (CareIn)


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examiantion and Written examination
Grade: Passed/Failed

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Home examination 30/100 A
Written examination 70/100 4 hours D

Course content

Laboratory animal science (LAS) is a multidiciplinary branch of science. The main aim of this course is to ensure ethical and humane handling of experimental animals and the collection of informative, objective and reproducible research data from animal experiments.

The course follows the requirements in the Norwegian regulation on animal experimentation (FOR-2015-06-18-761) §25 and annex E. Additionally, the course aims to follow the Education and Training Framework by the European Commission to fulfill the requirements for functions (a) (persons who carry out procedures on animals) and (b) (persons who design procedures and projects).

After completion of this course you will most likely be able to bring your diploma to other European countries and work with research animals. Please note that other countries might ask for additional training and have different national requirements.

The course will cover the following topics:
• Legislation;
• Ethics, animal welfare, and 3R;
• Different views in the society;
• Species specific biology of laboratory animals;
• Management of laboratory animals;
• Microbiological qualities;
• Genetically modified animal models;
• Environmental factors that may influence animal experiments;
• Health hazards;
• Assessment of pain and humane endpoints;
• Severity classification;
• Humane killing of animals,
• Public administration and the course of events in animal experiments;
• Design and statistics;
• Principles of minimally invasive procedures on animals;
• Anesthesia and analgesia for minor and long-lasting procedures;
• Basic surgery

The course is divided into one general section and two special sections. All students must complete the general section. In the special sections, the students can choose between traditional laboratory animals (rodents, pigs) or fish/aquatic organisms. Course participants should select their specialization on the basis of the animals they will work with after the course.

Please note that this course is not directed towards field research (animal experiments that take place other places than a facility approved for research animals). Persons who plan field experiments are encouraged to complete their LAS training at an institution who offers tailored training towards field research. As of 2019, only the Arctic University of Norway (in Tromsø) organizes courses within field research, usually in February or March every year.

General part:
Topics in this section will include national and international legislation, design and statistics, public administration and the course of events, ethics, 3Rs and attitudes in society, humane endpoints, severity classification, humane killing, health hazards.

Part for Traditional laboratory animals:
Topics in this section will include biology of laboratory animals, anesthesia and analgesia, genetics and genetically modified animal models, microbiological health monitoring, handling techniques and minimally invasive procedures, environmental factors, basic surgery.

Part for Fish and aquatic animals specialization:
Topics in this section will include legislation concerning fish, experimental conditions, stress, biorythms and acclimatization, pain and suffering, anesthesia, handling, surgical procedures and euthanasia, aggression and hierarchy formation, health monitoring and microbiological qualities, genetically modified fish.

After the course is completed the students should be able to transfer their acquired knowledge into practical activities with research animals and start working with research animals under supervision.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:
• Identify and describe the national and European legislation which regulate the scientific use of animals
• Describe the authorisation that is needed before acting as a user, breeder or supplier of laboratory animals and especially the authorisation required for projects
• Indicate who bears primary responsibility for the animals undergoing procedures
• Describe the differing views within society concerning the scientific use of animals
• Identify ethical and animal welfare issues in their own work
• Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the principle of the 3Rs, list examples of how the 3Rs can be implemented in research projects and list sources of information related to the 3Rs
• Describe the severity classification system and give examples of each category
• Describe the basic biology of the relevant animal species, including basic anatomy, physiology, reproduction and behaviour; and recognise the importance of attending to biological and behavioural needs
• Describe the importance of providing an enriched environment to laboratory animals and give examples of environmental enrichment that is appropriate to the species
• Describe the environmental factors of importance for maintaining an appropriate health status for the animals, and how a laboratory animal facility is organized to maintain an appropriate health status and welfare of animals
• Describe the biological consequences of acclimatization, habituation and training
• Describe how genetically altered animals can be used for scientific research and the importance of monitoring such animals very carefully
• List potential human health hazards associated with contact with laboratory animals and describe how these can be prevented or reduced
• Describe abnormal behaviour and signs of discomfort, pain, suffering or distress
• Discuss methods available for assessing animal welfare
• Describe the principle of implementing early humane endpoints and how this implementation can influence animal health and welfare during the course of an experiment
• Define the term "humane killing" and list appropriate euthanasia methods for the relevant animal species
• Recognise that the choice of a euthanasia method may influence the scientific outcome
• Describe appropriate methods and principles for handling animals, and describe common techniques / procedures, including administration and sampling techniques
• Describe where to find relevant and up-to-date information about refinement of animal experiments
• List the different types of formal experimental designs
• Identify the experimental unit
• Describe the variables affecting significance, including the meaning of statistical power and the "p-value"
• Describe how to monitor the microbiological health of laboratory animals
• Describe the terms sedation, local anesthesia and general anesthesia
• Describe the components of pain physiology and list the types of analgesic drugs that are effective at the different components
• Define the term "Balanced anesthesia" and indicate methods to achieve this
• Describe how to do pre-operative, intraoperative and post-operative evaluation of research animals
• Describe different methods to optimize post anesthetic recovery
• Indicate some of the problems associated with pain recognition and pain management in animals

Learning methods and activities

The theoretical teaching will happen partly as self-studies using e-based learning tools with tests and assignments, and partly as auditorium lectures.

The general part will consist of e-based learning tools using course material that will be made available in Blackboard. There will be tests and other assignments to each course module. Completion of tests and assignments is mandatory. The deadline will be given around the start of the course.

The special part for traditional research animals will consist of e-based learning tools using course material that will be made available in Blackboard. There will be tests and other assignments to each course module. Completion of tests and assignments is mandatory. The deadline will be given around the start of the course.

The special part for fish and aquatic animals will consist of auditorium lectures given intensively over a few days. Attendance to the lectures is mandatory.

A course certificate will be issued when the following has been completed: Completed e-based learning, attendance at the theoretical lectures for students who select the special part for fish, completion of tests and assignments, passed the written exam and the home exam. People who will work with research animals will also need to document practical training.

Practical training:
For people who will work with rodents, a standardized practical training programme directed by CareIn supervisors must be completed. Students need to make contact with the laboratory animal facility at their home institution to complete this training. Please note that the laboratory animal facility may require economic compensation for this training. After completion of the practical programme, the students can continue to work under supervision of their research group, until the student's skills are considered to be sufficient.
Persons who will work with pigs must also complete the standard practical training on rodents, but must then supplement this with relevant practical training on pigs under the supervision of persons with relevant and up-to-date competence.
Persons who will work with fish or aquatic animals will need to have their practical training supervised by persons with appropriate and up-to-date competence within the species and the techniques that the students will use in their future research. Practical training must be documented.

Compulsory assignments

  • Mandatory assignments
  • For fish spesialization: mandatory lectures

Further on evaluation

If the written exam is evaluated as "failed" the written exam must be repeated.
If the home exam is evaluated as "failed" a new home exam must be submitted.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

A 3-year education at university or college level is a prerequisite in order for the participant to plan and design procedures and projects (Function (b) in the EU Directive 2010/63).
Enrolment in a PhD programme, master programme or at "forskerlinjen" in medicine at NTNU. PhD- and "forskerlinje"-students at the Medical faculties at UiT, UiB and UiO are given access according to a mutual agreement between these universities. Other people with a master's degree or education at a higher level than master's degree can apply to the course as external participants. More information about how to apply can be found at this link:
Applicants with an education lower than a master's degree are referred to the course MDV6003; Laboratory Animal Science for Researchers.

Course materials

The course syllabus will be the course material to be used during the course, and in addition a selection of articles and other written material that will be made available for the students.
As supportive literature, a text book in laboratory animal science is recommended. For example; "The UFAW handbook on The Care and Management of Laboratory and Other Research Animals", Eighth Edition, 2020, Edited by Robert Hubrecht and James Kirkwood.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
NEVR8003 6.0 01.09.2012
NEVR8013 1.5 01.09.2012
MDV6003 7.5 01.09.2019
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Zoophysiology
  • Biotechnology/Aqua Culture
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Medicine
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine



Examination arrangement: Home examiantion and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Spring ORD Home examination 30/100 A INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 70/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU