Merel Ritskes, professor evidence-based laboratory animal science, founder of SYRCLE, was awarded one of the first Cochrane-REWARD prizes for reducing waste in research.
This year’s winners were the Adding Value in Research programme of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Systematic Review Center for animal Experimentation (SYRCLE) in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and the Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) Initiative coordinated in Liverpool, England. The ceremony took place during the 5th World Conference on Research Integrity in Amsterdam on 30 May 2017. The prize of GBP 2500 recognizes local or pilot initiatives that could lead to reductions in research waste. Given the high standard of the 18 applicants, the panel decided to award three prizes this year, with SYRCLE and COMET being awarded a joint second prize.
SYRCLE undertakes teaching, coaching, and research about systematic reviews of animal studies. These activities are designed to improve the reliability of laboratory animal research and its relevance for patients. Systematic reviews help to make existing evidence more transparent, prevent duplication, and identify knowledge gaps. Since commencing the systematic reviews of animal studies, Radboud University has seen a 35% drop in animals used, and the Netherlands a 15% drop. Started in the Netherlands, SYRCLE is building a global network of ambassadors to promote its work.
The Lancet REWARD Campaign (REduce research Waste And Reward Diligence) invites everyone involved in biomedical research to critically examine the way they work to reduce waste and maximise efficiency. Radboudumc signed the Lancet REWARD statement in 2016.
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