Help for Animal Researchers at Small Colleges and Universities

With financial support from the APA Board of Directors, the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) planned and held a workshop in early December on the Humane Care and Use of Animals for Teaching and Research at Small Institutions. CARE recognized the need for informational resources to assist psychologists at small colleges and universities who use animals in their research, in classroom demonstrations, and in training graduates and undergraduates to do research. The workshop is the first step in developing such a resource.

Invited workshop participants--veterinarians, government officials, and psychologists--discussed issues ranging from regulatory requirements to low-cost classroom demonstrations of animal behavior. Participants agreed that it is important for psychologists at small colleges to know that active research programs can be achieved and that the sometimes intimidating regulatory environment can be navigated successfully. Several examples of productive research programs and strategies were cited by the participants including collaborations with colleagues in other departments and institutions.

To disseminate this optimistic message further, participants are drafting a manual based on the workshop discussions. The proposed manual will include both practical information about setting up and maintaining an animal colony as well as case histories of successful teaching and research programs. Although the manual will be targeted primarily at psychology teachers and researchers at small institutions, the population benefiting from this effort as well as the potential market for the publication may be much broader. For example, the manual may be of interest to high school psychology teachers, psychology teachers/researchers at larger institutions, and individuals in allied disciplines who use animals for teaching and research (e.g., biology and neuroscience).

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