Working Groups

Cross-cluster groups focusing on a set of issues and challenges important across the Network

Cross-Cluster collaboration on key areas of interest

The Network has a set of Working Groups focusing on issues that are important across the whole Network. The Network wants to encourage discussion on some topics that are key to preclinical research and welcomes contributions from partners within and outside the clusters.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in joining any of the Working Groups.

  • Horizon Scanning

    The group aims to foster discussions on new technologies that are relevant to the Network with the view to introducing them into the work of the Network Clusters, either directly or by establishing new collaborations.

    The group will also advise the Network’s Director on the suitability of new technologies and the opportunities offered by these to the Network, and will direct and critically assess relevant pilot studies to ensure that appropriate validation and quality control of all processes is always applied.

    The team also aims to encourage and facilitate the prompt application of the technologies that have been deemed appropriate, to further the Network’s aims to ensure early adoption.

  • Industry and Translation

    The group has the primary task of setting out the Network’s strategy for clinical and industrial collaborations and partnerships.

    It proposes to achieve this through the identification of areas of clear opportunity between the Network and potential partners and to connect researchers with the relevant professionals who can offer advice on the contractual and intellectual property (IP) implications of industry partnerships.

    The group is also committed to assisting partners in establishing governance frameworks that allow industry-acceptable timescales for collaborative projects, as well as to organising industrial engagement workshops.It will also be important to maintain relationships with key stakeholders to ensure that the Network’s activities are suitably disseminated and recognised.

  • Best Models

    The Best Models Working Group stems from the clearly stated commitment to the 3Rs that is defined within the remit of the Network. The group defines the strategy for replacement opportunities within ongoing and future projects and takes responsibility for articulating, whenever appropriate, the reasons as to why replacements may not be available in specific circumstances.

    Gathering and disseminating information on resources in other model systems or organisms is another key element of the group’s work, together with highlighting technological or knowledge gaps within the Network that might hinder the use of other models.

    Finally, the group is active in seeking areas of funding for replacement pilot studies for the Network and in disseminating the current ethical review process associated with MLC’s and Network’s projects.

  • Training

    The Training Working Group is tasked to identify needs and skills gaps within the network and to report upon the available expertise that can be shared.

    Based on this information, the group will be able to propose cross-network training initiatives, support Early Career Researchers in the Network, support and drive Network-linked PhD applications, and build strong relationships with learned societies with reference to training.

    These activities will result in a strong portfolio of training opportunities that will become outward facing and that will involve Network Associates and the wider community.

  • Public Partnership

    The Public Partnership Working Group aims to identify Network-wide topics that are key to its relationship with the public, with a view to defining adequate messaging strategies that will enable the dissemination of the important work carried out by the Clusters in the relevant disease areas.

    The group intends to make use of the Network’s significant expertise in public engagement and involvement to focus attention on the unique synergies created by the innovative funding and research model that the Network represents.

    One of the group’s first activities will be to provide informative material about the rigorous process of using animals, particularly mice, in preclinical studies and the significant contribution that studies involving mice are making to the improvement of human health.