Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body

The University’s Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB) considers all proposals that involve animals in any way – not just those covered by the legislation – and provides ethical advice on standards of animal care, welfare and accommodation.

AWERB membership comprises all stakeholder groups involved in animal research, and includes: a lay, independent chairperson; a Home Office Inspector; all named animal care and welfare officers; the named veterinary surgeon; the named training and competence officer; scientific members; the establishment licence holder; a project licence holder; a personal licence holder; and a lay statistician; among others.

The committee scrutinises all research proposals involving animals in any way – ensuring compliance with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (revised 2013), where appropriate; the principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement; and the NC3Rs ARRIVE guidelines. For more information, see our section on The law, licences and the three ‘Rs’.

Our skilled and knowledgeable research staff teach and promote best practice – including the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement – to our overseas partners. In addition, we also work closely with other institutions and partners – through organisations such as the NC3Rs – to develop alternative approaches to replace the use of animals in research, and encourage the sharing of best practice and new ideas.

Members of AWERB consider and scrutinise projects on a weekly basis, and the committee meets regularly throughout the year – see their schedule of upcoming meetings below. AWERB reports its activities on a biannual basis to the University Research Ethics Committee, which is overseen by the University Court.

For more information, contact AWERB via email.

Call for Ethics Committee Lay Member

The University of Stirling is seeking to recruit a new Lay Member (a person independent of the University) to the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). The University of Stirling is a UK top 40 research intensive university, providing world-class education.

Our interdisciplinary approach to research informs our teaching curriculum. With more than 13,000 students and over 1,500 staff, we are a dynamic and diverse institution with a significant international community.

Ethics Committees are responsible for overseeing and monitoring ethical issues associated with research activities, such as: non-invasive human research; animal, environmental and conservation research; and invasive or clinical research. The University’s ethical review process exists to ensure our research activities fulfil all legal obligations and meet the highest ethical, welfare and safety standards.

A vacancy has arisen for a Lay Member of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). AWERB conducts ethical scrutiny of research proposals from staff and students and makes informed recommendations to researchers.  The great majority of applications relate to aquaculture research.

The AWERB holds formal meetings quarterly throughout the year, but most of its work is carried out electronically. The role of the Lay Member is to act as a member of AWERB and to review research applications for ethical approval making recommendations for change if required, and to contribute to discussions on current projects and topical ethical questions. AWERB aspires to a programme of continual improvement to provide the best service to the University and its researchers. Training will be provided.

The time commitment involved with this role is between one and two days per month.

We are looking for people with an interest in research, research ethics, and/or animal-related research.  While it would be beneficial, prior experience is not necessary.

Lay positions on University Ethics Committees are unremunerated, although expenses related to University business will be reimbursed.

The appointment will be for three-years in the first instance.  The University seeks to represent all the communities it serves. Expressions of interest from people with disabilities and members of minority groups are particularly welcome.

For informal enquiries, please contact Chair of AWERB: Professor Alex Elliott by email via Expressions of interest accompanied by a CV and covering letter should be submitted to by midnight on 4 June 2021.


For staff and students

Staff and students seeking to request ethical approval, click here.

To download a copy of the University of Stirling: Procedures Associated with Animal Experimentation, click here.

Membership of AWERB

The members of the University AWERB are:

  • A lay chair
  • A deputy chair (who is also a Scientific Member)
  • All Named Animal Care and Welfare Officers (NACWOs)
  • The Named Veterinary Surgeon
  • A Named Training and Compliance Officer
  • A Project Licence Holder (who is also a Scientific Member)
  • A Personal Licence Holder (who is also a Scientific Member)
  • A statistician
  • Scientific Members involved in animal experimentation not otherwise represented
  • Head of Research Development and Performance

Contact AWERB

Get in touch with the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body.