Animal Use in Science: Exploring the 3Rs

Module 2

The 3Rs of Scientific Research

Competency: Assess the potential impact of the 3Rs principle on scientific research

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the 3Rs of animal research
  • Describe examples of how the principles of replacement, reduction, and refinement can be applied in scientific research
  • Identify how prioritization of the 3Rs may impact animal use in experiments

Assessment: Prioritization of the 3Rs Case Study

  • Identify which of the 3Rs are represented in the case study options
  • Reflect Russell and Burch’s prioritization of 3Rs in your responses
  • Identify financial and practical considerations of applying the 3Rs
Download Materials

Lesson plan, worksheets, and activities (PDF, 1 MB)


Application of the 3Rs
(PowerPoint, 18.5 MB)

Linked External Standards:


HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems

HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts


RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.