Institute’s first Animal Technicians Conference puts the spotlight on skills, support and career development

Institute’s first Animal Technicians Conference puts the spotlight on skills, support and career development

Institute’s first Animal Technicians Conference puts the spotlight on skills, support and career development

Key points:

  • The Institute’s first Animal Technicians Conference provided a unique day tailored to the needs and interest of animal technicians working across a range of species.
  • Over 170 animal technicians attended the event, representing the Institute’s own animal technicians and bringing together visitors from research institutions, universities and industry from across the UK.
  • The event was inspired by a technician-focused event held by the Research Institute Technicians Group and aligned strongly with the themes of the Technician Commitment to promote the visibility, recognition and career development of technicians as well as addressing the sustainability and retention of expertise.


On 24th November the Institute welcomed over 170 animal technicians from different organisations for a day of sharing, networking and discussion about careers in animal technology, animal welfare and policy. The day also included some researcher presentations about the use of animal studies to improve human vaccination response and develop treatments for traumatic brain injury.

The event was the brainchild of early career animal technicians Abbie and Jess and other Institute-based technical specialists following their attendance at a wider Technician Symposium organised by the Research Institute Technicians Group at MRC Harwell last year.

Jess explains: “The Research Institutes Technicians Symposium illustrated to us how useful it was to bring together people sharing common aspects in their roles and also facing common challenges. We wanted a day to highlight the importance of animal technicians in the progression of medical research and to create an opportunity for animal technicians around the UK to network, share best practice, and, of course, to signify their importance in research.”

True to its objective of responding to technicians’ needs, the day’s programme was designed to promote exchange between animal technicians working with different animal species, creating a welcoming and open space for discussion and to put a spotlight on career development.

A highlight was the keynote presentation by Jonathan Peach on ‘The Art of Being Brilliant’, who provided an engaging, interactive and inspiring session on the importance of helping ourselves to be the best version of ourselves, achieving fulfilment and being a better source of support and encouragement to others.

An external event attendee shared their thoughts on the event: “The symposium was really good as the speakers seemed really clued up on their subject matter, I particularly enjoyed the zebra fish talk and the opossum talks as these are species I have not had much to do with so it was interesting to see how they are housed and looked after. It would be nice to see this as a regular event on the campus.”

Commenting on the successful delivery of the event, event co-organiser Abbie said: “It was incredible to see the conference develop from an idea to the inspiring event it was today. Although we work with different species and in different settings, our dedication to excellence and the highest levels of animal care and welfare is shared by us all. It’s been a privilege to hear from so many people today and I’d like to thank everyone who attended, spoke, supported and sponsored.”

Institute Director, Dr Simon Cook, said: “I’d like to congratulate and thank everyone involved in delivering this successful event. The skills and dedication of our animal technicians are central to the success of the Institute’s research and we’re grateful to everyone for their hard work to ensure animal health and welfare as well as delivering robust research outcomes. Jess and Abbie have shown real leadership and dedication in putting this event together so I’d like to thank them in particular.”



Press contact and Institute lead on openness:

Dr Louisa Wood, Head of Communications,

Image description:

Wooden cubes with speech bubbles linked to each other with lines. Shutterstock  ID: 1793155018 by Cagkan Sayin.

About animal research at the Babraham Institute:

As a publicly funded research institute, the Babraham Institute is committed to engagement and transparency in all aspects of its research. As a signatory to the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research since 2014 and a Leader in Openness from 2019 onwards, we aim to communicate openly and honestly about the involvement of animals in the Institute’s fundamental research. You can find out more about when and why animals are used in the Institute’s research on our animal research pages as well as how we’re working to reduce, refine and replace the use of animals wherever possible.

Please follow the link for further details of our animal research and our animal welfare practices:

About the Babraham Institute

The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through Institute Strategic Programme Grants and an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.

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