A second successful event for the Institute’s Animal Technician Conference

A second successful event for the Institute’s Animal Technician Conference

A second successful event for the Institute’s Animal Technician Conference

Key points:

  • The Institute welcomed 200 participants to its second Animal Technician Conference, which took place on 15th November.
  • The event follows the success of the inaugural event last year, for which the two technician organisers received an Outstanding Collaborator Award from the Research Institute Technician Group.
  • In tailoring the programme to meet the interest of those working in animal technology, the event provides a unique opportunity for animal technicians to share expertise and focus on career development.  

On 15th November, 200 animal technicians from academic, commercial and governmental organisations across the UK came to the Institute for the second Animal Technician Conference. Established and developed by animal technicians from the Institute’s animal facility, the event offers the benefits of new insights, networking, knowledge exchange and professional development opportunities to those who provide the day-to-day care for animals used in research. 

Sarah Drummond, a member of the organising group and Experienced Animal Technician, said: “I feel so proud that we have been able to deliver a second Animal Technician Conference after the success of the first and am grateful for the interest and support we’ve received from the sector as a whole. We were heartened by the number of sponsors and delegates for this year’s conference. Having a forum for the exchange of ideas, sharing successes and challenges and learning from people ahead of you in their career is so valuable. I’m delighted to have played a role in organising this year’s event alongside my colleagues. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and participated.”   

The event covered animal care for species ranging from alpacas to nematode worms. Speakers from a range of academic and industry organisations (including the Francis Crick Institute, F-Star Therapeutics, the Gurdon Institute, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, PetMedix, the Royal Veterinary College, and the University of Cambridge) highlighted research and animal care activities in diverse model organism species.

The event’s programme also placed an important focus on career development and technician welfare. The Institute of Animal Technology (IAT) and The Learning Curve, a provider of training and professional development opportunities for people working in the animal research sector, provided dedicated sessions on ensuring technician wellbeing and continued professional development. Attendees could also select to participate in focused career development conversations with senior professionals from a range of related careers.

Attendees who attended the event highlighted the value of the day for them:

“I was very interested to hear from animal technologists who work with different species and to learn about the changes the IAT has made to gaining qualifications.” External attendee, University of Cambridge.

“It was such a great networking opportunity! I re-connected with an old friend who I haven’t seen since university who is now a facility manager. These in person events are so important to allow people to connect with others in the industry.” Deputy Unit Manager, Biological Support Unit, Babraham Institute.

"Lovely to hear people to speak about their careers, some of whom have walked out of school without qualifications, and they have really developed their careers. Gives you hope!” External attendee, Charles River.

“The mental health focus is key - and informally it’s really important to catch up with others in the field and compare experience and get advice, so valuable.” External attendee, University of Cambridge.

The event organising team would like to thank everyone who supported the development of the event and the event’s sponsors: Technician Commitment, Babraham Research Campus, S3 Life Science Recruitment, MRC Harwell Advance Training Centre, VetTech, Aston Pharma, The Learning Curve, InterFocus, Plexx, RockStep, Datesand, Transnetyx, Envigo, The Physiological Society, LBS Biotechnology, Techniplast, Clinipath Equipment, Agenda, Verinnogen and International Product Supplies Ltd.  



Press contact and Institute lead on openness

Dr Louisa Wood, Head of Communications, louisa.wood@babraham.ac.uk

Conference organisers:

Richard Berks, Named Information Manager, Biological Support Unit

Emily Boyce, Knowledge Exchange Manager

Susan Buttress, Administration and Events Officer

Bobbie Claxton, Scientific Support & Events Manager

Sarah Drummond, Experienced Animal Technician, Biological Support Unit

Michael Hinton, Web Services Manager and member of the Technician Commitment Steering Group

Lottie Mullens, Experienced Animal Technician, Biological Support Unit  

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: www.babraham.ac.uk/our-research/animal-research

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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