Consultant - Animals in Science Department (Contract role)

Consultant - Animals in Science Department (Contract role)

Location: Home based
Salary: Up to £25,000 (from a restricted budget)
Hours: Flexible working arrangement
Closing date: Fri, 17 Dec 2021

We're looking for a Consultant to join us to work alongside our Animals in Science Department (ASD). The ASD works to achieve the RSPCA's principal goal of replacing animal experiments, working constructively with the scientific community and regulators to replace animals wherever possible, reduce numbers and suffering, and improve welfare for as long as animal use continues. Our groundbreaking Focus on Severe Suffering initiative is strongly supported by the scientific community and is achieving significant positive outcomes for laboratory animal welfare.

The department takes a strategic approach to its work in all areas, including severe suffering. Work programmes are defined and developed according to a number of factors to ensure they are deploying resources wisely and not duplicating the work of others. 

You'll be providing ASD with essential information by researching  procedures carried out for regulatory purposes that have the potential to cause severe suffering, analysing your findings and preparing a report to help inform our work on severe suffering. 

In your Consultant role you'll be working alongside external colleagues including regulators, scientists, professional organisations and staff at commercial companies, animal welfare and 3Rs organisations, to conduct the research. You'll also liaise and work with other members of the ASD to gain information about animal use and the RSPCA's constructive approach to implementing the 3Rs and ensuring robust ethical review of animal use. 

Our new strategy is deliberately ambitious, and we recognise that it takes all of us to create a world that is kinder to animals with one of the priorities being the ending of severe suffering for lab animals. 

The Consultant is projected to last approximately six months and is due to commence from March 2022. 

The main focus of your role will be:

  1. A review of regulated procedures undertaken using animals to fulfil regulatory requirements within the UK, EU, US and other selected regions that have the potential to cause, or are reported as causing, 'severe' suffering (or equivalent).
  2. Evaluation of whether `severe¿ suffering could be avoided or reduced in these procedures.
  3. Information on which companies, animal welfare and 3Rs organisations are running projects aiming to implement the 3Rs in relation to the protocols identified in (1).
  4. Gap analysis, to see which (if any) protocols, or areas of animal use, for regulatory purposes that cause severe suffering the RSPCA could effectively work on and have a positive impact, e.g. by challenging regulatory requirements, promoting Non-Animal Technologies (NATs) and New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), promoting refinements etc.

What you'll be doing:

  • Carrying out research and summarising procedures carried out for regulatory purposes that have the potential to cause severe suffering in laboratory animals
  • Analysing the protocols and summarising the conclusions
  • Researching, assessing and summarising which companies, animal welfare and 3Rs organisations are running projects aiming to implement the 3Rs in relation to severe protocols for regulatory purposes
  • The role will be home based but require some travel to meetings and our Head Office in Southwater

You'll have:

  • Sector-specific expertise with a sound understanding of regulatory guidelines that require data from animal tests, and of animal use in regulatory toxicology (essential)
  • Excellent research and information processing skills
  • Appropriate knowledge of how animal experiments are regulated in the UK, EU, USA and internationally
  • Contacts within the regulatory community worldwide, e.g.  OECD, ECHA, EMA, MHRA
  • Relevant publication record
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to present information clearly to a variety of audiences with different technical levels and format 
  • Ability to be flexible, reviewing and redefining the project as it progresses if necessary
  • Good interpersonal and influencing skills as this is a sensitive area
  • Ability to deal with confidential information discreetly 

How to apply: 

Please send your CV and cover letter setting out your day rate expectations, examples of publications and your motivation to apply for the role to ResourcingTeam@RSPCA.org.uk quoting reference C4864 by the closing date of  Friday 17th December 2021.  

Early applications are encouraged, we reserve the right to close this vacancy when sufficient applications are received.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic we will be holding interviews through Google Meet. For any part of the recruitment process requiring an onsite visit a full assessment will be carried out to ensure everyone¿s safety. 

All online information and documents are available in alternative formats, including Braille and large font, upon request from the Resourcing team.

Ending cruelty, promoting kindness and alleviating suffering to animals.

Relevant documents

Can you spare a few minutes for our questionnaire?

We strongly believe in being an innovative, diverse, and inclusive organisation and recognise that diversity in all of our people will help achieve that purpose and our mission more effectively.

We actively encourage and seek applications from a wide diversity of candidates and in particular welcome applications from minority ethnic, black, and candidates with disabilities, who are currently under-represented at the RSPCA.

Although there is no legal requirement for you to provide the information, completion of the form will enable us to better understand the composition of our workforce and examine our practices fully so that we can provide for the needs of our diverse community.

If you do not wish to complete a particular section there is the option within each drop down to select 'prefer not to say'.

We hope that you'll assist us by completing this form so we can monitor our equality and diversity. The data will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and won't be taken into account in assessing information on your application form, as it's anonymous and stored separately.

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