The NIH office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) released a webinar recording on how the NC3Rs Experimental Design Assistant (EDA) can assist researchers plan for their studies involving animals. This resource builds on our related efforts to strengthen the rigor, reproducibility, and translatability of NIH-supported animal research (see this NIH Open Mike blog for more).
This free online tool helps users build a diagram representing an experimental plan, provides customized feedback, and can make suggestions on statistical methods, randomization, blinding, sample sizes, and other critical design aspects. Dr. Esther Pearl, Programme Manager for Experimental Design with NC3Rs, discussed how it can help researchers, simplify protocol review by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, and demonstrated other features.
“The Experimental Design Assistant is an online tool to help researchers design in vivo experiments. We are aware that many researchers don’t have access to statistical support, so we have tried to replicate that support as much as possible in the EDA…[it] is free to use, it’s secure, and it focuses on…rigorous study design, things that will lead to reliable results, [and] things that can help us reduce bias.” – Dr. Esther Pearl
The webinar and other supporting materials are available on the OLAW website here.