Netherlands, Nijmegen

How to Perform High Quality Preclinical Research Through Systematic Reviews

when 12 August 2019 - 16 August 2019
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 ECTS
fee EUR 675

Animal experiments are only justified if they are designed, conducted and analysed in such a way that they produce the most reliable and relevant information. In this course, you will learn and practice with various tools to produce high quality research trough the steps of the systematic reviews methodology.

Animal experiments are ethically justified only if they are designed, conducted and analysed in such a way that they produce the most relevant and reliable information. If these conditions are not met, the laboratory animals are in fact wasted. A crucial method to meet these conditions are so-called systematic reviews. A systematic review is a structured and transparent method to thoroughly analyse previously conducted studies. In clinical research, systematic reviews are already common practice. In the field of animal experimentation, however, systematic reviews are still rather uncommon, even though recent publications have shown that they have several important advantages. Systematic reviews help to improve the methodological quality of animal experiments, they prevent unnecessary (duplication of) experiments and they lead to an evidence-based choice of animal models. Last but not least, they improve the translation of animal data to the clinic, thereby increasing efficacy and safety of treatments in patients.

In this course, you will get an extensive introduction to the concept of systematic reviews of animal studies and to the differences between these review methods and classical reviews. Both the advantages and the limitations of systematic reviews will be discussed.

Systematic reviews typically consist of the following steps:
- Formulating the review question
- Conducting a comprehensive search to identify all relevant studies
- Selecting relevant studies on the basis of explicit inclusion criteria
- Assessing the methodological quality/validity of the included studies
- Extracting data and perform a meta-analysis (an overall statistical analysis in which the results of individual studies can be combined)
- Interpreting the results

During the course, you will practice all these steps. Through this practical experience, you will get a good idea about the added value of systematic reviews and about the possibilities and efforts needed for conducting such a review in your own field of research.

The course will be given by SYRCLE, one of the leading centres in the world specialised in systematic reviews of animal studies. Since 2009, SYRCLE has developed a unique education program, as well as tools and guidelines to promote and facilitate the conduct of systematic reviews of animal studies.

Course leader

Judith van Luijk
Postdoctoral researcher
Department for Health Evidence / HTA / SYRCLE
Radboud UMC

Target group

Master, PhD and post-doc. The course is designed for students and (young) professionals directly or indirectly involved in (preclinical) animal-based research.

Course aim

1.Identify factors in animal studies that can hamper interpretation, translatability and reproducibility.
2.Explain the most important advantages of and challenges for systematic reviews of animal studies
3.Build a comprehensive search strategy in PubMed
4.Perform and interpret an assessment of the methodological quality of animal studies
5.Perform and interpret a simple meta-analysis of animal studies

Fee info

EUR 675: Normal fee


€ 608 early bird discount – deadline 1 March 2019 (10%)
€ 574 partner + RU discount (15%)
€ 506 early bird + partner + RU discount (25%)

Register for this course
on course website