The Russian Science Foundation has announced a statement of the expert councils on bioethical issues in research supported by the Foundation


On August 9, the Russian Science Foundation presented an overview on the ethics of using animals in research.

The development of the instrument, which is part of the Foundation’s policy and expertise, was based on serious scientific work, which was headed by Nataliya Shok, Doctor in Historical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education “PIMU” of the Ministry of Health of Russia, co-director of the Center for Science and Ethics of TSU. The RSF Working Group on Research Bioethics leaded by Natalia Shok conducted a comprehensive study and analysis of the existing practices of working with laboratory animals in various organizations, the implementation of research results, the values ​​of researchers and the shortcomings that can be overcome by the adoption of such an instrument for regulating research.

The document contains basic definitions, such as the ethical principles of “3R”: “replacement” (replacement of laboratory animals in the experiment with alternative models), “reduction” (reduction in the number of animals), “refinement” (improvement of the experimental methodology), as well as requirements for documentation, personnel, keeping animals and the procedure for working with them.

“Despite the fact that the document is advisory in nature, the turning point point is the fact that the developed standards have become part of the scientific expertise of the leading scientific foundation in Russia. Appropriate changes have already been made in the application forms for grants recently announced, including those for laboratories that conduct genetic research,” comments Daria Matsepuro, an expert at the Center for Science and Ethics. It is important to monitor and evaluate the implementation of such initiatives at the organizational level. Our center, established in July 2021, builds interaction on issues of research ethics and bioethics with the research teams of TSU and other scientific and educational organizations, studies existing and emerging work practices so that compliance with ethical principles will contribute to the positive development of research projects, and won’t become limitation.”

It is worth noting the links of the adopted document with the key research of TSU in the field of biotechnology. Currently, the university is involved in several major projects related to genetic research and technology, including the implementation of the Engineering Biology project within the framework of the “Priority-2030” federal program.

Genetic technologies are included in the list of critical technologies for the Russian Federation and are an integral part of technological sovereignty. In turn, the commitment of research teams to the bioethics principles stated by Foundation is designed to improve the quality of scientific results and promote the development of advanced technologies and developments.

Interview with Natalyia Shock and heads of the Russian Science Foundation for Kommersant is available at the link: 

The full text of the position of the RSF can be found on the website of the Foundation