We love hearing success stories from our BRAD participants. Read the testimonials below, get ideas for your BRAD event, and checkout the planning tips at the bottom!
“BRAD gets better every year, and I hope it becomes a household acronym soon!”
Increase Transparency & Openness
“Being at a pharmaceutical company that has not been very open in the past, it was a great way to start conversations and educate people that are not directly involved in in vivo research. Most people know there are animals on campus, but may not understand how they are housed, the care they receive, etc. We also had people sign up for a facility tour during the BRAD event, which will be a great way to additionally increase openness.”
“I definitely feel that continuing to host BRAD each year will increase animal research openness at our institution. There was a bit of hesitation at first, but overall, everyone mutually agrees that this is necessary to create trust and transparency in the topic of animal research.”
Bring Your Staff Together
“It has been a great way to provide continuing education to our lab animal caretakers to help renew their sense of purpose at work. Others appreciate the camaraderie across institutions by connecting as individuals to BRAD social media, even if our institution hasn't bought into the idea yet. I get professional fulfillment from spearheading this effort and pushing it forward each year, despite any obstacles we face.”
“It was great for our Animal Resources staff - they enjoyed both planning BRAD and participating in it on the day-of. I think it helped more on an individual level than an institutional level, which was partly our goal: spread the word about biomedical research by empowering individuals to talk about their work.”
“We had interaction with research staff, those who use animals and those who do not. Also with employees, patients and the public who may or may not have had any knowledge of animals in research or that they were at our institution. These dialogues were received positively.”
Set the Stage for Facility Tours
“It was a first experience for us and I am so happy that I could convince our IO who was hesitant. We had an excellent speaker, the AV of the space program who had the right balance talking about animal research ethics and mice in space. We gave tours through one of our vivaria (three small groups of 5). All the feedback we got was very positive. We had invited our EHS, Facilities personnel and Police Department. Some non-scientists came and brought their kids.”
“I love BRAD and always look forward to sharing what we do and how our animal heroes have contributed to medical advances for people and animals. After BRAD 2019 we began doing vivarium tours for graduate students, and employees that do not work with animals. We plan to build on this experience and are hoping to have more community interaction once we get past COVID."
BRAD Planning Tips
“Planning BRAD was actually very easy with the help of the BRAD toolkit and the webinars. Our team really pulled together to have a successful event. Participating increased the awareness of the importance of animal research for some of our team as well as our audience. It was also great for the morale of many to be able to talk openly and know that there is support in our community. We have seen increases in openness over the last few years our facility with more outreach and a website dedicated to animal research.”
“I have been involved with the planning and execution of BRAD at our institution for 3 years now. Every year we have expanded our event (new activities, larger number of attendees). It's a large undertaking, but it's a lot of fun and very fulfilling. I have a passion for providing the best care to our animal heroes, and it's great to be able to share this with those that don't know about animals in biomedical research. If the people that take care of these animals don't speak up, who will?”
“Planning went smoothly and the event offered an opportunity for discussion and visibility of a topic that is traditionally kept under wraps. While the overall impact (in terms of persons reached) this year what somewhat limited, those that stopped by the booth appeared to walk away with a better understanding of/appreciation for animal research."
“Planning our first ever BRAD was a unique experience that allowed us to come together as a team. We were even able to contact a neighbor institution to come over and form part of our event - we are even more happy to report that they came and had a blast! The kit BRAD provides is generous and very useful. We were able to interact with students, research staff, general public, and personnel; we were able to give them our personal testimony of what takes place behind doors in lab animal research, which I believe made a positive influence on all. Overall, I believe BRAD was a great event to host in our institution, as it is very important to highlight what lab animal research does to change lives.”
“We started planning for BRAD months in advance. This helped us with logistics items, such as booking of venue/site and ordering supplies that can take a while to get approved when you work for a state institution. Working with the university that has multiple sites was a challenge as well, but it was great to be able to include all sites! Inclusion is important and it was appreciated by employees and students.”
“Attitude is key! We were approached by people that did not agree with the use of animals and were misinformed. Instead of saying you are wrong...we educated them. We provided them with facts, and they left our booth understanding what we do and the importance of animals in biomedical research and medical advances. Keeping a positive and respectful attitude helped create a safe space for others to express their opinions and for us to share our knowledge.”