Work Package 4: Detail



In Work package 4 (WP4), we aim to build competence in animal welfare science through the development of a global research and teaching hub (Global HUB) that would integrate applied and fundamental aspects in animal welfare research and create a long-lasting relationship with stakeholders (both animal industry and legislators), by educating personnel that will teach animal welfare and its assessment to farmers and others. The outcomes generated in WP1 will be tested in WP2 and WP3 and will be used as an outreach and training protocol in WP4.

The aim of the AWIN project in WP4 is to foster collaboration and together create the Global Hub for Research and Education in Animal Welfare. WP4 in this project will lead to progress beyond the state-of-the-art in the following ways:

  • by creating a website database with the goal of integrating information from different institutions in a meaningful and easy to access system for both students and professionals;
  • fostering worldwide exchange of information on teaching resources in animal welfare science by reviewing current animal welfare courses across the globe
  • by providing an outstanding research training environment for MSc, PhD candidates, postdoctoral workers and resident veterinarians working in animal welfare across the different institutions taking part in this consortium and;
  • by developing in-house and online learning objects which could be used in modules for professional development for the different stakeholders in the industry.

The AWIN project will establish a Global Hub for Research and Education in Animal Welfare that will offer a wide range of information. There is a societal demand to find practical ways to disseminate existing and new knowledge in animal welfare to interested parties/stakeholders for example: the lay-person, policy makers, students and professionals. It is also paramount to ensure that the transfer of knowledge from the welfare indicators project is efficient and effective. The current consortium will do this through the use of the web, online learning tools, and supervision of post-graduate students and partnerships. The development of learning tools such as “learning objects” will, in part be derived from deliverables arising from WPs 1, 2 and 3

Task 4.1: Develop a website (The Global Hub for Research and Education in Animal Welfare) and a database.


To integrate information from different institutions into a system that is useful and easy to access by students, professionals and others.

Web site development

We shall develop a specialist website aimed at communicating information from the AWIN project and from other sources to a wide audience. This will be called the “Global Hub for Research and Education in Animal Welfare”. Universidade Positivo is the main partner responsible for the development of the website. UMB will develop a database of stakeholders and develop a strategy to engage them in the activities of the consortium, using the website. SRUC will gather information from the partners and, together with other WP4 members will develop the template for the website. All partners are responsible for providing information for the website.

Data repository on teaching material in animal welfare

UMB has previously developed a virtual library website (; this will be updated early in the AWIN project timeline. The project will offer an overview of the existing online courses in animal welfare. The three post-doctoral fellows will contribute to this task. The UMB research fellow will update the material relevant to stakeholders, the SRUC post-doctoral fellow will provide information on undergraduate and graduate level courses and finally the Positivo post-doctoral fellow will update the information on education for children, youth, consumers and life-long professional programmes.

Task 4.2: To provide information for specialised teaching programmes in animal welfare across the globe

To foster worldwide exchange of information on teaching resources in animal welfare science

Review different programmes/courses offered by a range of institutions in various countries throughout the world.

We will approach animal-based scientific societies, such as ISAE, OIE and others to create a task force to harmonize the information regarding available courses online, from different sources. Moreover, our HUB will offer suggestions of modules that are available in order to create a training programme for specific areas. Of particular importance to this proposal is the relationship between diseases and animal welfare and we will engage the team in WP2 to help develop learning objects relevant to the topic of welfare and diseases. We will establish communication with the institutions of higher education, anywhere in the world, interested in offering certification to students following the online courses.

To enhance teaching in the assessment of pain

To enhance teaching in the assessment of pain, we need to integrate in the “pain assessment” module presently being developed by UMB, the pain assessment web tool developed by Edinburgh University (V. Molony and J. Kent, last edited in 2008). SRUC and Universidade Positivo will take care of this sub-task, with the help from the two post-doctoral fellows working in WP4. This development will integrate information from WP1 and WP2.

To engage with various interested parties to start setting up partnerships for future teaching modules

SRUC will take the leadership in promoting discussions on future partnerships. The AWIN Project will offer lectures and publications to foster collaboration. The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, at the University of Edinburgh, has been invited to participate in the development of teaching modules in animal welfare, together with our European and non-European collaborators.

Task 4.3: Development of “learning objects”

To develop a collection of “learning objects” available to interested parties including professionals in the animal industry.

To determine which learning objects are used for training

We will determine which learning objects are used when professionals are trained in animal welfare and liaise with OIE, FAO and other relevant organisations to obtain information. Professor Donald Broom will lead the interested parties/stakeholder initiative in order to gather information regarding the use and need of training material. A web-based questionnaire will be available to get information regarding the needs and usage of existing resources. Feedback to the interested parties will be provided through the web site regarding use and needs of training material.

Develop and adapt material in the form of learning objects for teaching purposes

In order to develop and adapt material in the form of learning objects that could be made available for teaching purposes, the WP4 team will rank the outputs from WP1, WP2 and WP3 for their potential to be transformed into learning objects. The goal is to maximise the effective translation of deliverables into learning objects. Other work-package leaders will take the leadership in guiding the team to produce material for the development of learning objects.

Task 4.4: Research training opportunities

To offer an outstanding research training environment for post-graduate teaching in animal welfare across the different institutions taking part in this consortium.

Training programme for students

Students involved in the AWIN project will attend a systematic training programme focused on building research competence. Students will rotate in the different research environments within this consortium in order to broaden their training. In addition, we shall endeavour to create a stimulating web environment; for example, the use of “second life” will be investigated as a communication and learning tool. Workshops to help train PhD students and post-doctoral fellows will be organised in association with project meetings and/or scientific meetings. Online material will be available, prior to the meeting, to facilitate information transfer. Some topics of importance are: a) authorship guidelines and intellectual property; b) statistical protocols to investigate animal welfare questions; c) stress physiology; d) pain and diseases, among others.

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