Hankenson, F. C., Hallman, T. 2019. Investigator engagement: Somewhat radical considerations on practices to improve animal care program compliance. ILAR Journal 60(1), 58–65.
The authors discuss approaches to bolster investigator engagement, inviting investigators to be partners within the Animal Care Program. Regulatory burden in animal research endeavors continues to be reviewed and critiqued; therefore, this article intends to encourage Animal Care Programs to promote transparency and incorporation of unique educational training initiatives to tailor and focus compliance efforts across research programs. Borrowing from concepts of patient engagement, adherence, and enrollment efforts within the medical profession, it is likely that gains in trust, understanding, and communication between stakeholders within animal programs can be achieved without excessive efforts to alter existing approaches. Institutions will continue to be challenged to balance animal welfare expectations with promotion of research missions. This article provides a framework for somewhat radical ideas, including the use of collaborative orientations, assistance with self-evaluations, timely self-reporting, and meaningful and directed trainings, that are all aimed to resonate in contemporary animal care programs and foster investigator engagement in ongoing compliance efforts.