Preclinical Experimental Design and Reporting Workshop

Application Deadline: March 29, 2023
Start Date: May 26, 2023
Location: Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, Montréal, QC

Assessments of the reporting quality of preclinical research have consistently found that important elements of research design are often missing from published work, including the use of design elements such as blinding and randomization. To improve reporting of research design, reporting guidelines – such as the widely endorsed NIH Principles and Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research as well as the ARRIVE Guidelines – have been developed and are being implemented by funding agencies, universities, publishers and journals. These new reporting requirements, such as randomization and blinding, are intended to promote change in how experiments are designed and conducted by researchers and their teams.

SCN is holding a one-day Preclinical Experimental Design and Reporting workshop on May 26, 2023, which will provide an overview of current reporting guidelines and important experimental design elements to reduce bias with the goal of setting the stage for successful experimentation and publication. The workshop will be delivered by Dr. Manoj Lalu, OHRI, Dr. Dean Fergusson, OHRI, Madison Foster, OHRI and Matthew Jeffers, uOttawa/OHRI.

Learning Objectives:
The purpose of this workshop is to provide scientists with the knowledge and skills to implement good quality practices in their experimental work and to design, perform and report on preclinical studies that adhere to the NIH and ARRIVE guidelines.

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Have a working knowledge of basic experimental design and reporting (with a focus on items deemed essential by the NIH and ARRIVE guidelines)
  • Be able to correctly complete a reporting checklist for major journals (e.g., Nature and Cell publishing groups)
  • Generate a plan to implement these elements into the design of their experiments
  • Understand the importance and impact of transparent reporting and methods to reduce bias in laboratory experiments

Who Should Attend?
Applications must include a principal investigator who is committed to attending the workshop, and each investigator is welcomed to nominate up to two trainees for attendance. Please note, this workshop is being held directly following the Early Career Researcher (ECR) Symposium at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal in Montréal, QC. ECRs who are attending the ECR Symposium are encouraged to also apply for the Preclinical Experimental Design and Reporting Workshop. While any researchers are welcome to apply to this workshop, ECRs (and their trainees) will be prioritized for attendance. This workshop will be of particular interest to researchers who are conducting translational research and in vivo experiments.

Apply Here

Dates & Key Details

Date: May 26, 2023
Location: Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, Montréal, QC,

The workshop content will be delivered by the Blueprint Translational Research Group at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Manoj Lalu, OHRI, Dr. Dean Fergusson, OHRI, Madison Foster, OHRI, and Matthew Jeffers, uOttawa / OHRI, will use presentations and interactive sessions, supplemented with case studies and experiential anecdotes, to illustrate the real-world applications and benefits of Preclinical Experimental Design and Reporting. The interactive sessions will enable participants to obtain advice and feedback on implementing the workshop subject matter in their laboratories and project scenarios.

Draft Schedule (all ET, subject to change)

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 – 9:05 a.m. Opening Remarks
9:05 – 9:15 a.m. Reporting Standards
9:15 – 9:40 a.m. Speaking from Experience
9:40 – 9:55 am. Validity of Experimental Design
9:55 – 10:35 a.m. Deciphering Replicates
10:35 – 10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 – 11:45 a.m. Reporting Statistics & Intro Sample Size Estimation
11:45 – 12:15 p.m. Developing Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria
12:15 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break
1:00 – 1:45 p.m. How to Implement and Report Randomization
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. How to Implement and Report Blinding
2:30 – 2:50 p.m. Closing Remarks & Resources
2:50 – 3:00 p.m. Workshop Evaluation Survey

How to Apply

  • Complete the application form here by 11:59 PM (sender’s time), March 29, 2023. As part of the application form, you will need to email a copy of your current CV to earnold@stemcellnetwork.ca.
  • The SCN Training & Education Committee will review all complete applications, and applicants will be informed of the competition outcome in early April.


  • Each application must include a principal investigator at a Canadian institution working in stem cells and regenerative medicine. Each principal investigator is welcome to also nominate two trainees/highly qualified personnel (HQP) (i.e., a graduate student, post-doc, research associate and/or technician) for attendance. Limited spots are available and trainee attendance is not guaranteed. Depending on application numbers, ECRs who are also attending the ECR symposium may be prioritized for attendance.
  • Non-academic applicants are welcome to apply, however academic applicants are prioritized. A $700 registration fee will apply to all non-academic applicants, and non-academic applicants will be responsible for their own travel fees.
  • Applicants must clearly demonstrate that they will apply the techniques learned during the course to their own stem cell research program within one year.


  • The SCN award will cover travel expenses associated with attending the workshop, for those not based in Montréal, QC, including:
    • Travel to/from the workshop location
    • Meals not provided during the workshop
    • Up to two nights accommodation at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal in Montréal, QC (the night before the course with departure on the day after the course). For those also attending the ECR Symposium, accommodation will be covered from May 24 to May 26.
  • Reimbursement will be processed following the workshop, in accordance with the SCN Travel Booking & Reimbursement Policy (policy will be provided to successful applicants).
  • Spaces are limited for this workshop. SCN will cover the registration costs (paid directly to the organizers) of this workshop for applicants who attend all sessions. For applicants who accept a spot in the workshop but fail to attend all the sessions, a fee of $700 will be charged to cover the costs associated with delivering this training opportunity.
  • By accepting a spot in this workshop, the recipient agrees to complete a survey describing the value of the training and networking opportunities made available through the award. This information will be used at SCN’s discretion on its website, newsletters and for the purpose of reporting to their funding agencies. By registering for this workshop, attendees also accept to have their pictures taken during workshop and used in materials as described above. Please note that expense reimbursements will be processed only once the completed survey is received.

For further information, please contact Ellie Arnold at earnold@stemcellnetwork.ca

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