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Animal pain (2024)

ECTS credits:



Course parameters:

Language: English

Level of course: PhD course but open for others

Time of year: 15-19 January 2024

No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation, assignment(s) or the like: 60/150

Capacity limits: 30


Objectives of the course:

The aim is to give PhD students an overview of the concept of animal pain from a biological and veterinary perspective.


Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Be updated within state-of-the-art of central parts of animal pain biology
  • Have theoretical knowledge about the evolution of animal pain, and be able to use this as basis of their own research
  • Be able to recognize behavioral and other responses to different types of animal pain (temporally as well as anatomically separated)
  • Be educated within the establishment of experimental protocols for the evaluation of pain in animals


Compulsory programme:

Active participation in residential course Mon-Fri incl presentation of own project. The final part of the course constitutes written answers to questions from classmates.


Course contents:

The course is based on presentations and lectures by internationally recognized pain researchers and practitioners combined with participants presenting relevant parts of their PhD-projects. Furthermore, the course involves a combination of group work (discussions of classic aspects of pain biology and its interpretation) and plenary discussions.



This course targets PhD students and researchers within science, veterinary, agricultural and health sciences working with animals, including animal model studies, experimentation, in conservation studies, in zoo and animal parks, and with scientific questions related to pain biology.


Name of lecturers:

The course organizers are:

  • Senior scientist, PhD Mette S. Herskin, Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Aarhus University, e-mail: MetteS.Herskin@anivet.au.dk
  • Professor Björn Forkman, Department of Large Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, e-mail: bjf@sund.ku.dk


The three main speakers are:


Type of course/teaching methods:

Participants are expected to deliver 150 working hours divided between:

  • Course: 60h, including lectures, participant presentations and group work. At least one excursion will be included.
  • Written answers to questions from class-mates to be handed in upon finalization of the course and assessed
  • Read the curriculum



Original literature in the form of reviews and papers from international journals, and textbooks on animal pain responses. A list of relevant material will be provided November 2023.


Course homepage:



Course assessment:

Participation in residential course plus evaluation of written answers



The course is provided by the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences, Aarhus University and Department of Large Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Special comments on this course:

Course participants have to pay direct costs for accommodation etc. Participation during the 5 day course costs 1200 EURO incl food and accommodation. It is possible to participate in single days at a price of 400 EURO (incl. meals, excl accommodation). Non-PhD-students are welcome at the course, but have to pay 1800 EURO including food and accommodation.



15-19 January 2024



Hotel Frederiksdal, Lyngby, Denmark: https://www.sinatur-hotels.com/



Opens 1 September 2023, and closes 1 November 2023. Register via e-mail to Emma Bonde Stanek: ebs@anivet.au.dk. Registration form can be downloaded from course homepage.  

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