Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

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Apply to research

How to apply

Before you consider a zoo research project you must read the ethical guidelines and (if appropriate) the sampling guidelines on the BIAZA web site – see link here. We will expect all multi-zoo studies, including questionnaire-based studies, to have successfully applied to the BIAZA Research committee for a letter of support. Where appropriate, breeding programme coordinators will also be approached for multi zoo studies. You will also need a college or university supervisor that supports your research.

All enquiries regarding research should be directed to the Research Office research@twycrosszoo.org. You should contact us to discuss your project at an early stage. We expect you to have a good idea of what you would like to do but be prepared to be flexible. Once you have read the above materials you must submit an application form which you will find here, this will then be considered by the zoo’s managers. It may take some weeks to get approval and not all projects are approved. Plan ahead and leave plenty of time. We cannot always support projects as they stand but can often suggest slight changes so that we can accommodate them.

For undergraduate degree students interested in completing an enrichment study with us here at Twycross Zoo, we would ask that you review this guidance document, and the links provided on it, to ensure that your project application meets the criteria set out.

Please note there is a research fee for all projects carried out at Twycross Zoo which must be paid before commencing the study. This will be outlined in the application paperwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for doing research at Twycross Zoo?

We get many requests for students of all levels to conduct research every year and so have a process in place to ensure this is a smooth process for the researchers and the zoo teams that support the researchers with their projects. Initially emails about the feasibility of a project should be sent to research@twycrosszoo.org.

We request that all research projects, including surveys, submit the Twycross Zoo Research Application (fully completed) to research@twycrosszoo.org. This will be processed and sent on to the Twycross Zoo Research Committee for consideration and you will be informed of their decision. Please note that this process may take up to 4 weeks at busy times. Submitting incomplete applications will delay this process. Click here to download the Twycross Zoo research application form.

All on-site researchers will have an induction on site safety and research policies of the zoo and have the chance to meet zoo staff relevant to their chosen topic.
Following completion of any research, researchers are required to provide a copy of the final report and the data obtained (this includes the raw data and any images or video footage obtained on site at Twycross Zoo).

Can I publish the data I collect at Twycross Zoo?

Researchers wishing to publish from any data collected from Twycross Zoo should contact us well in advance of submission to any conference, meeting or online/print publications. We require time to review planned publications that relates to data collected at or with the zoo. In some cases, where the zoo has made a significant contribution to the study, we may seek co-authorship on resulting publications.

Does Twycross Zoo have a list of research project ideas that the zoo is particularly interested in?

Yes we do. We periodically update the research ideas list and send this to universities that have worked with us recently. If you have not got access to this through your project supervisor, you can request this by emailing research@twycrosszoo.org and we will send this within one working week.

I’m hoping to do my study at more than one zoo. Is that ok?

Multi-zoo studies are a very good way to ensure a good sample size for a project and we do encourage these, however we request that any multi-zoo studies (including surveys) are supported by a BIAZA research committee (or EEP for Europe or worldwide studies) support letter. Click here to find out more about the BIAZA support letter.

My university requires that I have an industry supervisor for my project. Is the zoo able to offer supervision for my project?

Unfortunately we are a charity with finite resources and the research team are very busy. We are unable to offer direct supervision and require students to be supported by appropriate staff at their university.

I am working on an assignment (not a research project) for college/university and it would be useful to get some information about the zoo for this.

We get many requests each week for information from zoo staff members and for zoo information, such as diet sheets and enclosure plans. Although we aim to support students with requests for such information for assessment work, we do not have the resources to respond to all of these emails individually. If you have a request for staff surveys, these must go through the research application process. If you are requesting diet plans we ask that you have your course tutor contact us directly. For enclosure plans, we recommend that you explore the resources available on www.zoolex.org.

I’m interested in doing research related to environmental or behaviour enrichment. Are these allowed at Twycross Zoo?

Enrichment studies in zoos are very popular and we are happy to host students wanting to conduct these projects. However, we would like to help you make sure your study provides suitable data for your project and that it is also of value to our keeper team here at the zoo. To this end, we have created a guidance sheet to support the development of high quality enrichment studies. Click here to download the Twycross Zoo guidance sheet.

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