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Conducting reindeer research in Kutuharju

The Kutuharju field research station offers unique research opportunities for reindeer research. It provides extensive research opportunities on reindeer, their behaviour, physiology, genetics, reproduction and food choice, both in the pastures and in reindeer feeding areas.

Photo: Olli Leino / Luke.

Step 1: research idea

  1. Find out about research opportunities in Kutuharju and ask for more information if you need it.
  2. Draw up a preliminary description of the research idea:
    • objective of the study
    • outline of the research methodology
    • an estimate of the number, age and sex of the study population
    • an estimate of the timing and duration of the experiment
    • an estimate of the necessary treatments (weighing, stool sample, blood sample,...)  
    • research infrastructure needs.
  3. Arrange a meeting with the Reindeer Herders' Association and Luke's research coordinator and attach a description of your research idea.
  4. The negotiations will include.
    • the implementing parties (including Luke's possible role in the project)
    • further planning of the research.
  5. The consultations will produce a preliminary assessment of, among other things.
    • costs and timetable
    • trial arrangements
    • the need for reindeer and infrastructure
    • purchased services (Reindeer Herders' Association and Luke).

Step 2: Study design

  1. Draw up a preliminary study plan, taking into account, for example.
    • the use of reindeer in the experiments (including the conditions and principles of handling, feeding and conducting the experiments - consider the reindeer welfare plan)
    • risk analysis
    • the possible need for an experimental animal permit.
  2. Negotiation with the Reindeer Herders' Association and, if necessary, Luke
    • A more detailed assessment of, among other things:
      • practical implementation of the tests
      • division of labour and costs
      • timetable.
  3. Send the research plan to the welfare team for review.
  4. Update the plan based on feedback from the welfare team.

Step 3: Application for funding

  1. Completed research and funding plan
  2. The research and funding plan must be submitted to the Reindeer Herders' Association and, if necessary, to Luke:
    • demanding experiments one year before the start of the experiment
    • for less demanding experiments, six months before the start of the experiment.
  3. Annexes to the plan, including.
    • the consent of the Reindeer Herders' Association to conduct the experiment
    • an agreement on the use of Luke's research infrastructure and labour input, if Luke is not involved in the project.
  4. Submitting a funding application.

Step 4: Start-up

  1. After the financing decision
    • Inform the Fire Reindeer Herders' Association and Luke of the decision as soon as possible
    • review the experimental arrangements and costs of the study
    • drawing up a research agreement between the project promoters and the Reindeer Herders' Association
    • obtaining an experimental animal permit, if necessary.
  2. Submit to the welfare team and the Reindeer Herders' Association
    • a test animal permit, if required
    • final research plan with annexes.
  3. Starting the study according to the research plan.