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Do your students show interest during biology classes? Are they eager to know more about scientists’ work? Do they advocate for a future with science without animal experiments? If some students in your class fit this description, you should let them know about the job position of programme leader for an Animal Advocacy NGO. Mainly, they are responsible for the organisation’s policies in the area of animal use in science. Introduce them to Luísa Bastos, a programme leader at Eurogroup for Animals!

Interview for the STE(A)M IT Repository of STEM Jobs profiles with Luísa Bastos, a programme leader for an Animal Advocacy NGO.


Find out about the key skills to become a Programme Leader for an Animal Advocacy NGO.

Critical Thinking

To be a programme leader means having the skill to think critically “about the current system as well as the consequences of potential system changes is crucial to be able to strategize.”


It is in the nature of the job. It requires research on the current policies in the field of animal use in science to create new policies defending the welfare of animals in scientific research.


“It is a major skill to master. I need to truly listen to others, be able to establish wide collaborations between stakeholders, and present the network’s views in a compelling way.”


“I need to develop and negotiate strategies, manage people’s expectations, and guarantee that the objectives of the programme are achieved.”


One of the key skills to becoming a programme leader for an animal advocacy NGO is to be flexible and at ease with the different situations that might come up. “The volatile context of this work also requires adaptability.”

Openness towards Feedback and Criticism

Knowing how to receive constructive feedback it’s essential. “The highly social nature of the job position requires to be open towards feedback and criticism.”

Meet Luísa Bastos, a Programme Leader for an Animal Advocacy NGO

Luísa Bastos is the programme leader for animals used in science at Eurogroup for Animals – an animal advocacy umbrella NGO, representing more than 80 pan-European organisations. She is responsible for the organisation’s policies in this area. Besides, she is a Board member of the European Consensus Platform for Alternatives to the Use of Animals, and of the Centre for Alternatives to Animal Testing. She is also very honoured to coordinate a working group of members of the European Parliament that are interested in accelerating a transition to science without animal experiments. She has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, a master’s in computational methods, and a Licentiate in Applied Mathematics.


In this 22nd episode of our STE(A)M IT STEM Careers Podcast, María Dios, from EUN spoke with Luísa Bastos, a Programme Leader for an Animal Advocacy NGO!

Luísa told us about her study path and the challenges she faces in the research field. “In my current job I look at the scientific, political and societal landscapes at EU, find opportunities and define strategies to avoid the use of animals in science.” She also gives her advice to students: “Follow your gut, and know above all, your choice is not who you will be, but a step you are taking that will allow you to know yourself more.” Listen to the podcast to know more!

CC BY 4.0: all the materials and content presented on this STEM Job profile have been co-created by STE(A)M IT, a project funded by the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme project STE(A)M IT (Grant agreement 612845-EPP-1-2019-1- BE-EPPKA3-PI-FORWARD), in collaboration with the Three Rs project, a project initiated and funded by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and supported by the European Parliament under a Preparatory Action entitled “Promoting alternatives to animal testing”. The project is coordinated by European Schoolnet (EUN) on behalf of the JRC. The Three Rs project is also supported by Scientix, funded from the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme – project Scientix 4 (Grant Agreement N. 101000063).

Rocío Benito

Rocío Benito

I am a Digital Media Officer in the Science Education Department of European Schoolnet (EUN). I studied mass media, and graphic and web design. I love photography and video editing.