The encouragement of ECVAM's connections with academia through direct collaboration and co-sponsored studentships has resulted in the successful achievement of higher degree qualifications for the young participants, and the development and promotion of alternative methods. So far, 26 students have been registered for higher degrees, 13 of which have been awarded so far, and 16 university departments in nine European countries have been directly involved. When other collaborations are included, the number of ECVAM's interactions with academic institutions rises to 33 departments in eleven countries, including the USA. In addition, through contracts awarded to academic institutions and other forms of collaboration, the prevalidation and validation of alternative methods have been progressed.
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