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Guiding principles

Guiding principles of the German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research

From Molecule to Behavior: Responsible research and science-based service on fundamental issues of biology and medicine in humans and other primates


The German Primate Center (DPZ) - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research conducts biological and biomedical research in all fields in which studies on non-human primates play essential roles: in particular in infection research, the neurosciences and organismic primate biology. The DPZ is committed to high ethical standards and transparent communication. Building on its expertise and infrastructure it sets standards for breeding, keeping and experimental use of primates and advises and supports other research institutions, especially by providing animals from its breeding facilities. The DPZ also operates four field stations for research on primates in their countries of origin.



We conduct basic research on and with primates of the highest scientific standards and on topics of outstanding societal, medical and scientific relevance.


A broad spectrum of competencies and close networking within the Göttingen Campus, the Leibniz Association as well as with international partners, enable us to work on innovative research approaches in transdisciplinary teams.


We implement our unique expertise in the field of animal keeping, breeding and experimental use of primates to improve both the welfare of the animals and the quality of the research results.  We advise scientific institutions, organize further education and make samples, animals and the infrastructure in Göttingen and our four field stations available to cooperation partners.


We take responsibility for the animals entrusted to us and towards society. This guides us in the strategic direction of our research, in our collaborations and in the endeavor to make our findings accessible to politics and the public. We are committed to good scientific practice, ethical conduct and the 3R Principle* when working with lab animals. With our research, we also contribute to the protection of endangered primate species.


Through our daily actions in science, service and administration, we contribute to sustainable management. We strive for this in a continuous, dialogical process with all employees, which includes all working areas of the DPZ and in which concrete goals and measures are developed.


We maintain transparent, proactive communication both in dealing with each other and with the public. We make our research results publicly available and regularly submit ourselves to external evaluations.


We are respectful and appreciative of one another. We benefit from the diversity of our staff, our consistent support for career development and our close networking in research and teaching within the framework of the Göttingen Campus, as well as from flat organizational structures. A wide range of measures for the reconciliation of work and individual lifestyles, for equal opportunities, safe working conditions and health promotion are characteristics of the working environment at the DPZ.


It is our goal and demand to be one of the world’s leading primate centers nowadays and in future. With our research, we strive to find answers to fundamental questions in biology and medicine and to enhance the protection of endangered primate species. Basis for this is excellent research, supported by an efficient infrastructure consisting of scientific service, primate husbandry and field stations. We make our science-based services and our expertise in all aspects of animal keeping, health, breeding and behavior of primates, as well as on the subject of animal welfare and science communication, available to our partners and continuously develop them further. In order for our research results to achieve the best possible benefits for science and society, we foster their transfer, the Open Science movement, the digitization of research data and public outreach. The broad spectrum of our topics enables transdisciplinary research at the Primate Center as well as within the framework of Leibniz research networks and third-party funded projects. We actively participate in research and teaching at the Göttingen Campus with the aim to develop it into an inspiring place for outstanding pioneering leaders and young talents.



* The 3R Principle (Replace, Reduce, Refine) refers to an approach for planning and implementation of animal experiments for which the reduction of numbers and stress for the animals is an essential criteria. For the DPZ a fourth R, Responsibility, applies too, thus the responsibility of the researchers for their lab animals.