The Roslin Institute
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Animal bioscience since 1919.

Aerial shot of the old Institute estate in Roslin village

The Roslin Institute was established in 1993 as a wholly owned but independent institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Its antecedents, however, go back to 1919 and are closely linked to animal genetics research at the University of Edinburgh.


The Roslin Institute traces its origins to the establishment in 1919 of the Institute of Animal Genetics (IAG) by the University of Edinburgh.


In 1947, the Agricultural Research Council (later the Agriculture and Food Research Council - AFRC) created a series of publicly funded research organisations to help farmers in the UK produce more food. In Edinburgh, the expertise within the IAG was used to create two new organisations, the Poultry Research Centre (PRC) and the Animal Breeding Research Organisation (ABRO). Within the University of Edinburgh, a residual presence was maintained in the form of the Unit of Animal Genetics (UAG).


Then, in 1985, a fundamental review of over 30 AFRC Institutes and Units led to the closure of the UAG. The PRC and ABRO were combined with the Institute of Animal Physiology based at Babraham to form the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research (IAPGR). ABRO staff were progressively relocated onto the PRC site at Roslin to form the Edinburgh Research Station of IAPGR.


In 1992, the AFRC decided that Roslin and Babraham should be developed into independent Institutes, each with its own clearly defined mission. On 1 April 1993, The Roslin Institute (named after the local village) was established as an independent, but wholly owned, institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). By 1995, The Roslin Institute had become a company limited by guarantee and a Scottish Charity sponsored by BBSRC.


In April 2007, The Roslin Institute was integrated with the Neuropathogenesis Unit formerly of the Institute for Animal Health, which became a part of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies of the University of Edinburgh the following year.


In March 2011, The Roslin Institute moved into a brand new building on the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush Campus.

The Roslin Institute plays a significant role in the development of the Easter Bush Campus vision. Future development will be phased until 2025. For further information please visit our Facilities and Resources page.

Related links

Animal Genetics Centenary