National Avian Research Facility
National Avian Research Facility

About NARF

The National Avian Research Facility (NARF) is part of The Roslin Institute and is located on the University of Edinburgh's Easter Bush Campus, UK. The NARF was established in 2013 via capital support from The Roslin Foundation and the University of Edinburgh, in addition to funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Wellcome Trust. The facility continues to be supported by the University of Edinburgh and through strategic investment funding from the BBSRC to The Roslin Institute.



The NARF provides a range of resources and expertise for the avian research community in the UK and internationally. 

The facility consists of two units; the Greenwood building, a conventional biosecure facility and the Bumstead building that has specified pathogen-free (SPF) status. Both facilities include accommodation for the maintenance and breeding (including incubation and hatchery) of poultry flocks for research purposes.

The NARF is one of the few resources globally that can produce genetically altered (GA) chicken lines under both conventional and SPF conditions. Currently the NARF provides resources and expertise in these main areas.

  • Curation of unique poultry lines for the provision of chicks and eggs for the research community. Avian resources include, a wide range of transgenic chicken lines, wild-type layer lines, a broiler line, Japanese quail and chicken lines with defined genetic characteristics.
  • The production and maintenance of genome-edited and transgenic chicken lines.
  • The cryopreservation of research chicken lines, and rare or endangered chicken breeds.

Our mission is to improve the health and welfare of poultry by providing resources and tools for research into avian immunology, host-pathogen interactions, physiology and behaviour, developmental biology, and genetics. This research provides knowledge and evidence that directly benefits global food security and human health.

Find out more about our Avian Resources Here


GFP chicks
"Roslin Green" Cytoplasmic eGFP reporter chicks. Image from Macdonald et al. 2012, PNAS.

Useful links

Genomics/ bioinformatics


Developmental biology