The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has announced new grants for desk-based animal welfare research projects to help support important research at a time when ongoing Covid-19 social distancing measures have made field work difficult.
The vet-led charity is offering as many as five grants of up to £10,000 each, with the flexibility for funding to be extended up to £30,000 for one exceptional proposal. The grants will support research projects that focus on priority animal welfare issues in the UK, as identified by a seminal 2019 Delphi study funded by AWF, and will be tenable for up to six months.
Examples of projects that would be welcomed by the AWF include scoping exercises to assess delayed euthanasia in farm animals, dogs or cats, and the validity, reliability and impact of quality of life assessment tools for companion animals. Other research proposals of interest could relate to:
- Any of the other 11 overarching welfare issues identified by the AWF Delphi project, “Prioritisation of animal welfare issues in the UK using expert consensus”
- The welfare issues identified by the British Veterinary Association as issues of particular interest for the veterinary profession, and whose results could support the profession in tackling them;
- Any welfare issues that have become evident during the Covid-19 pandemic
AWF Chair of Trustees Chris Laurence said:
“Funding scientific research to find practical solutions to animal welfare issues has always been at the heart of AWF’s work, and we are committed to ensuring that it remains high on the agenda even during the ongoing pandemic.
“Covid-19 has meant that we need to re-think our approach, as carrying out field work whilst social distancing measures are in place is not feasible. That’s why we’ve decided to offer funding for short, desk-based research projects that can be safely carried out during this time.
“I’d encourage all researchers with an interest in animal welfare to apply for this generous grant.”
The results from the research must be appropriate for publishing in a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. Successful applicants will also get the chance to present their work to the veterinary and animal welfare communities at the annual AWF Discussion Forum and at other key veterinary events.
The deadline for completing the grant application is 12 July 2020. More information on project criteria and how to apply can be viewed on the AWF website.