Leading animal welfare charity invites applications for student research grants

28 September 2018

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications for the AWF Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to practically and positively impact animal welfare.

The AWF Student Grant Scheme was set up in 2016 to invest in student education on animal welfare and welcomes proposals from undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agricultural studies and animal welfare to undertake summer research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. They cover the cost of the project as well as a stipend for the student undertaking the research.

AWF Chairperson Chris Laurence said:

“The AWF Student Grant Scheme is a unique and exciting opportunity for students with a passion for animal welfare to develop their research skills while advancing scientific knowledge in their field.

“Our 2017 grants yielded excellent research, ranging from a study into why people adopt rescue dogs from abroad to an investigation into parasite burdens of orphaned rhinoceros calves in Assam, India.

“AWF’s mission is to improve the welfare of animals through science, education and debate, and the student grants are an important component in helping us achieve this aim.

“I’d encourage all university students with an interesting idea for a project to apply.”

The inaugural AWF Student Grant Scheme in 2017 funded six projects by students at the universities of Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol, with areas of study including the evaluation of skin wounds in donkeys in Tamil Nadu, India, the characterisation of microbiota of infectious lameness causing lesions in dairy cattle, the reasons people choose to rescue dogs from abroad and potential welfare problems associated with this practice, and an investigation into parasite burdens of orphaned one-horned rhino calves, juveniles and wild rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, India. Five students presented their findings in front of a distinguished audience of veterinary and animal welfare professionals and policy makers at the AWF Discussion Forum in June this year.

The deadline for submission of applications is 26 November 2018. For more information, email enquiries@animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk

The 2017 AWF Student Grants were awarded to the following research projects:

  • Investigating parasite burdens of orphaned greater one-horned rhino calves, orphaned juveniles and wild rhinos in Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India – Luke O’Connor, University of Bristol
  • Public Perception and Poultry Production: Comparing public awareness and opinion of the UK poultry industry with published data- Victoria McCulloch, University of Edinburgh
  • Imported rescue dogs; reasons, methods and welfare- Charlotte Norman, University of Liverpool
  • Deciphering the microbiome of infectious lameness causing lesions in dairy cattle- Bethany Griffiths, University of Liverpool
  • Evaluation of the prevalence, nature and distribution of skin wounds in donkeys in Tamil Nadu, India- Emma Rayner, University of Edinburgh
  • The impact of dairy farm management strategies on welfare- Cherrill Bedford, University of Liverpool

See full reports and video presentations by the 2017 grant winners. 

AWF was set up in 1983 to improve animal welfare by funding research, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on animal welfare issues. The charity is supported by the British Veterinary Association, the leading representative body for vets in the UK and relies on legacies and individual donations to fund its work. 

BVA Media Office