The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications for this year’s AWF Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.
The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduate and postgraduate students of agricultural studies, veterinary science, veterinary nursing and animal welfare to undertake 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.
“From learning to design and execute a research study from start to finish, to travelling abroad and meeting experts in the field of animal welfare, undertaking a student research project can be really rewarding and beneficial to their studies and future careers.
“Our previous grants have yielded excellent research in a diverse range of fields. I’d highly encourage all university students with an interesting idea for a project to apply.”
Student research projects since 2016 have ranged from the measurement of the quality of life of breeding macaques; the relationship between grimace expressions of dairy cattle and post-mortem dental health; and evaluation of skin wounds in donkeys in Tamil Nadu, India; to faecal detection of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in Thailand and issues associated with importing overseas rescue dogs.
Charlotte Norman, a veterinary science student who conducted research on the reasons, methods and welfare of imported rescue dogs who was a grant recipient in 2017, said: “The project gave me more skills that I ever thought it would. I started with little to no research experience, so both terminology and research processes were new to me.
“I learnt how to write and pilot a questionnaire, how to advertise the project and communicate with participants and industry leaders, how to analyse the data, and how to write a scientific paper.
“I also had the opportunity to present the research at four different conferences, which really helped develop my confidence in public speaking.”
Emma Rayner, who conducted research on skin wounds in donkeys in India in 2017, said: “The opportunity to undertake a scientific project in animal welfare was both exciting and challenging.
“It gave me solid experience in designing methodologies and conducting research in a developing country which resulted in a publication.
“I would highly recommend this to other students who want to explore their potential and abilities as an animal welfare scientist and to use scientific approaches to drive forward advances in animal welfare.”
The deadline for submission of applications is midnight on November 24, 2019.
For more information on the grants and full reports by previous grant winners, see https://www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk/research/grants-available/