Proposal for Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards

An anonymous donor has provided funds to award up to twelve applicants with funds for proposals intended to improve laboratory animal welfare. The focus of these awards is to improve housing, handling, and/or experimental situations for laboratory animals. This program is not species limited. Studies may, for example, examine how physiological and behavioral stress responses to common husbandry (e.g., capture) and traditional treatment procedures (e.g., gavage, injection, blood collection) can be reduced or eliminated (e.g., by training the subjects to cooperate rather than resist);

whether animals caged at different tier levels show different physiological and behavioral stress responses when being approached by personnel, and how these responses can be minimized or avoided;

whether the presence of a compatible companion buffers physiological and behavioral stress responses to experimental situations (e.g., enforced restraint).

Any studies to be undertaken must be non-invasive, with the possible exception of obtaining blood for biochemical measurements and if possible using animals who have been trained to cooperate during venipuncture. Objective measures might include behavior, coat appearance, body weight, analysis of feces, urine, or blood as described above.

Each award will be for $6,000. In the case of successful completion of the application, some individuals may be invited to present their papers at a national symposium. Additional funds will be provided for travel for these meetings.

This award is limited to North American applications. The proposal itself should be in the form of a letter clearly stating the objectives of the study and the anticipated outcomes. It should provide sufficient detail so that reviewers can understand what is being proposed, how it will be achieved, and how the data will be evaluated.

Each proposal must be approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee, and the proposal itself must be co-signed by the Head of Animal Services at the Institution. Applications should be sent via email to Any parts of the application that cannot be sent by email must be sent in multiples of 10 copies each to:

Alan M. Goldberg, Ph.D.
The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health
111 Marketplace Suite 840
Baltimore, MD 21202-6709

Deadlines and Review: The deadline for submission of these applications is December 10, 2003, and they will be reviewed by an international group of reviewers. The AWI and CAAT will make the final decisions on those applications to be funded. Successful applicants will be funded by February 28, 2004.

It is hoped that successful applicants will be able to submit a manuscript of their project and its outcome to an appropriate journal. Final reports provided by the applicant will be posted on websites such as the Animal Welfare Information Center website, the Altweb site, the Animal Welfare Institute website, and other places as appropriate.