Attention lab techs, animal techs, and all who work with laboratory animals: the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) have issued a call for proposals for Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards.
An anonymous donor has provided funds to award up to twelve applicants with funds for proposals intended to improve the welfare of laboratory animals. The focus of these awards is to refine the housing, handling and/or experimental situations for laboratory animals.
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);
- whether animals kept in legally minimum-sized cages benefit from a moderate increase in space that is (a) empty versus (b) structured in species-appropriate ways (e.g., shelter, visual blind, perch, platform, PVC tube).
This program excludes research studies with great apes.
Any studies to be undertaken must be non-invasive, with the possible exception of obtaining blood for biochemical measurements and if possible using animals that 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 to 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.
These awards are intended for laboratory and animal technicians; senior investigators can sponsor them, however.
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. Send applications via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (Ruth Brady). Any parts of the application that cannot be sent by email must be sent in multiples of 10 copies to:
Alan M. Goldberg, Ph.D., the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, 111 Market Place, Suite 840, Baltimore, MD 21202-6709.
Deadlines and Review: The deadline for submission is November 1, 2004. Applications will be reviewed by an international group of reviewers. The AWI and CAAT then will make the final decisions on those proposals to be funded. Successful applicants will be funded by February 28, 2005.
Each successful applicant must send a final report of the completed study to email@example.com (Ruth Brady) and firstname.lastname@example.org (Viktor Reinhardt) by November 1, 2005. These reports will be posted on such web sites as Altweb (http://altweb.jhsph.edu), the Animal Welfare Institute (www.awionline.org), the Animal Welfare Information Center (www.nal.usda.gov/awic), and other sites, as appropriate. It is hoped that successful applicants also will submit a manuscript of their project and its outcome to a professional journal.
For winners of the 2004 Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards, please see http://caat.jhsph.edu/programs/AWE/2004/recipients.htm.