AWI Implementing Refinement Grant

mice with enrichment - photo by Lexis Ly (UBC Animal Welfare Program)

Supporting the Implementation of Existing Refinements to Improve the Welfare of Animals in Experimentation

AWI offers grants of up to US$8,000 toward the purchase of equipment or training of staff for the purpose of refining the care, husbandry, or housing of animals in experimentation to improve their welfare.

Application Deadline

  • The 2023 competition is now closed. The 2024 competition will open mid-August.
  • If you would like to receive an email notification when the submission process begins each year, please send an email to [email protected]. You will be able to remove yourself from this email list at any time.

Application Requirements

  • This grant is open to residents of the United States or Canada for equipment and/or training intended for use in the United States or Canada.
  • This grant is intended to improve the lives of animals in experimentation above and beyond meeting their basic needs. Refinement requests for nontraditional research settings will require additional justification to be considered for funding. Requests for basic husbandry or medical care that should be provided de facto by the institution will not be eligible for funding.
  • Projects that inflict avoidable stress or that require killing animals as part of the process of implementing the refinement will not be funded.
  • It is AWI policy that no award funds can be used for indirect costs (e.g., overhead) or for the purchase of animals, unless they will ultimately be rehomed (i.e., adopted or retired to a sanctuary).
  • Applicants must submit a completed application form, a resume/CV, and a letter of support/recommendation. Click here to preview the form.

Additional Information

  • Grant notifications for the 2023 competition were sent in December 2023.
  • Proposed refinements must be implemented within one year of receiving funds.
  • Depending on the complexity of the proposed refinement and/or the applicants’ existing expertise using such equipment, AWI may choose initially to fund the purchase of a smaller amount of equipment for applicants to pilot/trial before funding the rest.
  • Grant recipients must agree to submit a 250-word summary and photograph(s) describing the refinement implementation process and results. This summary may be edited for potential publication, with the recipient’s approval, in the AWI Quarterly magazine. Summaries for the 2023 grant recipients will be due no later than February 28, 2025.
  • For additional information, please contact [email protected].
  • Sarah Baert of the University of Guelph for establishing a positive reinforcement training program that allows rats to live in a free-range system and be caught and handled easily.
  • Courtney Glavis-Bloom of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies for purchasing touchscreen computers to promote an enriching environment and measure cognitive decline in marmosets.
  • Anna Jiminez and Marie-Chantal Giroux of McGill University for purchasing transparent handling tunnels as a less-stressful alternative to picking up mice by their tails.
  • Kathy Lapointe of the University of Montreal for developing and implementing a physical therapy program to reduce muscle atrophy and increase psychological stimulation among cats, dogs, and horses used for teaching at the university’s veterinary school.
  • Rochelle Moore of the University of Utah for purchasing a 3D printer to print custom caps that cover and protect cranial implants and surrounding tissue in rhesus macaques.
  • Catherine Schuppli of the University of British Columbia for purchasing larger cages and enrichment activities for rats and mice to engage in burrowing, climbing, and exploration.