AWI Refinement Grant Winners Seek Solutions to Improve the Welfare of Animals in Research Laboratories

Mouse - Photo by Novartis AG
Photo by Novartis AG

Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) recently awarded Refinement Grants to four individuals who are developing or testing new and creative ways to improve the welfare of animals in research.

Since its founding in 1951, AWI has encouraged laboratory personnel to provide animals with comfortable housing and the opportunity to engage in species-typical behaviors, while sparing them needless suffering. Each year, AWI awards individual grants of up to $10,000 to develop and demonstrate innovative methods of refinement to the housing or care of animals in research to better their lives. This year’s grantees are:

  • Jouvay Pantophlet, laboratory animal technician at CUNY’s College of Staten Island, for assessing whether recycled newspaper pulp used to create burrowing structures for naked mole rats is safe for the animals long-term.
  • Lace Lively, senior research assistant at Texas Biomedical Research Institute, for studying compassion fatigue among laboratory animal professionals who work with nonhuman primates housed alone or in social groups.
  • Maya Bodnar, research assistant at the University of British Columbia, for investigating the use of lower concentrations of isoflurane, an inhalant anesthetic, administered using the drop method and paired with a sedative to limit distress caused by the induction of anesthesia in mice used in research.
  • Raymond Vagell, doctoral candidate at Texas State University, for evaluating the stress response of captive ruffed lemurs during cognitive tests using saliva samples instead of invasive blood draws. 

Applications for the 2023 Refinement grant cycle will be available starting in August.

Media Contact Information

Marjorie Fishman, Animal Welfare Institute
[email protected], (202) 446-2128

The Animal Welfare Institute ( is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and other important animal protection news.