Animal Free Research UK (AFRUK) Pilot Study Grants Open to Applications

Short-term support is available for proof of concept studies that explore new ideas in animal-replacement research that could advance human health.

Animal Free Research UK (AFRUK), the working name of the Dr Hadwen Trust, was established in 1970 as a non-animal research charity and seeks to fund high-calibre, animal-replacement research.

AFRUK’s Pilot Study Grants provide short-term support for proof of concept studies that explore new ideas in animal-replacement research that could advance human health.

The scheme seeks to encourage researchers to explore new ideas in replacement research that might merit further development and to enable the collection of sufficient data to assist in securing larger funding from AFRUK or other funding organisations.

Grants are not available simply in support of non-animal research per se. The research must be directed towards replacing the use of animals in current procedures within a research group, a university and/or, preferably, the wider field. Only research that is directly relevant to human health will be funded.

Acceptable approaches may include, but are not limited to: the use of human volunteers, epidemiology, human cell lines, ex vivo or primary human tissues or cells, 3D organoids, organ-on-a-chip, microorganisms, plants, human sub-cellular components in vitro, biophysical and biochemical analytical techniques, or computer technology.

The proposed project must be relevant to any biomedical research or clinical fields, and should aim to develop, test or improve new approach methodologies to move towards animal free research. AFRUK also supports animal free projects that focus on drug repurposing and/or contribute to patient care and life expectancy improvement. Applications are accepted for both lab-based and computer-based research projects (eg applications are encouraged for bioinformatics, computational or systematic review projects).

The grant holder must be based in the UK at an eligible research organisation and is expected to hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, with demonstrated research experience and a good publication record. The grant holder is responsible for the leadership, management and execution of the research project.

Grants of £10,000 are available for up to one year.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline of 6 May 2022 (17:00).

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)