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Animal Free Research UK research funding

Our aim is the replacement of animals in fundamental biomedical research as well as proving that valuable human-relevant science can take place without animals.

We award grants to scientists in universities, hospitals and research organisations following a rigorous and independent peer-reviewed selection procedure.

You can view the grants that we have previously funded on our active projects, completed projects or Summer Student Programme pages.

We send notifications of open grant calls, alongside the latest animal free science news and updates from our current researchers, in our monthly science newsletter. Sign up to the science mailing list to be notified of our next grant call.

Direct impact on the replacement of animals in biomedical research

We support scientists to develop techniques that replace experiments on living animals. All the projects that we fund must have the potential to advance the development, validation or application of non-animal methods in biomedical research or teaching, as replacements for current animal experiments.

Only research that is directly relevant to human health will be funded by Animal Free Research UK. Acceptable scientific approaches may include, the use of human volunteers, epidemiology, human cell lines, ex vivo or primary human tissues or cells, microorganisms, plants, human sub-cellular components in vitro, biophysical and biochemical analytical techniques or computer technology.

Research that requires or involves the use of animals in any way, even though the ultimate aim may be to replace their use, will not be supported. We will not fund the purchase or maintenance of animals or animal-derived biomaterials for any reason.

We define the term animal as including all organisms of the Kingdom Animalia (excluding Humans), not only the animals that are protected under the Animals in Scientific Procedures Act 1986.

Supported roles and activities

PhD Studentships

We offer PhD studentships to encourage graduates to train in and develop non-animal research methods. All projects should aim to develop non-animal methods/technologies that better understand the human condition whilst replacing animal experiments in biomedical research. Support is normally offered for PhD Studentships that are for 3 years in duration.

Research Associates

We fund ‘Research Associate’-level projects to attract and keep talented scientists within the ‘replacement’ scientific field. The projects should develop replacements to animal experiments in biomedical research. Grants are usually funded for a minimum of two years and up to three years.

Research Assistants or Technicians

Grants for ‘Research Assistants’ or ‘Research Technicians’ are to support research to develop replacements to animal experiments in biomedical research. Grants for a Research Assistant or Technician are available for a minimum of two years and up to three years.

Pilot Study Grants

Pilot Study Grants provide short-term support for small research projects or pilot studies for up to one year. The purpose of these grants is to allow scientists to explore new ideas in animal replacement research that might merit further development, and to enable the collection of sufficient data to assist in securing further support from us or other funding organisations. Pilot study grants are not available to ‘top-up’ existing research projects.

Summer Student Programme

Our Summer Student Programme was established to allow students to gain practical animal-replacement research experience.

Summer research funding is available for students who have not yet finished their undergraduate degree, but have completed at least 2 years of a relevant degree. There may also be opportunities for individuals who have completed their undergraduate (BSc) or MSc degree and will potentially be continuing with their studies in the future to take part in a summer research placement.

All summer schemes projects must be directed towards replacing the use of animals in current procedures.

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