Animal Free Research UK research funding

The power of human-specific research

We award research funding to accelerate the development and wider adoption of animal-free technologies to improve medical research for the good of patients, science, and animals.

What do we fund?


We award research funding to accelerate the development and wider adoption of animal-free technologies to improve medical research for the good of patients, science, and animals.


Research funding is awarded to scientists in universities, hospitals and research organisations in the UK and beyond, following a rigorous and independent peer-reviewed selection procedure. We also support collaborations between academia and industry or bioetch.


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 funded. Relevant scientific approaches may include NAMs development such as organ-on-chips and human-derived organoids, as well as the use of human volunteers, human tissues or cells, microorganisms, and computer-based or in silico approaches such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and big data, meta-analysis or systematic reviews.


All the projects that we fund have the potential to gain further insight into the utility of NAMs and advance their development, validation and application as replacements for current animal experiments. Only research that is directly relevant to biomedical research and human health is funded by Animal Free Research UK.


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


You can view the research funding that we have previously funded on our active projectscompleted projects or active pilot study projects pages.


Open grant calls

No Grants Open Currently

Animal-derived biomaterials statement

Animal-derived Biomaterials (ADB) are consumables used for many applications in biomedical research, from in vitro cell culture to disease diagnosis in the clinic.


In addition to ethical and environmental concerns about the production of bovine serum (also called FBS) or mouse, rabbit or other animal-derived antibodies, there are real scientific concerns about the reproducibility and reliability of data generated using these products. Despite numerous studies highlighting problems associated with ADB use, a large majority of researchers still use them.


To help modern science move in the right direction for the greater benefit of patients, Animal Free Research UK supports researchers in (1) recognising the need to change their tools, and (2) embrace the vast number of animal-free products available to science. Scientists can use Animal Free Research UK tools like the NAMs Interface .


We appreciate that it is essential for scientists to validate their tools before moving forward with their experiments and to make sure they are reliable. We also understand that some highly valuable animal-free research projects might, therefore, require the use of some ADBs, with the ultimate aim of fully replacing them. In these particular circumstances, Animal Free Research UK may approve the use of animal-derived biomaterials.


We always require robust scientific justification from scientists for approval of temporary and limited animal-derived biomaterial use to support the transition to fully animal free research.  


Grants we award may never be used to fund the purchase of any animal-derived biomaterials used. 


For queries relating to our grants, please contact

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Closed grant calls


Animal Free Research UK launched a Rapid Response Grant Call to explore new ideas in animal free research that directly related to ongoing COVID-19 Research. (Deadline 11 May 2020)

PhD & Postdoc Grants

PhD and Postdoctoral research associate funding. (Deadline 2 August 2019)

Pilot Study Grants

Applications for our 2022 call for Pilot Study research projects have now closed (6 May 2022)