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Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) Toxicology Innovative Pilot Grants

Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) Toxicology Innovative Pilot Grants

drug-induced liver injury

To follow up on the DILI event that we hosted earlier this year, Animal Free Research UK is calling for proposals for up to £25k for Innovative Pilot Grant(s) focusing on research and testing for drug-induced liver injury. We hope that this will contribute to the evidence base underpinning the need to adopt human-focused methods to study drug toxicity and overcome the issue of poor translation from animal-based tests to humans.  


Liver injury is a common side effect of taking medicinal drugs and is a stark example of where we could better protect patients by using human-focused tools that more effectively predict harmful side effects. 

The close of 2022 saw the publication of a ground-breaking paper that we featured in our news, proving that  Liver-on-chip methods, made from human tissue, significantly outperformed animal tests in predicting human DILI. This landmark study adds to the growing consensus that conventional drug development is insufficiently predictive of human safety and efficacy, and that there’s a pressing need to adopt human-focused tools to predict DILI. 

To build strong case for the phase in of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) to replace animal tests, we need more studies comparing the performance of human-focused in vitro and in silico models with animal-based methods, as well as further research to develop existing approaches and to improve their prediction of human safety and risk further.  

We are particularly keen on funding pilot projects which aim to use or refine fully humanised models in silico or in vitro (free from animal-derived biomaterials) to validate their relevance to humans by testing a set of known toxic and non-toxic drugs.   

Grant Details 

  • Budget: from £5k to £25k. 
  • Duration:  from 6 months to 2 years.  

Eligibility and Requirements 

drug-induced liver injury

These grants are for DILI scientists and toxicology researchers from academia or industry who are willing to develop/ improve their non-animal, human-relevant models to study drug toxicity.

  • The project should be in the field of DILI, or related areas of toxicology.  
  • It should aim to develop a humanised model for toxicity testing, 
  • And/ or it should improve the predictive nature of current models. 
  • Non-UK based researchers are welcome to apply. 
  • The project should be totally animal-free. 
  • The project should align with our Animal-derived biomaterials statement  

Grant Selection Criteria 

  • Feasibility of proposed research 
  • Probability for widespread adoption of proposed research workflow by other labs 
  • Merit of proposed research to the broader scientific community 

Reviewed proposals with reviewers’ comments will not be returned to applicants unless requested. 

How to apply 

  • Carefully read our Terms and Conditions. Contact us at if you have any questions.  
  • Download and complete the “Pilot Study Grants Application Form”. 
  • Prepare a copy of applicant(s) CV(s), preferably in PDF.  


Once your application is ready, please send the documents to The deadline for applications is 31st October 2023.