The Morris Animal Foundation is now accepting proposals for pilot studies focused on equine behavior and relating to health and welfare. This request is part of the foundation’s donor-inspired study program, which allows individual donors to directly support a research topic they have a passion for and for which there is a pressing need. Grant applications are due by Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, 4:59 p.m. EST.

This grant is being funded by Wendy Koch, DVM, Dipl. ACAW, who has supported the foundation for nearly 30 years. She began a career in animal welfare with the federal government in 1990 and became board-certified in that field in 2016. Koch has closely followed equine behavior and welfare research and regretted that specific funding available in these fields has been minimal.

“There have been plenty of great studies over the years that focused on the physical health of horses, but I have always felt there aren’t enough resources being spent looking into their psychological health,” said Koch. “Animal behavior is a true passion of mine, and I hope this call will result in some amazing findings.”

Pilot study proposals should be aimed at generating preliminary data to prove the viability of a new approach or idea. Projects may involve domesticated or wild horses.

All investigators are eligible to apply, but studies must be limited to one year in duration, and budgets cannot exceed $10,000. Competitive applicants will have a previous record of research and publication in equine behavioral science.

Applications will be reviewed and rated, based on impact and scientific rigor, by a scientific advisory board made up of equine behavior and/or welfare experts. Interested researchers can learn more and apply for the award here.

Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit organizations worldwide that funds health studies benefiting cats, dogs, horses, llamas, alpacas, and wildlife. The foundation currently is funding 150 studies encompassing a broad spectrum of species and diseases.