Wild Animal Initiative’s Challenge Grants 2023 (Up to $200,000 Grant) – APPLY NOW

The Wild Animal Initiative is now accepting applications for the 2023 Challenge Grants. These grants are designed to support researchers who are working on research questions that are crucial for advancing the field of wild animal welfare but are not being prioritized by other funding agencies.

Wild Animal Initiative’s Challenge Grants 2023
Wild Animal Initiative’s Challenge Grants 2023

Wild Animal Initiative’s Challenge Grants 2023

Each round of the Challenge Grants focuses on specific themes and requires experienced principal investigators to lead the projects. The projects funded through this program should be innovative, have a strong connection to high-priority research areas, and demonstrate rigorous methodology.

Grant Size

  • The total funding available for the project ranges from $30,000 to $200,000, and the project duration can be up to 5 years.

Proposal Guidelines

  • Proposals should provide a clear explanation of how the project aligns with the Wild Animal Initiative’s definition of wild animals’ welfare.
  • Proposals should identify and explain how the project is relevant to one or more of the themes outlined in the call for proposals.
  • If the project involves any work with animals, whether in the field or in the lab, it must adhere to Wild Animal Initiative’s guidelines for animal involvement in research. It is important to note that projects that may cause harm to animals are less likely to be selected. In cases where invasive methods are employed, the welfare concerns should be elaborated in the animal methods form, and the use of such methods should be justified with evidence showcasing the unavailability of alternatives.
  • Proposals should provide a clear justification for the chosen study approach, including an assessment of available resources for the study and the expertise of team members.
  • Proposals should thoroughly describe the time commitment required from each member of the project team and confirm their ability to fulfill that commitment.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Challenge Grant projects require a principal investigator with sufficient experience, but also allow for financial assistance to be provided to students or other early-career collaborators.
  • Eligible projects encompass both standalone initiatives and those that incorporate a wild animal welfare aspect into an existing project not previously funded by the Wild Animal Initiative, to broaden its scope.
  • Projects must be led by a principal investigator affiliated with a university or another research institution (such as a government agency).
  • Projects must be led by or involve collaborators who are residents of all countries where fieldwork will be conducted. In cases where an NGO manages a project, that NGO must be registered in the country where the fieldwork is to be carried out.
  • The prioritization of funding is given to direct research expenses such as supplies and materials, although other areas of expenditure (like stipends, salaries, and capital equipment) may be funded if fully justified concerning the project objectives. Proposal rejection based solely on budget is avoided, as applicants are encouraged to modify their requests within reasonable limits necessary for project completion.

Selection Criteria

  • Scope: The estimated number of animals that could potentially benefit from the outcomes of a project.
  • Impact: The probability of a project leading to an improvement in wild animal welfare, both presently and in the future, and the extent of that potential improvement.
  • Engagement: The level at which a project is expected to expedite or inspire further research or initiatives in support of wild animal welfare.
  • Neglectedness: The uniqueness of a project’s relevance to wild animal welfare, makes it less likely to receive funding from other organizations.
  • Feasibility: The likelihood of a project being successfully executed as described and achieving its objectives.
  • Research ethics: The potential risk of a project causing harm to human or non-human animals through its methodologies.
  • Cost-effectiveness: If two projects are relatively equal in overall merit based on the above criteria, preference will be given to the one with the lower budget.

Application Process

  • Candidates submit a concise Expression of Interest (EOI) outlining a project that intentionally merges animal welfare and the investigation of wild animals.
  • The Wild Animal Initiative Grants team assesses the EOI for suitability and pertinence.
  • If the EOI is selected, the applicant is invited to expand upon their proposal.
  • If you fulfill the requirements, please click here to initiate your application.

For additional information, kindly visit Wild Animal Initiative’s Challenge official website.

Application Deadline

The application deadline has been extended to January 5, 2024.



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