The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), a charity under the umbrella of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), has officially opened its doors to applications for the 2024 Student Grant Scheme. With a dedicated fund of £10,000, the scheme aims to financially support several student research projects that delve into pivotal animal welfare issues pertinent to managed animals within the UK.
Open to undergraduate students from various disciplines including veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, animal welfare studies, agricultural sciences, zoology, and social sciences, the scheme seeks to nurture the development of research skills among students. Moreover, it aims to facilitate research that could potentially wield a positive impact on animal welfare, thereby contributing to the broader knowledge and practices in the field.
Since its inception in 2016, the AWF has channelled over £75,000 into student research projects through the scheme. These projects have spanned a range of topics, from exploring the health and behavioural issues of imported rescue dogs to investigating the impact of human behaviour change on animal welfare. Notably, these research endeavours have provided valuable insights into various aspects of animal welfare and have informed veterinary and animal management practices.
Past Projects: A Glimpse into Research Impact
One notable project under the AWF’s umbrella investigated the challenges vets face when dogs are rehomed from abroad, the prevalence of dogs from abroad in the UK domestic canine population, and whether these practices are contributing to an increase in disease risks imported into the UK. Another significant project sought to explore the impact of human behaviour change on welfare, specifically aiming to discern how farmers perceive pain in calves and identifying the motivators and barriers to providing pain relief to calves. This research aimed to equip veterinary surgeons with knowledge that could inform their strategies in implementing evidence-based treatment protocols on farms.
Nurturing the Next Generation of Animal Welfare Experts
The AWF’s student grant scheme not only fuels research into animal welfare but also encourages students to become active contributors to the existing body of knowledge in the field. By investing in these research projects, the AWF is fostering the development of the next generation of animal welfare experts, thereby facilitating professional opportunities and paving the way for further academic pursuits. Previous recipients of AWF’s student grants have successfully branched into various roles such as vet surgeons, scientists, wildlife veterinarians, lecturers, and vet nurses, among others.
Chair of AWF, Julian Kupfer, expressed his views on the scheme, stating, “This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get a hands-on experience of scientific research and to deepen their understanding of animal welfare, enabling them to gain some insights into the field of research and to develop skills for their future academic and professional careers.”
Application Details and Deadline
The deadline for submissions to the AWF 2024 Student Grant Scheme is set for Thursday, 29 February 2024. For those interested in applying or seeking more information regarding application guidelines, terms and conditions, as well as frequently asked questions, please visit: www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk/student-grants. This platform provides comprehensive details and resources to guide prospective applicants through the application process, ensuring clarity and accessibility for all aspiring participants.