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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

CAAT Science-based Refinement Awards

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2014 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

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Attention veterinarians, lab technicians, animal technicians, and all who work with laboratory animals: The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) now is accepting proposals for the 2014 Science-based Refinement Awards (formerly the Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards).

The focus of these awards is to elicit scientific evidence to support the enhancement of the housing, handling and/or experimental situations for laboratory animals. Studies may, for example, examine:

  • how physiological and behavioral stress responses to common husbandry (e.g., capture) and traditional treatment procedures (e.g., gavage, injection, blood collection) can be reduced or eliminated (e.g., by training the subjects to cooperate rather than resist);
  • whether animals caged at different tier levels show different physiological and behavioral stress responses when being approached by personnel, and how these responses can be minimized or avoided;
  • whether the presence of a compatible companion buffers physiological and behavioral stress responses to experimental situations (e.g., enforced restraint);
  • whether animals kept in legally minimum-sized cages benefit from a moderate increase in space that is (a) empty versus (b) structured in species-appropriate ways (e.g., shelter, visual blind, perch, platform, PVC tube).

Any studies to be undertaken must be non-invasive, with the possible exception of obtaining blood for biochemical measurements (animals that have been trained to cooperate during venipuncture should be used, if possible). Objective measures might include behavior, coat appearance, body weight, analysis of feces, urine, or blood as described above. Preference will be given to studies that have broad applicability.

Each award will be for $6,000. There are no F&As allowed on this award.

These awards are intended for veterinarians and laboratory and animal technicians.

The proposal should include a detailed description of the objectives of the study and the anticipated outcomes. It should provide sufficient detail so that reviewers can understand what is being proposed, how it will be achieved, and how the data will be evaluated.  The proposal should contain detailed information about procedures involving animals similar to what is submitted to an Animal Care and Use Committee. The length of the proposal should not exceed two pages. A breakdown of the proposed budget should be included.

Review Criteria:

  • Innovation of proposal
  • Impact on animal welfare
  • Likelihood of obtaining publishable data
  • Widespread applicability
  • Contribution to knowledge about animal behavior/welfare
  • Quality of study design

Each proposal must be approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee, and the proposal itself must be co-signed by the Head of Animal Services at the Institution. Applications should be sent via e-mail to jderita@jhsph.edu. Any parts of the application that cannot be sent by e-mail should be sent to:

Joanne Zurlo, PhD
The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
615 N. Wolfe St., W7032
Baltimore, MD 21205

The deadline for submission is October 18, 2013.

Applications will be reviewed by an international group of reviewers. CAAT then will make the final decisions on those proposals to be funded. Successful applicants will be funded by January 31, 2014. Acceptance of this award implies that funds for this specific research are not currently available from other sources.

Each successful applicant must send a final report of the completed study to jderita@jhsph.edu (Jamie DeRita). These reports will be posted on the CAAT web site and will be announced on Altweb and elsewhere, as appropriate. It is hoped that successful applicants also will submit a manuscript of their project and its outcome to a professional journal.

For information about previous CAAT-funded refinement studies, please see this page.

Proposal Format Guidelines:

  • Title of Proposed Study
  • Name and Position of Investigator/Technician(s)
  • Institution Name
  • Contact Information
  • Proposal should clearly state the objectives and anticipated outcomes of the study. Provide sufficient detail so reviewers can understand what is being proposed how it will be achieved, and how the data will be evaluated. Please limit proposal to two pages. Please include a budget justification.
  • Approval and signature: each proposal must be approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee, and the proposal itself must be co-signed by the Head of Animal Services at the institution.
  • Applications should be sent via e-mail to jderita@jhsph.edu. Any parts of the application that cannot be sent by e-mail should be mailed to:

Joanne Zurlo, PhD
The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing
615 N. Wolfe St., W7032
Baltimore, MD 21205

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