Animal Welfare Student Scholarships

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

28 February 2022
28 February 2023
Not for profit (incl. NGOs)
Public sector

Through its Animal Welfare Student Scholarships, UFAW aims to encourage students to develop their interests in animal welfare and to provide them with an opportunity to conduct relevant research or other (eg educational) projects. In these, and its other awards, UFAW wishes to promote high quality research that is likely to lead to substantial improvements in animal welfare. UFAW seeks to promote both fundamental research aimed at providing new insight into the subjective mental experiences of animals relevant to their welfare and at understanding their needs and preferences, and also to promote applied research aimed at developing practical solutions to animal welfare problems.

Applications are welcome from individuals studying at universities or colleges at which there is a UFAW University Link. Students will usually be undertaking courses in the agricultural, biological, psychological, veterinary or zoological sciences. However, we would also be pleased to receive applications from students from other disciplines who are interested in carrying out a project in animal welfare. MSc students on appropriate courses will also be considered.

Projects may be carried out anywhere in the world and must be relevant to improving the welfare of farm, companion, laboratory, zoo or free-living wild animals whose welfare is compromised by human factors. NB Much as UFAW applauds research that advances species conservation and other important issues – this scholarship is for work that addresses animal welfare.

Student Scholarships consist of £200 per week subsistence allowance for the Scholar plus £800 maximum project costs to the department. Although typically completed during the summer vacation, projects may be carried out at any time and usually last between four and eight weeks. Support is provided for up to 8 weeks, although projects themselves may be longer than this. Payments are made prior to the commencement of the project by cheques made out to the Scholar and the Supervisor’s Department. Scholars are asked to present their research findings at the Annual Scholars Meeting held in universities around the UK. First held in 1999, these free-to-all, popular meetings have proved to be very enjoyable and successful occasions, with the Scholars reinforcing the impression that animal welfare science attracts the some of the brightest and best. For Information about past meetings see Past UFAW events, reports and details

The judging panel may award the Ruth Harrison Student Scholarship’ to a high quality, or the highest quality, application addressing the welfare of farmed animals. This scholarship has been established with the support of the Farm Animal Care Trust (FACT), and is in memory of Ruth Harrison, whose tireless work at the Trust, and seminal book, ‘Animal Machines’, led to reform and long-lasting improvements in farm animal welfare both within the UK farming industry and beyond.

The first UFAW Animal Welfare Student Scholarships were awarded in 1983 and since the scheme began there have been over 350 scholars. The range of projects that have been undertaken has been very wide and in many cases scholars have published papers arising from their work in scientific literature (which we encourage). Other scholars have gone on to undertake postgraduate research in aspects of animal welfare. UFAW encourages its past scholars to keep in touch and to remain part of the UFAW team actively promoting animal welfare.

  1. What does UFAW fund? UFAW’s purpose is to support science which is in the service of animal welfare. We fund research and other activities which help to understand and/or ameliorate challenges to the welfare of animals. We are interested in the welfare of all animal species where they are affected by humankind including farm, zoo, companion, laboratory and wild or feral animals. Please see below (section 2: what won’t UFAW fund?) for more information on our approach to the welfare of wild animals.

We will also consider funding projects to improve understanding of animal welfare through education, training or travel to scientific meetings etc. Please see section 3 below for details of individual schemes.

For all applications costs should be reasonable. In the case of travel the most economical class of travel or accommodation should normally be used, and for research we will only pay the primary costs of the research - we do not usually fund overheads or infrastructure costs etc. Our sister charity, the Humane Slaughter Association (www.hsa.org.uk) funds research into the transport and slaughter of livestock species and any research proposals in these areas may be best directed to the HSA.

  1. What won’t UFAW fund? Although we think species conservation is admirable we won’t fund work where the sole aim is conservation. UFAW is concerned with the welfare of animals when it is affected by humankind, so work which reduces animal suffering whilst also addressing conservation issues may be supported but a clear case for how the work benefits animal welfare must be made. We do not generally fund work which has already taken place or is already wholly funded by another body, and are unlikely to fund travel to attend scientific or other meetings where the applicant is not actively participating (by giving a presentation, for example).Where a project forms part of a student’s compulsory coursework we would normally expect the host institution to support such projects in their entirety and any application to fund such work would need to clearly justify why this was not possible and indicate what contribution the institution is making.
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19 April 2023