November 01, 2001


 AVMF to release $150,000 in research grants

Posted Oct. 15, 2001

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has released requests for proposals for two research grants, each valued up to $75,000, on projects that explore the human-animal bond and examine adverse reactions to veterinary vaccines.

These grant offerings are larger than previous AVMF animal study grants as the AVMF is hoping to make a greater impact in targeted research areas.

"The AVMF strives to improve the veterinarian's clinical knowledge, present practice implications, and advance public understanding of veterinary medicine and animal health," said AVMF Executive Director Paul Amundsen.

Three grants for up to $25,000 each will be awarded for research proposals in which the theses address one of two areas of interest related to the human-companion animal bond.

The first area would be to assess factors associated with intentional acquisition of companion animals. Much verbal and written attention has been paid to the importance of guiding prospective owners through the companion animal selection process. Little peer-reviewed research has been published, however, to document whether such efforts actually affect the selection process and improve the likelihood of a successful, long-term bond being formed between the owner and the companion animal.

The second area would be to quantify the physical and psychologic benefits of human-companion animal interaction. Only recently have researchers begun to rigorously investigate the physical and emotional benefits associated with these human-animal relationships.

Proposals should attempt to quantify the physical and emotional benefits of companion animal ownership. Priority will be afforded to proposals that address the role of companion animals in childhood development or the role of companion animals as effective interventions for specific human patient populations in acute and rehabilitative care.

One grant of up to $75,000 will be awarded for research into adverse responses to veterinary vaccines. The purpose of this grant is to promote research in clinical veterinary medicine that will initiate collaboration between practitioners and academic veterinarians.

In recent years, epidemiologic data have implicated frequent vaccination of dogs and cats in development of immune-mediated diseases, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia. The traditional practice of yearly vaccination of dogs and cats has come under scrutiny, with many veterinarians choosing to vaccinate every two to three years, rather than at a yearly interval. In the absence of adequate duration-of-immunity studies for most canine and feline vaccines, however, the risk of infection is weighed against the potential for induction of a vaccine-induced disease.

Applications for both grant programs must be received by Nov. 30. Send applications to the AVMF, Attn.: Human-Animal Bond Grants or Research Grants, 1931 N. Meacham Rd., Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173.