2024 Sponsorship for Human-Animal Bond Studies

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Application period open now until July 15th, 2023 | Download Application

Purina works every day to enrich the lives of pets and the people who love them by providing life-changing nutrition and promoting responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products, and our support for pet-related organizations. We know that life is better with pets and are invested in understanding how to create stronger bonds and more joyful lives together.

At Purina, we also believe that science is more powerful when it is shared. Through this sponsorship program, Purina aims to encourage high-quality scientific studies that lead to a better understanding of the bond between people and dogs or cats. Select sponsored research results will be shared globally.

The Purina Sponsorship for Human-animal Bond Studies provides research funding to worldwide applicants affiliated with (but not limited to) universities, foundations, charities, and NGOs. Applicants may request up to $30,000 USD per proposal.

Preference will be given to proposals exploring the potential benefits of the HAB in the following areas:

  1. Mental Health
    • Abusive relationships
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Use of pets in therapy/counseling sessions
  2. Shelter pets and adoption
    • Benefits of pet adoption
    • Benefits of volunteering at pet shelter
  3. Pets and youth
    • AAT in pediatric healthcare settings
    • Facility or therapy pets at schools
    • Pets as emotional and mental health support
    • Role of pets in youth sports

Rules for 2024 Sponsorship Applications

  1. Only proposals about cats and/or dogs will be evaluated.
  2. Only one proposal per researcher will be evaluated.
  3. Research must not be double-funded.
  4. Applicants with other corporate affiliations may pose a conflict of interest with Nestlé Purina PetCare’ s (aka Purina) business. Potential conflicts of interest will be evaluated by Purina. Purina reserves the right to disqualify an applicant/researcher on the grounds of conflict of interest.
  5. All research studies will require approval by Purina and the local ethical/animal use committee and must be fully compliant with local and national animal welfare regulations.
  6. Purina will only fund non-invasive research studies and procedures consistent with routine veterinary care. We do not participate in any invasive research that causes injury, illness or disease or that results in euthanasia of dogs or cats.
  7. All applications must provide a timeline with specific deliverables.
  8. All applications must present a detailed budget.
  9. Payments to the selected applicants will be divided by Nestlé Purina into pre-determined installments.
  10. University overhead cost will be limited to $1,000 USD maximum per application.
  11. If the application is accepted, Purina will be acknowledged as a sponsor in all communications about the project.
  12. Projects must be completed within a maximum of two years after receiving first installment.
  13. A final report must be submitted to Nestlé Purina in order to receive the final installment.
  14. All communications regarding the sponsored projects (e.g., scientific abstracts, peer-reviewed publications) must be submitted to Purina for review before submission.
  15. If any intellectual property is generated by the Sponsorship, Purina shall have exclusive rights to negotiate a license for Intellectual Property first.

Submitting an Application

  1. Completed applications must be sent to well-being@purina.nestle.com
  2. Applications must be submitted in English
  3. Applications must not exceed five pages (including references)

Criteria for Evaluation of Applications (all of these factors will be considered by the evaluation panel and are not in ranked order)

  1. Potential to better understand the bond between people and pets
  2. Welfare considerations for all pets involved and the environment where the research will take place
  3. Scientific merit of the proposal
  4. Deliverables and value for the investment
  5. Anticipated outreach and potential for dissemination of the research (e.g., scientific journals, presentation at conferences, newsworthiness)
  6. Originality of the idea and research hypothesis
  7. Applicants must have a PhD or equivalent. Preference will be given to applications from recently qualified researchers with less than 10 years since award of Ph.D.
  8. Applicants do not have to be based within academic organizations, but they will be expected to show research capacity

Application Calendar

The 2024 Purina Sponsorship for Human-animal Bond Studies will follow this time schedule:

  • Announcements and rules for the sponsorship program will be communicated in April of 2023.
  • Application deadline for 2024 sponsorship program ends on July 15th, 2023 at 11:59 pm US Central Standard Time.
  • Applications will be evaluated in September of 2023.
  • Contracts for allocated sponsorships will be signed in the Fall of 2023.
  • Fund allocation will begin following individual project requirements once the contracts have been signed (early 2024).
  • Fund allocation will be completed after review of the final project reports.
  • All studies are expected to be completed by December 2025.

Responsibilities for Applicants

  • All applicants have the responsibility to provide accurate and honest information.
  • Applicants will be asked to enter into Sponsorship Agreements that will be provided by Purina. A Sponsorship Agreement does not imply that applicants become employees of Purina.
  • Applicants will be required to provide financial information for tax and payment purposes.
  • Applicants are required to find and provide facilities for the work.

Download Application

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