2022 Sponsorship For Human-Animal Bond Studies

Mother and daughter smiling over golden retriever

Application period open now until July 15th, 2021 | Download Application 

Purina is committed to enhancing the well-being of cats and dogs. We understand and share the strong passion and respect people have for their companions, and we believe that happy cats and dogs can make people feel joy as well. 

Through this sponsorship program, Purina aims to encourage high-quality scientific studies that lead to a better understanding of the Human-Animal Bond. We seek to promote fundamental knowledge of the benefits that cats and dogs bring to us in different environments and situations. Purina will also encourage communication of the study findings, so the benefits of the Human-Animal Bond can reach people and their cats and dogs worldwide.  

The PURINA SPONSORSHIP FOR HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND STUDIES provides research funding to applicants affiliated with (but not limited to) universities, foundations, charities, and NGOs. Applicants may request up to $30,000 USD per proposal.  

Purina wishes to receive research proposals in the following areas: 

  1. Benefits of adopting shelter pets and of volunteering at pet shelters 
  2. Pet and human physical health and well-being 
  3. Pets and child/adult literacy 
  4. Animal-assisted therapy to destigmatize mental health 
  5. Pets in abusive relationships and the impact of allowing pets at domestic violence shelters 
  6. Therapy dogs and youth struggling with physical, emotional and mental challenges 
  7. Pets and youth:  self-awareness and empathy development, and stress and emotion management 
  8. Pets and post-traumatic stress disorders, phobias and anxiety 
  9. Using pets in counseling/therapy setting 
  10. Pets helping hospitalized patients and the homeless   



  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. Applicants will provide a report midway through their research describing the project status in relation to the agreed timeline and deliverables. 
  13. Projects must be completed within a maximum of two years after receiving first installment. 
  14. A final report, including raw data, must be submitted to Nestlé Purina. 
  15. All communications regarding the sponsored projects (e.g., scientific abstracts, peer-reviewed publications) must be submitted to Purina for review before submission. 
  16. If any intellectual property is generated by the Sponsorship, Purina shall have exclusive rights to negotiate a license for Intellectual Property first. 



  1. Application forms are available at www.purina.com/HumanAnimalBond.  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. Preference will be given to applications from recently qualified researchers with no more than 10 years since award of Ph.D. or start of researcher career 
  8. Applicants do not have to be based within academic organizations, but they will be expected to show research capacity 



The 2022 Purina Human-Animal Bond Sponsorship program will follow this time schedule: 

  • Announcements and rules for the sponsorship program will be communicated in April of 2021. 
  • Application deadline for 2022 sponsorship program ends on July 15th, 2021 at 11:59 pm US Central Standard Time.  
  • Applications will be evaluated in September of 2021.  
  • Contracts for allocated sponsorships will be signed in the Fall of 2021. 
  • Fund allocation will begin following individual project requirements once the contracts have been signed (early 2022).  
  • Fund allocation will be completed after review of the final project reports. 
  • All studies are expected to be completed by December 2023. 



  • 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.