Call for Proposals

Call for Research Proposals

Executive Summary
The animal protection organizations Farm Sanctuary ( and The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy ( announce a Call for Grant Proposals for cutting-edge noninvasive research on the complex nature of farm animal (chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys, and cows) emotions, behavior, and cognitive abilities in an approved setting (such as a farm animal sanctuary). We are particularly interested in funding rigorous innovative research which will expand our understanding of who farm animals are and how they experience their lives. Examples include studies of self-awareness, emotional and social complexity, personality, and mood and anxiety disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. All proposals should be designed for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and the plan for peer review submission should be included in the proposal.
How to Apply

Grants will be awarded for amounts from $1,000–$20,000. Research proposals should include:

  • A cover letter that includes the proposal title and name of principal investigator and any co-investigators.
  • An abstract of the proposed research.
  • Rationale (background) for the study.
  • Study aims and objectives.
  • Methodology, including:
    • A detailed description of how animals will be studied.
    • Outcomes measurement techniques.
    • Analysis.
  • Potential implications or impact for our understanding, perception, and treatment of farm animals.
  • Curriculum vitae and current affiliation of the applicant. For students, this information should be provided on the advisor(s) offering guidance on the project.
  • A proposed timeline, including start date and completion date.
  • A description of the final product (e.g., a research paper), and the plans for submitting for publication and (if applicable) poster presentation(s).

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis. Research can be carried out at any time agreed upon in advance with Farm Sanctuary.

Additional Information

  • Grant amounts depend on the scope of the project, budget justification, and significance of the study.
  • All research must take place in an approved setting, such as a farm animal sanctuary. (Farm Sanctuary has approved sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, New York; Orland, California; and Acton, California) Research settings should be ethologically and socially appropriate for the individual animal and his/her species and should not involve animals who are purchased or bred.
  • All research must be noninvasive, respectful and promote the welfare interests and choices/preferences of the animals; in other words, it must be non-coercive if it involves an intervention.
  • All research should avoid causing harm to the animals and their co-inhabitants.
  • Students are welcome, but all students must have an academic advisor and approval from their home institution.
  • Farm Sanctuary and Kimmela Center officers, directors, and employees, and the immediate family members of such officers, directors, and employees are ineligible to apply for a grant.
  • The selection committee is comprised of:
    • Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder.
    • Hope Ferdowsian, M.D., M.P.H., Georgetown University; George Washington University.
    • Joyce D’Silva, Ambassador, Compassion in World Farming.
    • Lori Marino, Ph.D., Neuroscientist and Executive Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy.
    • Key experts in the area under review, who will be approved by Farm Sanctuary.
  • Once the selections have been made, grantees will be required to execute a grant agreement prepared by Farm Sanctuary and The Kimmela Center and agree to abide by all terms and conditions thereof.

Please send questions and proposals to

Download a pdf version of this Call for Proposals.