Call for Proposals

Call for Research Proposals


Executive Summary
The animal protection organization Farm Sanctuary ( announces a call for grant proposals for observational research of 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 interested, for example, in the psychological profiles of these animals, including mood and anxiety disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

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
  • 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)

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis. Research can be carried out at any time agreed upon in advance with Farm Sanctuary’s Director of Advocacy and Policy (contact information below).

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 and respect and promote the welfare interests and choices/preferences of the animals; in other words, it must be noncoercive if it involves an intervention.
  • All research should avoid causing harm to the animals and their co-inhabitants.
  • Students require an academic advisor and approval from their home institution.
  • Farm Sanctuary 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., George Washington University
    • Joyce D’Silva, Ambassador, Compassion in World Farming
    • 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 agree to abide by all terms and conditions thereof.

Please send questions and proposals to

Download a copy of this proposal as a pdf.