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Research proposals now being accepted for equine behavior and wildlife health

Press Release

Morris Animal Foundation is looking for research proposals to improve the behavior and health of equine patients and wildlife animals



Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) announced it is now accepting research proposals for 2 different studies. The first is aimed to improve the lives of horses by gaining a better understanding of their behavioral health and welfare and the second will focus on the health of wild animals living in sagebrush and grassland ecosystems.

Equine behavior

According to the release,1 MAF is interested in research for the equine proposals that focuses on cognition, learning, stereotypes, separation anxiety, affiliative behavior toward humans, effects of equine temperament on welfare, and psychopharmacology. MAF also warns anyone interested in submitting a proposal, if it focuses only on behavioral measurements for non-behavioral conditions, it will not be accepted.

The scientific advisory board is the following:

  • Hieke Brown, PhD, MSc, SFHEA from Hartpury University
  • Virginia Buechner-Maxwell, DVM, MS, DACVIM, from Virginia Tech
  • Debra Sellon, DVM, PhD, from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Suzanne Millman BSc, PhD, from the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Antonia J.Z. Henderson, PhD
  • Camie Heleski, MS, PhD, University of Kentucky
  • Ashley Fowler, PhD Kentucky Equine Research

The funding for this research is available due to a donation from Wendy Koch, DVM, DACAW, who has been a supporter of MAF for over 30 years. In 1990, he worked in animal welfare with the federal government and then became a board certified in animal welfare in 2016. She has followed equine behavior and welfare research closely and recognized these areas need more funding.

Proposal submissions are due by 4:59 PM ET on December 13, 2023.1 Any interested researcher are asked to start the process using an online application system, Fluxx, and if there are any questions, MAF asks people to check the FAQ page. Any questions that are not answered on the page can be emailed to grantapplications@morrisanimalfoundation.org.

Wildlife health

MAF has issued a call for research proposals that are focused on the health of animals that live within sagebrush and grassland ecosystems. According to the release,2 sagebrush ecosystems are found in arid and semiarid conditions in the intermountain west of North America and grassland ecosystems are across all continents, except Antarctica, and includes savannas, prairies, Pampas, and steppes.

The proposals will incorporate 2 types of award:

  • Established investigator: Designed for researchers with a record of expertise shown in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Pilot Study: Designed to fund proof-of-concept type studies that are in the realm of research in animal health.

The scientific advisory board is the following2:

  • Norma Rocio Forero Muñoz, DVM, PhD candidate, from the Université de Montréal
  • April Davis, DVM, PhD, director, rabies laboratory at the New York State Department of Health
  • Takele Taye Desta, PhD, from Kotebe University- Ethiopia
  • Christine Fiorello, DVM, PhD, DACZM, from Hawks Aloft
  • Karen Terio, DVM, PhD, DACVP, from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Jamie Nogle, MS, from the Mule Deer Foundation
  • James Watuwa, BVM, MSc, from the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Center
  • Matt Allendar, DVM, PhD, DACZM, from the University of Illinois
  • Jacquelyn Grace, PhD, from Texas A&M University
  • Anne Justice-Allen, DVM, MS, from Arizona Game and Fish Department

Applicants need to convince the animal welfare and scientific reviewers of a clear understanding of the health problem, have sufficient expertise to conduct the study, implement a scientifically sound approach, and consider their research’s environmental impact.

Proposals are due by 4:59 PM ET on November 29, 2023.2 For anyone interested, more information, including proposal documents, can be found on MAF’s Grants page.


  1. Equine Behavior Focus of Latest Call For Proposals. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. September 20, 2023. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/equine-behavior-focus-latest-call-proposals
  2. Foundation Accepting Proposals On Wildlife Health. News release. Morris Animal Foundation. September 13, 2023. Accessed September 21, 2023. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/foundation-accepting-proposals-wildlife-health
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