Proposals for studies on colic and equine behavior sought

Proposals are being sought for studies on equine behavior and colic by the Morris Animal Foundation, one of the world's largest nonprofit organisations.
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Proposals are being sought for studies on equine behavior and colic by the Morris Animal Foundation, one of the world’s largest nonprofit organisations.

In a grant being funded by Dr Wendy Koch, the foundation is seeking proposals for pilot studies focused on equine behavior, relating to health and welfare. Proposals should generate data to prove the viability of a novel approach or idea and may involve domesticated or wild horses.

Koch, a veterinarian who has supported the foundation for nearly 30 years, began a career in animal welfare with the federal government in 1990 and became board-certified in that field in 2016. She has closely followed equine behavior and welfare research and wanted to address an unmet need for funding in these areas.

All investigators are eligible to apply, but studies must be limited to one year in duration and budgets cannot exceed $10,000. Competitive applicants will have a previous record of research and publication in equine behavioral science.

Applications will be reviewed and rated, based on impact and scientific rigor, by a scientific advisory board, made up of equine behavior and/or welfare experts. Interested researchers can learn more and apply here. Applications are due by Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

This is the second time Koch has funded a study on equine behavior. The first study, led by Utrecht University’s Dr Janny de Grauw, was awarded earlier this year. That study is testing a simple questionnaire to see if it can reliably help horse owners recognize and monitor signs of chronic osteoarthritis pain in their horses, leading to earlier intervention.

Colic and the intestinal tract

Each year, the foundation opens four separate calls for its major funding areas – equine, feline, canine and wildlife. This year’s equine topic is based on responses to recent surveys of both horse owners and veterinarians, which indicated colic as the area most in need of further research.

Proposals for colic research studies, with a specific focus on the intestinal tract, are also sought, with applications closing on Monday, September 27, 2021. The successful proposal will be funded in the 2022 fiscal year.

Proposals should advance the knowledge and understanding of one or more of these areas for colic: risk factors, prevention or early detection, feeding and nutrition, and pathophysiology. The foundation is not accepting new proposals or resubmissions on other topics under this request for proposals.

Those wishing to apply can learn more here.

The foundation is currently funding 165 studies encompassing a broad spectrum of species and diseases in animals including cats, dogs, horses, llamas, alpacas and wildlife, with $3.3 million in new research funds disbursed annually.

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