Addressing Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interaction
The vision of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) is for the human-animal bond to be universally embraced as an essential element of human wellness. To that end, HABRI works to establish the vital role of companion animals in the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
HABRI is issuing a call for research proposals from institutions and organizations across the globe to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted interventions (AAI) or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. Proposals should have a strong theoretical framework and focus on innovative approaches to studying the health effects of companion animals on humans within the following broad categories:
- Child Health and Development
- Healthy Aging
- Mental & Physical Health and Wellness
In an effort to help address larger societal challenges, proposals that have potential to impact current public health crises or issues at the forefront of public concern are welcomed. Topics include (but are not limited to) impacts on diverse and under-represented populations, social isolation and loneliness, suicide prevention, addiction, trauma and/or post-traumatic stress, obesity, and heart health.
Proposals will be evaluated by an independent review board comprised of experts in the field. Evaluation will be based on study design, capabilities of investigators, adequacy of facilities, cost-effective yet realistic budget, potential for significant impact on future practices related to the understanding or treatment of mental and physical health conditions, and for potential impact and contribution to the scientific field of human-animal interaction (HAI). Adherence to the highest standards of human and animal care and welfare is essential, and studies that also measure the welfare of the animals involved are of interest. All funded studies must undergo Institutional Review Board (IRB) and/or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) review and approval when necessary. No invasive procedures will be funded.
While HABRI is interested in studies that focus on the impacts of interactions with dogs, in the interest of further contributing to the scientific field of HAI, HABRI welcomes studies that focus on interactions with other pet species, which may include (but are not limited to) cats and small animals (rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and fish) and horses.
HABRI does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability, military status, age, marital status, or parental status.
Additional Funding Through Pet Partners
Pet Partners, the leading therapy animal organization in the United States, has entered its fourth year partnering with HABRI with the mission of improving human health and well-being through the power of the human-animal bond. This partnership allows for additional funding for research to investigate the health, education, and wellness outcomes of animal-assisted interventions (AAI), both for the people and animals involved. Proposals focusing within these broad categories are specifically encouraged:
- Determining best practices for effective AAI. For example, dosage, handler training, treatment protocols, etc.
- Studies that support the empirical appreciation for how therapy animal welfare can be protected and enhanced
- The study of AAI in professional environments: AAT, AAE, etc.
- Investigations focusing on AAI with the non-canine species that are registered with Pet Partners: cats, horses, birds, pigs, llamas & alpacas, rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs
- Studies involving virtual adaptation of AAI and other animal-related engagement initiatives
- Cross-cultural experiences of the human-animal bond
- Studies focused on the impact of AAI on populations not currently represented in the literature. For example, AAI with diverse demographic, social economic, or population-based groups
To be eligible for this additional funding, investigators are encouraged to incorporate Pet Partners registered volunteer therapy animal teams into their proposed research. Pet Partners registered volunteer teams must meet high standards which support patient and public safety; outstanding animal welfare; and greater consistency for research purposes.
All of the guidelines, requirements, and deadlines associated with HABRI’s 2022 RFP apply to this additional funding opportunity. Please indicate if you are applying for this supplemental funding by following the instructions laid out in the Proposal Guidelines.
For more information about securing the participation of Pet Partners registered volunteer therapy animal teams for proposed research, please contact Dr. Taylor Chastain-Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To apply for a HABRI grant:
Prior to submitting a proposal, please review the following documents:
If you would like to review a sample application of a funded study, which was graciously allowed to be shared by the investigators, please see here. This sample application only includes sections I-XI as identified by the Proposal Guidelines. For further guidance on completing sections XII-XVI, please refer to the Proposal Guidelines and see below for inquiries about the application process.
To apply for a HABRI grant, please send an email to email@example.com. Please ensure the subject line of the email and PDF submission are both titled “HABRI 2022 Grant Proposal – Principal Investigator Last Name.”.
For proposals applying for supplemental funding available through Pet Partners, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ensure the subject line of the email and PDF submission are both titled “HABRI/Pet Partners 2022 Grant Proposal – Principal Investigator Last Name.”.
Application Review Process:
Proposals will be evaluated by an independent review board comprised of experts in the field of human-animal interaction.
Proposal submissions that do not meet the requirements of this request for proposals or the proposal guidelines will not qualify for consideration. Qualified proposals will first undergo an abstract review, where each proposal’s abstract, which will be blinded by researcher and institution, is evaluated based on design, potential for impact, and potential for contribution to the field of HAI. Proposal submissions that advance to the next round will then receive a full review.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Is HABRI funding available to international applicants working outside the United States?
- Yes, international applicants from academic institutions and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. There are no additional governance requirements in order to meet IRB and IACUC requirements (institutional approvals suffice). All dollar amounts must be expressed in U.S. dollars.
- Can you share the research projects that HABRI has funded in the past?
- A full list of HABRI-funded projects can be found here.
- Does HABRI fund capital projects or programming?
- No, HABRI does not fund capital projects nor does HABRI provide support for programs.
- Is there a maximum budget for a HABRI grant proposal?
- While there is no budget cap, HABRI awards an average of 5-6 projects each year with project costs averaging approximately $45,000 per project and an average duration of about 20 months.
For a full list of FAQs, click here.
For more information about HABRI, including currently funded research projects, please visit www.habri.org.
Please direct all inquiries about the application or award process to Matt Cryer at email@example.com.