Funding for Animal-Free Research

Find out about the many international funding opportunities for animal-free research in NZ.

While there does not appear to be any NZ Government funding available exclusively for replacing the use of animals in science in New Zealand, there are the following funding opportunities:

  1. The Aotearoa New Zealand John Schofield Three Rs Award which provides 10,000 NZD biennially for “significant commitment to implementing the [3Rs] principles”. Note: This is a retrospective award, it is not funding for the use or development of animal-free research methods. Learn more about this award here.
  1. We've also been advised that the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund is a possible source of investment from central government for research involving the 3Rs. Find out more about this fund here.

You may be eligible to apply for the following funding opportunities for projects relating to the replacement of animals used for science.


Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation and includes a funding budget for 2021-2027 of 95.5 billion EUR (~ 170 billion NZD).

Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe is now open to applications from New Zealand researchers and organisations. New Zealand-based researchers can now join or lead Horizon Europe projects and receive funding on equal terms with their European counterparts. Learn more here and here.


The Johns Hopkins University's Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) provides grants for projects falling within the 3Rs.

  • Reduction and Replacement projects can receive up to 40,000 USD (~ 64,000 NZD). Here, the objective of your project should be to significantly reduce or replace laboratory animals. Find out more here.
  • There is a separate grant specifically for Refinement of up to 6,000 USD (~ 9,600 NZD). Learn more here.


The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), in collaboration with the IQ Consortium, holds annual awards for up to four contributions toward the 3Rs. The 2023 awards will be 10,000 USD (about 8,00 NZD) each. Find out more here.


Launched in 2012, the Lush Prize is a collaboration between Lush Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer. The biennial prize is for projects, organisations, institutions, or individuals:

  • Focused on ending the use of animal testing
  • Researching non-animal tests
  • Promoting the use of non-animal tests.

Applicable Categories:

  • Science Prize: For projects most likely to lead to practical non-animal tests which could be accepted by regulators. 50,000 GBP shared between all winners (~ 100,000 NZD).
  • Training Prize: For individuals, teams or organisations involved in training others in non-animal methods. 50,000 GBP shared between all winners (~ 100,000 NZD).
  • Young Researcher Prize: This is for young scientists (up to 35 years at the time of application) with a desire to fund the next stage of a career focused on an animal-test-free future. 10,000 GBP for each Young Researcher winner (~ 20,000 NZD); in past years, there have been between 3 and 6 winners.
  • The Black Box Prize: 250,000 GBP (~ 500,000 NZD) can be awarded for research (completed and published within 5 years prior to the award) in the following areas:  
  • The first, fully accepted, human relevant adverse outcome pathway for systemic toxicology or developmental toxicology.
  • The first internationally recognised and fully endorsed regulatory acceptance of a new substance using entirely non-animal methods.

Important info from the eligibility guidelines:

  • “Non-animal research in this sense means no use of non-human animals (including all vertebrates and invertebrates) or primary animal cells, embryos, tissues, organs and serums. Human biology-based approaches are strongly encouraged, although the use of established cell lines of non-human animal origin shall not necessarily be excluded.”
  • “The prize money shall be ring-fenced for non-animal use so that it cannot be used to fund any animal testing whatsoever.”

Learn more here.


The NC3Rs prize is awarded annually by the UK National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research.

  • The prize is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline (a multinational pharmaceutical company) to recognise a paper published in the last three years with demonstrable 3Rs impacts.
  • The paper must describe outstanding and original work that has or could have major impacts on the replacement, reduction, or refinement of the use of animals in research.
  • It consists of a 28,000 GBP (~ 55,000 NZD) prize grant and a 2,000 GBP (~ 4,000 NZD) personal award. Where a publication is highly commended by the Panel, a 4,000 GBP (~ 8,000 NZD) prize grant and 1,000 GBP (~ 2,000 NZD) personal award may also be awarded.
  • Any researcher in academia or industry, in the UK or overseas is eligible.

Find out more here.  


The Animal Protection Commissioner of Berlin prioritizes the funding of two Awards for the development of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) to actively support the shift from tradition-based animal experimentation to human-relevant health research

  • The Early Career Scientist Award is for a promising research proposal from an up-and-coming scientist that will advance the development and uptake of NAMs.
  • The Ongoing Project Award is for an already ongoing, auspicious project developing and/or using NAMs that needs additional funding for continuation.
  • Each Award includes 30,000 EUR (~ 52,000 NZD).
  • Grants are also available for two projects to develop animal-free teaching materials with 10,000 EUR (~ 17,000 NZD) each.
  • National and international scientists can apply.

Learn more here.


The Science Consortium has multiple different funding awards including:

  • Early-Career Scientist Awards: There are multiple grants available for researchers to attend different conferences and work shops. Find out more here.
  • Recombinant Antibody Challenge: grants for free catalogue recombinant antibodies for use in research and testing. Applicants can apply for a recombinant antibody that they have not used previously or for a recombinant antibody that they have previously used but in a different application than what is being proposed.
  • Grants are restricted to synthetic and human-derived recombinant antibodies or sequenced antibodies except in the case of replacing polyclonal and ascites-derived monoclonal antibodies. They will help finding the right one if the applicant wants.
  • Learn more here.

The Science Consortium page lists more funding opportunities and will likely get updated if any become available again.


The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) supports the development, validation and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing and education.

Graduate Fellowships provided by the International Foundation for Ethical Research are one-year grants for projects that support the development, acceptance and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and refine, reduce or replace the use of animals in research, testing or education.

Grants of 12,500 USD (~ 20,000 NZD) are typically awarded in support for tuition or salary and supplies per year. They are renewable annually for up to three years, depending on student progress and availability of funds. Learn more here.


Focused on exploring non-animal methods and models, the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF) works constructively with partners in the science community. They bring alternative technology and compassion to modern biomedical research, product testing, and classroom laboratories. Their funding awards include:

  • Annual Open grant program: This funds research projects that develop alternative methods to advance science and replace or reduce animal use.
  • Proposals are considered in fields of research, testing, or education. The maximum grant is 40,000 USD (~ 64,000 NZD). Learn more here.
  • Alternatives in Research (AiR) Challenge: This fund's innovative biomedical research that advances medical progress through methods that do not involve animals.
  • Awardees of the first AiR Challenge Grants, at 20,000 USD (~ 32,000 NZD) each, have been announced, working with new methods to address cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism.
  • In the next phase, ARDF will seek proposals for an AiR Challenge Prize that will award up to 350,000 USD (~ 562,000 NZD) to a single recipient who presents a research plan that is most likely to succeed in having an impact on a biomedical research field and an impact on replacing animal use. Find out more here.
  • William & Eleanor Cave Award: An award to honor achievements in advancing alternatives to the traditional use of animals in testing, research, or education. It is a biennial award of 10,000 USD (~ 16,000 NZD). Learn more here.

ARDF has a preference for US-based research, but worldwide applications are welcome. They have an email subscription that you can sign up for updates on any funding opportunities.


The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) works with the animal welfare science community worldwide to develop and promote improvements in the welfare of animals through scientific and educational activity.

They offer several awards on an ongoing or regular basis and have no restriction to UK citizens.

  • Research and Project Awards: Each year, a limited amount of money is available through the UFAW Research and Project Awards to make substantial awards over 3,500 GBP (~ 7,000 NZD) for research or other animal welfare projects that are likely to lead to substantial improvements in animal welfare. Find out more here.
  • Small Project and Travel Awards: These are for small projects or travel expenses up to 3,500 GBP (~ 7,000 NZD). Applications may be made for the purchase of equipment, for the organisation of (or to support attendance at) educational meetings, lectures, and courses, and for publication, translation, or transmission of information on animal welfare and for other small projects. Read more here.
  • Animal Welfare Student Scholarships: These enable students to develop their interests in animal welfare science and include:
  • Up to 2,800 GBP (~ 5,500 NZD) for projects contributing to our growing knowledge of how best to assess or improve the welfare of animals – be they farm animals, animals in zoos, pets, animals used in scientific research, or those with which we interact in the wild.
  • 250 GBP (~ 500 NZD) per week allowance and 100 GBP (~ 200 NZD) per week project expenses. Projects may be carried out at any time and usually last 4 to 8 weeks. Support is provided for up to 8 weeks.
  • Undergraduate or M.Sc. students (worldwide) can apply for this. PhD students are not eligible. Learn more here.
  • Early Career Animal Welfare Researcher of the Year Award: This is for young scientists who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of animals. It is open to current PhD students or those who have finished their PhD work in the last six years. The winner of this award receives 1,000 GBP (~ 2,000 NZD). Find out more here.
  • Other funding is available — check this page for the latest grants and awards.
Something missing?

If you know of other funding opportunities for research relating to the replacement of animals in science, please let us know.

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With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.