And then there were six

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Each year, thanks to your generosity and commitment to advancing science without harming animals, NAVS awards a grant to the International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER). This grant funds Graduate Student Fellowships for the next generation of researchers—the young men and women who are developing and using human-relevant methodologies that also spare animal suffering.

IFER was founded by NAVS 35 years ago to support student scientists developing alternatives to the use of animals in biomedical research, safety testing and education. Since that time, NAVS and IFER have provided funding for exciting, human-relevant research projects, supporting scientists from around the world working in diverse areas of research.

As we reported in May, IFER was accepting pre-proposal applications for its 2020-21 Graduate Student Fellowship for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Science. This year saw increased interest from applicants, leading to an 88% jump in the number of applications over last year. IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board reviewed 30 pre-proposals last month and narrowed down the field of applicants to six.

These six finalists are working on a wide range of innovative, human-relevant research projects. Some are using cell-based models to overcome the reliance on animal models for a wide range of human health conditions, including breast and colorectal cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney diseases, and hydrocephalus, which is caused by the buildup of fluid in the brain. Other students are working on computer-based alternatives, developing computational toxicology models for the assessment of complex toxicity endpoints.

Over the next month, the finalists will write up full proposals and submit them for consideration. We are eager to review the applications and select this year’s fellowship recipients.

Our ability to support outstanding graduate students like these researchers who are dedicated to developing animal-free alternatives is limited only by our available funding. Please consider making a donation today to help NAVS and IFER continue funding smarter, human-relevant science that does not harm animals.

We will be sure to keep you updated on progress that is being made with the IFER fellowships this cycle—please stay tuned! In the meantime, please visit the NAVS website to see and hear from our current fellowship recipients who are developing human-relevant methodologies to replace animal experiments.

You can help raise visibility for NAVS’ work on behalf of animals by posting a review of your experience with us on Your positive review will help NAVS earn recognition as a 2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit. Thank you!