News from the Smarter Science Front

2019 Presentation With Date Cropped

NAVS is proud of the continued investment we make not only in promoting the value of humane science, but also in supporting the development of scientific approaches and models that can reduce, and we hope one day replace, the use of animals in experimentation. 

Each year, thanks to your generosity and commitment to advancing science without harming animals, we award a grant to the International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) to fund Graduate Student Fellowships for the next generation of researchers who are developing and using human-relevant methodologies that can spare animal suffering. 

For the last 18 years, we have also been attending the world’s largest science competition for pre-college students, the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). There we present the NAVS Humane Science Award to high school students whose projects demonstrate innovation and scientific advancement through the use of alternatives to animal experimentation.

In this week’s Science First, we would like to update you on these two fronts: both the good news and the bad news. 

First, the good news. IFER accepted pre-proposal applications for its 2020-21 Graduate Student Fellowship for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Science from January until the end of April. This year, many more talented young scientists answered the call, resulting in an 88% increase in the number of applications from last year! IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board will use the month of May to review these pre-proposals and in June will ask selected applicants to submit full proposals. The pre-proposal applications cover a wide range of innovative research projects from graduate students all over the world. IFER is eager to review the applications and select this year’s finalists!

Now, the bad news. Given the current COVID-19 situation, we are disappointed that the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2020 (formerly Intel ISEF), which had been scheduled to take place this week in Anaheim, California, has been cancelled. Current restrictions on travel and mass gatherings essential for protecting our health and well-being made it impossible to hold the event this year. However, organizers of the conference announced last week that they will be holding a virtual science fair in which student finalists will have their abstracts published and be able to share a short video and/or photos of themselves and their projects.  Organizers of the fair are optimistic that the in-person science fair will return next year—and NAVS will be there, ready to once again reward humane science! 

Though we are disappointed by the cancellation of ISEF, we are encouraged by the dramatic increase in talented young researchers who have applied to IFER and who are eager to use their skills in service of humane science. 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. 

Please consider making a donation today to help NAVS and IFER continue funding smarter, human-relevant science that does not harm animals, and to enable us to fund even more fellowships during our next grant cycle.