The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is partnering with the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation to fund research projects geared toward advancing animal health.

Specifically, investigators are encouraged to submit proposals that focus on research to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of treatments for veterinary species, explore new drug treatments for animals, develop and validate models of animal diseases or conditions, or ensure that a safe food supply is not compromised by drug treatment. These areas focus exclusively on unmet needs in veterinary medicine that are often overlooked by other funding sources. The program is intended to encourage studies with direct clinical application, according to the application form.

Criteria used in considering proposals will involve the potential of the study to enhance the treatment or prevention of disease in animals, relevance to existing scientific knowledge, feasibility of the study, qualifications of the investigators, and the potential to enhance collaboration among veterinary pharmacologists and AVMA members.

The Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation has funded pharmacology research grants for eight years as a way to encourage more discoveries in this area. Dr. Jane G. Owens, president of the VPRF, said her organization is excited about the new partnership with the AVMF.

"The mission of the two organizations aligns very well, and we hope to fund our first round of grants this year. This alliance will support funding for evaluation of new and currently approved medications for combating diseases of companion and food animals as well as for ensuring the safety of food products from treated livestock. We believe this partnership will offer veterinary researchers a unique funding source as no other granting agency focuses solely on veterinary pharmacology," she said.

Debborah Harp, AVMF executive director, said the Foundation also is thrilled to be working with VPRF and expand its offerings related to research.

"Our Foundation was founded on research, giving research grants in the beginning. Over time, the mission expanded and included veterinary scholarships as well as service and animal welfare activities. We continued to support research to a lesser degree, but through this collaboration, we're excited about again focusing on research as one of our main tenets," Harp said.

Dr. Jan K. Strother, chair of the AVMF Board of Directors, added, "Since our founding over 50 years ago, the AVMF has supported scientific research that advances veterinary medicine. Our research support has led to better prevention (and) treatment protocols and has improved the health and the quality of animals' lives globally.

"I believe that our model of partnership with VPRF will connect our organizations' members and resources to promote and provide research studies that are vitally important for our veterinary profession."

call for proposals for the grants will be posted in July, and the deadline for submissions is Sept. 15; recipients will be announced in November.