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Innovation Grants

Innovation Grants

The FRAME Innovation Grant funding stream provides small grants for pilot projects and proof of principle studies that will support the replacement of animals in biomedical research.

FRAME launched the annual Innovation grant scheme in 2021 to address a gap for small funding pots for proof of principle research and pilot projects. The Scheme offers grants of around £5,000 but will consider applications asking up to £15,000. Projects should last for between 6 months and 2 years. The first year of this scheme proved very popular and we funded some diverse and interesting projects.

Purpose of the Innovation Grants

FRAME exists to promote better science and a more humane and compassionate society by the replacement of animals in medical experiments, drug development and testing.

FRAME believes that the accepted practice of using animals for researching human drugs and diseases is fundamentally flawed; however viable human-focussed methods do not yet exist in all areas.

We accept that the path to animal-free medical research, drug development and testing will be long.  It requires both the existence of suitable alternative methods, and culture change by scientists, regulators, funders, and journals.

The Innovation Grants are a pilot project funding stream designed to provide small grants to enable scientists to explore innovative ideas, methods and techniques, and where relevant help generate proof of principle data to support applications for larger grants in the future.

All applications for funding will be judged against the following key criteria:

  • Fit with FRAME’s mission and charitable purpose
  • Scientific innovation and advancement
  • Human relevance of the outcomes of the proposal
  • Scale of likely impact on replacing animal use

Project eligibility:

  • FRAME does not fund any projects involving research on live animals or invertebrates. This includes work on reduction and refinement.  In line with our mission, we wish to support projects demonstrating excellent science, and innovative, human-focussed, non-animal research. Applicants whose projects focus on reduction, refinement or animal welfare might wish to consider look for funding via other sources, such as NC3Rs.
  • Applications must indicate other potential and confirmed funding sources for the project
  • If your project involves the use of any animal-derived products, you must clearly demonstrate their necessity to the project and how you have researched available alternatives.
  • As part of the FRAME ethos please be aware, we expect the outcomes and methods of these projects to be made publicly available and accessible to non-specialists. If this incurs costs, for example for open access publishing, these can be included and considered as part of the application.
  • We also expect that the project will contribute to the skills development of the researcher and/or progress their career in alternatives research.

Applicant eligibility:

The lead applicant will be the grant holder.

  • The lead applicant must be resident in the UK or Ireland and the project based here (overseas researchers cannot be the lead applicant but can be included as collaborators). The lead applicant must hold a post (for the duration of the project and beyond) at a recognised UK higher education institution, non-profit organisation, research centre or relevant industry setting and have the support and facilities there to carry out the project. We will accept applications from early career researchers with a fellowship grant code, and post-doctoral students.
  • We will also consider applications from researchers working within the commercial sector if the results of the project will be shared openly. We will not fund any project that aims to generate commercial IP for the grantee or their organisation.
  • The lead applicant must hold a PhD.

Application process

This year it will be a two-stage application process. The first stage will involve summarising the project, how it is innovative (why we should fund it) and 1R impact statement explaining how the project is supporting the replacement of animal methods. Projects that successfully make it to round two will be asked to submit a full application for review including the additional documentation and information set out in the Stage Two Innovation Grant Checklist.

To apply you must complete all sections of the online application form.

Closing date for round 1 applications: Sunday 7th August 2022

Provisional dates for next stages:

  • Invitations for round 2 will be sent out: First week of September 2022
  • Deadline for round 2 applications: 1st October
  • Announcements of winners: First week of November


Apply for Innovation Grant

Further Information:

Innovation Grant awards are likely to be around £5k-£6k each, however, we will consider project applications up to a maximum of £15k. Please note this grant does not cover salaries. Projects must have a duration of between 6 months and 2 years The Innovation Grant scheme call will open annually at the end of March, and applications must be received by September, with successful projects having a suggested start in January the following year.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of academics including at least one member of the FRAME Trustee board, FRAME CEO and where possible an expert in the relevant field.

2021 Innovation Grant Winners

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