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Innovation Grant Scheme

FRAME's Innovation Grant Scheme is now open!

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

FRAME launched the annual Innovation grant scheme in 2021 to address a gap in 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 between 6 months and 2 years. The first three years of this scheme proved very popular and we funded some diverse and interesting projects.

What is the Innovation Grant?

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

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

The path to animal-free science requires the existence of suitable alternative methods, and a cultural shift from scientists, regulators, funders, and journals.

The Innovation Grants is a programme 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.

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.

All funding applications 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
  • All funding applications will be judged by a panel of academics, FRAME staff, and, where possible, an expert in the relevant field.

Closing date for round 1 applications: Sunday 2nd July 2024

  • Provisional dates for next stages:
  • Invitations for round 2 will be sent out: First week of August 2024
  • Deadline for round 2 applications: Sunday 29th September 2024
  • Announcements of winners: First week of November 2024
What do we fund?

Barbara Guinn and her team at the University of Hull used their Innovation Grant award to develop a cell line that represents early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer!

Am I eligible to apply?

  • FRAME does not fund any projects that use live animals, including invertebrates. This includes work on reduction and refinement or partial replacement.  In line with our mission, the Innovation Grant scheme funding is projects demonstrating excellent science, and are developing innovative, human-focussed, non-animal research methods. Applicants whose projects focus on reduction, refinement, or animal welfare may want to consider looking for funding via other sources, such as NC3Rs. Read more in our Funding Policy.
  • If your project involves any animal-derived products, you must clearly justify their use in the project and demonstrate how you have researched available alternatives.
  • Applications must indicate other potential and confirmed funding sources for the project.
  • As part of the FRAME ethos 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, 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.

The lead applicant will be the grant holder.

  • The lead applicant must be a UK resident and the project based in GB or NI (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 project results will be shared openly. We will not fund any project which aims to generate commercial IP for the grantee or their organisation.
  • The lead applicant must hold a PhD.

The application process

We use a two-stage application process. The first stage involves summarising the project, how it is innovative (why we should fund it), and a 1R impact statement explaining how the project supports the replacement of animal methods.

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

Applicants of projects that successfully make it to Stage Two will be notified by email and asked to return a full application for review including the additional documentation and information in the Stage Two Application Checklist.



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, that this grant does not cover salaries. Projects must have a duration between 6 months and 2 years.

Application deadline for round 1 applications is Sunday July 2nd July 2024.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of academics, FRAME Staff, and where possible an expert in the relevant field.

Apply for Innovation Grant Read the Innovation Grant terms and conditions


Innovation Grant
Status: Completed

Developing a 3D model of tumours

Read about this project
Innovation Grant
Status: Completed

In vitro models to help detect early-stage ovarian cancer

Read about this project
Innovation Grant
Status: Completed

Developing a lung in vitro model

Read about this project

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