How we decide what to fund

Every year we receive applications for funding from researchers in universities and practices across the UK. We only support the studies involving naturally occurring diseases where the anticipated results of the study will result in a change in diagnosis or management of small animal disease. Our selection process involves peer review by veterinary clinicians and researchers from around the world who give freely of their time to evaluate the applications. Their informed assessments are considered by the PetSavers Grants Awarding Committee, which comprises not only veterinary academics and practitioners who have direct experience of companion animal diseases but also an experienced veterinary nurse and a Lay member to ensure that the research meets the PetSavers criteria.

The review process


Stage 1 – The application

Each application form has been designed to provide the information needed to enable the PetSavers Grant Awarding Committee to consider the research proposal and decide whether it is suitable for PetSavers funding. Before making an application, you are advised to read the Guide to applying for a PetSavers grant and the terms and conditions applicable to the grant for which you are applying. The application form, guide and terms and conditions for each grant type can be found on the relevant webpages when the application process is active.  If you have any queries please contact PetSavers on

Once you have completed the application form it is a good idea to get someone else to read it in order to make sure that it is clear and contains all the required information.

Applications should be submitted online or by using the offline form emailed as a Word document to by midnight on the closing date. The application form should be accompanied by the following:

  • A completed PetSavers Ethical Review form
  • A signed copy of the Terms and Conditions
  • A letter of support from the head of department or practice principle, indicating that they support the application
  • Details of Ethical approval from a recognised Ethics review panel.

Please note that all applications will be anonymised before consideration by the committee. It is therefore essential that the application is provided in Word document format rather than pdf format.


Stage 2 – Preliminary review

All applications will be subject to preliminary review to make sure that they meet the PetSavers criteria and ethical and legal requirements.  Where this is not clear from the application, you may be contacted to provide further information before the application is considered further.

The preliminary review will also seek to flag up any concerns with the research proposal for further consideration by the committee. For example:-

  • Is the project likely to advance the understanding or management of a disease in small animals?
  • Are the results likely to benefit cats, dogs or other companion animals?
  • Can the work be carried out effectively using the available and requested facilities?
  • Are the investigators competent to carry out the work?
  • Can the work be completed within the specified time?
  • Are the costs realistic?


Stage 3 - Peer review

The application and preliminary review is passed to the Grant Awarding Committee who will select reviewers to complete a report on each application. Each application will be sent to at least two external reviewers for comment.  Where a large number of applications are received, the Grant Awarding Committee will produce a shortlist by voting on the applications before they are sent out for external review. If you have not been short-listed you will be advised at this stage.


Stage 4 - Committee meeting

The shortlisted applications, preliminary and external reviews will be submitted to a meeting of the Grant Awarding Committee where each application is considered and scored against specific criteria.  Members of the Grant Awarding Committee are required to reveal any potential conflicts of interest (such as knowing an applicant, or working in the same organisation).


Clinical Research Project

This grant process is now open, with a deadline of 31st January 2020.

Find out more

Masters Degree by Research

This grant process is currently closed, however please click below to find out more and prepare for the next cycle opening in April 2020.

Find out more

Student Research Project

Applications are open all year, with two closing dates of 31st August and 31st January.

Find out more

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