ARDF: THE ALTERNATIVES IN RESEARCH CHALLENGE
The Alternatives in Research (AiR) Challenge is a program intended to stimulate innovative research that advances medical progress through the use of methods that do not involve animals.
The program focus is on biomedical research, given that animal use in this area far exceeds that in safety testing and scientific education.
It is anticipated that the winning projects will be those involving new disease models, new applications of existing models, or new or modified techniques (as in monoclonal antibody production). Prize winners will be chosen with the aid of a scientific advisory committee.
The competitions are open to researchers in any job sectors (e.g., industry, academia, and government) in the U.S. (only).
The AiR Challenge Grants will be $20,000 each, intended to provide seed funding for promising avenues of research. Pre-proposals will be accepted through October 5, 2017. Up to five grants will be awarded in February, 2018.
In a later phase, launching in 2018, an AiR Challenge Prize will award up to $350,000 to a single awardee who presents a research plan that is most likely to succeed in having an impact on a biomedical research field and an impact on replacing animal use.
The AiR challenge program is intended not only as a means of rewarding scientists, advancing biomedical progress, and sparing animals from suffering. It is also intended to help dispel the outdated notion that an interest in medical progress and a concern for animals are inexorably in opposition; indeed, finding better non-animal approaches to researching human disease is a win-win for humans and animals. The ARDF is also seeking to broaden the understanding and appreciation for alternative methods not only among scientists, but also among the general public, thought-leaders, media representatives, and patients and patient-advocates.