Projects awarded funding in 2024

This is a summary of the grants that have been awarded funding so far this year. For further details of project aims, please view them by disease area.


Comparing the perception and attitudes of different groups of people (e.g., veterinarians, animal shelter staff, and feline-owning public) towards feline immunodeficiency virus in cats against published literature

Student Research Project: £500

Institution: University of Edinburgh

Lead researcher: Danielle Gunn-Moore

On its discovery, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) was represented as a disease of high mortality and morbidity. This undergraduate project aims to investigate whether the perception of and attitude towards FIV in different groups involved in feline care has changed alongside increased scientific understanding of the disease to determine whether stigmatisation of FIV infection remains in the cat-care community.

A female dog being prepared for spaying procedure

Investigating the peri- and post-operative outcomes of neutering female dogs by ovariohysterectomy or ovariectomy

Student Research Project: £1200

Institution: University of Nottingham

Lead researcher: Gary England

Neutering by ovariohysterectomy (OVH) is reportedly the most common procedure and the one taught in vet schools; however laparoscopic techniques and neutering by ovariectomy (OVE) are increasing in frequency. This undergraduate study will examine differences in the perioperative and post-operative outcomes when surgical neutering is performed by laparoscopic OVE compared to an OVH by celiotomy.

Evaluation of cognitive function in a prospective ageing and welfare study in cats (Cat PAWS)

Student Research Project: £1250

Institution: University of Liverpool

Lead researcher: Gemma Walmsley

Little is known about feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD) and it is thought to be underdiagnosed. This undergraduate project aims to use neurological and behavioural signs to identify reliable tools for assessing feline cognitive function. This will help FCD to be recognised earlier and differentiated from other neurological conditions, and for management strategies and treatments to be implemented.

Owner cuddling her pet at the veterinary clinic and doctor working in the background

Investigating the role of thymosin beta 10 in feline chronic kidney disease

PhD studentship: £80,000 (partial funding)

Institution: RVC

Lead researcher: Elisavet Vasilopoulou

This studentship aims to improve understanding of the factors modifying the progression of kidney disease in cats. It may also identify novel biomarkers to identify cats that are likely to develop advanced kidney disease and new areas for therapeutic intervention to slow disease progression.


A dog licking its nose, outside in a field covered in yellow flowers, under a blue clear skyIdentification of the genetic variant that causes spongiform leukoencephalomyelopathy (SLEM) in the Border Terrier dog breed

Master’s Degree by Research: £39,411

Institution: University of Cambridge

Lead researcher: Lisa Alves

This master’s project aims to identify the causal genetic variant of SLEM in Border Terriers, and to understand how and why this variant is pathogenic. This will improve our understanding of the aetiology and pathophysiology of SLEM, and enable a validated genetic test for SLEM to be offered to breeders.


Rows of samples in test tubes. All are held in a plastic blue containerExploring the dog microbiome for therapeutic potential in the treatment of canine bacterial pyoderma

Student Research Project Grant: £2,800

Institution: University of Liverpool

Lead researcher: Tim Williams

This undergraduate project aims to identify and characterise commensal bacteria with therapeutic potential against Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, the most common cause of bacterial skin infections in dogs, to help identify mechanisms of inhibition and determine their potential for clinical application.

Click on the links below to read about other studies that we have funded recently:

Projects awarded funding in 2023


Projects awarded funding in 2022


Project awarded funding in 2021


Projects awarded funding in 2020