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DENVER/April 1, 2020 – Morris Animal Foundation is now accepting project grant proposals for  evidence-based management of fire-related injuries in native wildlife affected by Australian wildfires. These projects will be supported by the Foundation’s new Australian Wildlife Fund (AWF). Grant applications are due by Wednesday, May 6, 2020, 4:59 p.m. EST, and funds will be allocated in October 2020. Principal investigators must be based in Australia.

All relevant health effects are of interest, including burns, smoke inhalation, secondary infections and systemic disease. Projects may address one or more phases of this process, including triage, acute care, longer-term consequences, and ultimate outcomes including successful release back into the wild when possible. Possible areas of work include clinical review/debrief of the 2019/2020 wildfire events; development of useful tools, techniques or technology; and projects to run in the next wildfire season (2020/2021).

Proposals from collaborative, multiregional research teams are strongly encouraged in order to maximize impact. Projects planned for the next wildfire season should be submitted by organizations servicing wide regions (which may include interstate) within which there is a high likelihood of significant caseloads occurring. This may include large established wildlife hospitals or organizations overseeing multiple triage centers.

Proposals should demonstrate the potential for results to be widely used in future wildfire emergencies. To enable highly impactful research projects, each proposal’s budget will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Interested researchers can find more information and apply for a grant at Morris Animal Foundation Apply for a Grant.

The Foundation established the AWF in January 2020. The fund allocates $1 million for scientific research grants to fund studies to address the serious issues impacting Australia’s native wildlife populations caused by catastrophic wildfires, both this season and in the future. Wildfires are an annual occurrence typically heightened in many areas in the Australian summer months. These wildfires are now occurring over longer periods and with greater intensity and extent.

Prior to creating the fund, to determine the region’s most pressing needs, the Foundation created an online forum for wildlife researchers and consulted front-line scientists in Australia. A recurring theme was the scarcity of useful clinical information on fire-related injuries, particularly for marsupial species and in critical care.

Morris Animal Foundation is one of the largest nonprofit organizations worldwide that funds health studies benefiting cats, dogs, horses, llamas, alpacas and wildlife. The Foundation currently is funding 150 studies encompassing a broad spectrum of species and diseases, with approximately $8 million in research funds disbursed annually.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.