RVC calls for data on canine health research funding - Veterinary Practice
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RVC calls for data on canine health research funding

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College are calling on specialist veterinary and non-university organisations that carry out research into canine health and welfare to participate in a study which seeks to inform future funding strategies

The first phase of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)’s research is being conducted over January and February 2023. It will analyse the amount and distribution of UK canine health research funding over the past decade.

Independent charities supporting canine health research tend to identify funding priorities aligned with their own strategy and scope, taking account of independent peer review from experts in the field of research.

However as there are many research funders working independently and some important research topics may be overlooked while sometimes separately funded projects can inadvertently overlap.

There also are varying levels of involvement for pet owners through different organisations.

This means there is potential that some elements with real-world impact may be overlooked.

The canine health research funding study endeavours to investigate these issues and will consider how resources are prioritised across different areas of canine research.

Participating stakeholders will be asked their opinions on future research funding. This information will contribute to developing a long-term strategy for not-for-profit UK canine health research.

Following this, the aim of the canine health research funding study is to create a pilot consultation process for developing a central prioritisation platform for future collaborative research.

The RVC’s VetCompass team, who are leading this work, has already obtained data and support from several major funders, but is keen to maximise the scope of this research.

Therefore, the team is also looking for participation from specialist veterinary societies funding specific disease research and non-university organisations, such as charities, corporates or independent referral practices conducting their own in-house canine research.

Participants in the canine health research funding study will to be asked to submit:

  • A brief description of each research project they received funding for
  • Where possible, how much funding the research project received

Data submitted will be confidential and anonymised prior to publication.

Dr Alison Skipper, postdoctoral researcher into canine research funding, VetCompass, at the RVC said: “We hope this project will eventually generate a centrally agreed strategy for funding non-commercial canine health research and lead to focused future collaborative research development, with the potential for shared understanding and prioritisation for the sector.

“The goal is to ensure that the most pressing canine health issues are addressed more effectively through co-ordinated research efforts.”

The project, carried out through the RVC’s VetCompass programme, is jointly funded by four dog-focused charities: Battersea, The Dogs’ Trust, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust and The Waltham Foundation.

The research team hopes by producing a broadly agreed strategy for funding decisions and potentially a central platform for future collaborative research prioritisation, that the sector can ensure funding is more effectively allocated to the most pressing canine health issues.

For more information about how to get involved, please visit the website.

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