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Small Grants

poultry vet

Apply for veterinary research grants into chickens

It’s widely accepted that there’s a distinct lack of research into chickens. And we know from the popularity of our own Hen Helpline, just how little veterinary support there is for hen keepers. One of the ways we’re trying to change that and improve life for our hens is by attracting enthusiastic applicants for our small grants programme.

We have six grants available, one of which is being co-funded by the prestigious British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) PetSavers.

These grants are open to vet nurses and students and are for research into the behaviour and welfare of chickens which is vital for improving pet hen health. Read on to find out about the terms and conditions and eligibility criteria.

Our Small Grants application and review process

The application

The Application Form has been designed to provide all the information needed to enable the BHWT Grants Committee to consider the research proposal and decide whether it is suitable for funding. Before making an application, you are advised to read the Terms and Conditions as you will be asked to submit a signed version should your application be accepted. If you have any queries please contact the BHWT via

Applications are accepted all year, with two closing dates after which they will be considered: 15 July to be considered in October and 15 December to be considered in March. Applications should be submitted online as a Word document to with the subject heading ‘Small Grant Application’ by midnight on either date.

Please note that all applications will be presented to the Grants Committee in anonymous form. It is therefore essential that the application is provided in Word document format rather than PDF format.

Preliminary review

All applications will be subject to preliminary review to make sure that they meet the BHWT criteria and ethical requirements.  If this is not clear from the application, you may be contacted to provide further information before the application can proceed.  The preliminary review will also seek to flag up any concerns with the research proposal for further consideration by the Grants Committee. For example:
  1. Is the project likely to advance the understanding or management of a disease in pet hens?
  2. Can the work be carried out effectively using the available and requested facilities?
  3. Are the investigators qualified/competent to carry out the work?
  4. Can the work be completed within the specified time?
  5. Are the costs realistic?

Peer review

The application and preliminary review will be passed to the BHWT Grants Committee, which will select two or more reviewers to assess each application. The Grants Committee will produce a shortlist by voting on the applications before they are sent out for external review by the Scientific Research Committee. If you have not been shortlisted you will be advised at this stage.

Committee meeting

The shortlisted applications, preliminary and external reviews will be submitted to a meeting of the Grants Committee, in which each application will be considered and scored against specific criteria.

Joint funded grants

BSAVA Petsavers Logo
  • Initial applications will be assessed by BHWT to determine suitability for funding.
  • Applications with potential for funding will then be considered by the BSAVA-PetSavers’ grants awarding committee which will identify any that do not meet BSAVA-PetSavers’ ethical criteria and rank the remainder according to BSAVA-PetSavers’ charitable aims.
  • BHWT will then identify a project suitable for joint funding.
  • Should no project be deemed suitable for funding, the funds identified for that year’s award will be held by BHWT and used to fund future projects.

How to apply

All applications must be made via the online Application Form, and in addition must include:
  1. The curriculum vitae (CV) of the principal applicant and any co-applicants. Each CV should extend to no more than two pages and a brief list should be made of the applicant’s most significant publications (if any).
  2. A summary of the research to be conducted (between 500 and 2000 words).
  3. A summary of how the research will benefit pet hens (no more than 500 words).
  4. A letter of support from the Head of Department or Practice Principal.
  5. Approval from an Ethical Review Committee.