WALTHAM Foundation Research Grant

WALTHAM Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Anticipated deadline: May 1, 2020

Applicant type: Research Scientist Faculty

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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The WALTHAM Foundation is a non-charitable funding mechanism through which Mars Petcare offers grants to advance the understanding in the nutrition, health, behaviour and welfare of companion animals globally.

At Mars Petcare, we believe that pets make the world better for people, so make it our purpose to make ‘A Better World for Pets’. As a science driven business, Mars Inc invests in research. The WALTHAM Foundation is just one way in which we support key scientific and academic organisations globally to advance research and disseminate knowledge to support our purpose. The vast number of peer-reviewed publications and internationally recognized presentations emanating from this work is a testament to the calibre of the proposals we receive and the quality of the projects we have supported. 

WALTHAM Foundation Research Grant


The WALTHAM Foundation is a non-charitable funding mechanism through which Mars Petcare divisions fund science from their research budget. It offers the opportunity for scientific researchers to apply for money to run research projects that advances the understanding in the nutrition, health, behaviour or welfare of companion animals around the world. At MARS Petcare, we believe that pets make the world better for people, so we make it our purpose to make ‘A Better World for Pets’™. Our work is underpinned with an approach that helps ensure our commitment to pets and their wellbeing is based on scientific evidence as well as emotion. We invest in a huge amount of scientific research as a company and for 18 years, the WALTHAM Foundation has been one way we support key scientific and academic organisations globally to advance research and disseminate knowledge to help us all create ‘A Better World for Pets’™.

We believe that progress towards achieving our purpose will be greatly advanced by the emergence of data science as a critical discipline. Data can be used to improve pet health and the world in which they live in a myriad of ways, from better veterinary care, data driven policy making and sustainable food for the future. To enable this, we will need rapid innovations in many areas of science from information management, analytics to data applications.

Preferred Topic Areas for 2019

The theme of the 2019 WALTHAM Foundation call is for data science based projects within any life science discipline. Recognising that the correct interpretation of any biological experiment depends on the accuracy and consistency of knowledge within the domain, we are particularly keen to see applications that will generate persistent value for the scientific community.

This means foundational research that;

  • Enrich publically available data.
  • Transfer knowledge to the area of Petcare.
  • Improve research methodologies.


Enriching publically available data could be delivered through:

  • The curation of existing data or databases (for example, improving the gene, transcript, or protein annotations of companion animal reference genomes).
  • New/additional data collection such as adding additional metadata/data points/data types to an existing or planned project in which the new data will be extensive and serendipitous to future analysis.
  • FAIR-ification of a data source; improving the findability, accessibility, interopibility, and reusability of a data source to enable the second life of data which has tangible value for the community.

Transfer of knowledge to the area of petcare could be delivered through:

  • Applying an existing or novel application to pet research. For example, the transfer of generalised models from non-pet data to applications of pet relevance.
  • Using existing knowledge/data to create a new resource. For example, semantic analysis of literature to generate pet-relevant knowledge graphs.

Improved research methodologies could be delivered through:

  • Algorithm development, i.e. fundamental research into improving the predictive accuracy or efficiency of an analytical method with a potential beneficial application within pet research.
  • Integration of data. Methodological improvements that ease or benefit the interopobility of disconnected data types. For example, unsupervised methods that use inference to connect responses between multi-omics data using Bayesian, factorisation, network–based, or other analytical approaches. 

Funding details

  • The award amount is typically up to $25,000 (USD) (check exchange rates for amount in other currencies) to be paid up front for each funded project.
  • Data collection is expected to be completed over a period of up to a maximum of two years, which allows for a preparatory period and time for final data analysis and final report write up.
  • The approved project must be in compliance with the WALTHAM Foundation Award Requirements (see section 3.2.) in addition to receiving institute human and animal ethics approval prior to funding, if applicable.
  • For more information on the WALTHAM Foundation go to https://www.waltham.com/grantsawards/waltham-foundation/.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The principle investigator must be employed by a university or academic institution, but there is no geographic restriction on the location of that university.


  • The WALTHAM Foundation will NOT sponsor the following:
    • Research into surgical procedures, pharmacological studies, toxicological studies or studies that are likely to lead to the development of a drug or vaccine.
    • Research into non-companion animal species (such as farm or wild animals) unless its relevance to companion animals is clearly stated.
    • Research that causes suffering or results in euthanasia of the animals involved.
    • Studies whose subjects have clinical conditions that have been artificially induced.
    • Non-research activities (e.g. student travel and subsistence, registration for scientific meetings, conferences, workshops, college scholarships, charitable activities) or the purchase of equipment or computers.
    • Donations to charitable organisations or for charitable work.