Fund Smarter Science

Excited by the promise of modern science and technology, NAVS seeks out opportunities to advance smarter, more humane science that can provide safer and more effective solutions to human health needs.

What-We-Do-Fund-Smarter-ScienceThe scientific landscape is changing as an ever-increasing number of scientists in academia, government and industry are becoming mindful of the inadequacies of animal experimentation.  NAVS provides support and positive incentives to these scientists, and partners with national and international efforts to implement new methodologies that replace the use of animals in science.

Through the International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER), NAVS provides critical funding to early career researchers with an interest in developing innovative alternatives to animal experiments. In doing so, NAVS and IFER hope to seed the scientific field with talented individuals prepared to integrate scientific discovery with ethics and respect for animals.

NAVS founded IFER in 1985 and continues to provide the majority of its funding through generous annual grants, which have totaled more than one million dollars.

Each year, IFER Graduate Fellowships are awarded to promising young scientists who are developing alternatives to the use of animals in science. These are one-year grants of up to $15,000 for projects that support the development, validation and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing or education. Grants are renewable annually for up to three years, dependent on student progress and availability of funds.

Graduate Fellowship recipients have the potential to positively change the course of science by working to promote the advancement of humane and human-relevant methodologies that can spare animal suffering.

Current IFER Graduate Fellowship recipients are conducting their work at some of North America’s most prestigious institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of British Columbia and the University of California.

More information on the IFER Graduate Fellowship program, including eligibility requirements, submission guidelines and downloadable applications, can be found on the IFER website.

Learn more about current and past Fellowship recipients.


Nicholas Brookhouser
Nicholas Brookhouser
Arizona State University
Sponsor: David Brafman
“Engineering human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) as a means to replace animal models for investigating the contribution of the ApoE risk allele to onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease”

Michael Ferguson
Michael Ferguson
Boston University
Sponsor: Joyce Wong
“In vitro vascularization and perfusion of human stem cell derived organoids for use in drug testing and as models of disease, development, and function”

Jean Liou
University of Pittsburgh
Sponsor: Dr. Rocky Tuan
“Application of Human iPSC-derived Mesenchymal Progenitor Cells to Develop Osteochondral Microtissues for Osteoarthritis Drug Testing.”

T.J. Puls
Purdue University, Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Sponsor: Dr. Sherry Voytik-Harbin
“Engineering Novel 3D Tumor-Stroma to Bridge the Gap Between Preclinical Models and Human Clinical Outcomes”

Woojung Shin
University of Texas at Austin
Sponsor: Dr. Hyun Jung Kim
“Human gut inflammation-on-a-chip for replacement of animal models”

Danh Truong
Arizona State University
Sponsor: Dr. Mehdi Nikkhah
“Studying the biochemical and biophysical influences of fibroblasts on cancer invasion in a tumor-stroma on a chip”

Erica Warkus
University of Hawaii
Sponsor: Dr. Yusuke Marikawa
“In vitro embryoid body morphogenesis to reduce animal usage burdens in teratogenicity testing and pharmaceutical drug development”