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.


Joost Brinks
Joost Brinks
Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands
Sponsor: Dr. C.J.F. Boon
“The role of corticosteroids in the pathogenesis of central serous chorioretinopathy”

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”

Ali Keshavaz
Ali Keshavaz
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Sponsor: Dr. Fakhrul Ahsan
“A micropattern-engraved two-compartment tissue-chip as a non-animal model for studying right ventricular hypertrophy induced by pulmonary arterial hypertension”

Sarah Stuart
Sarah Stuart
University of Melbourne, Royal Melbourne Hospital
Sponsor: Dr. Rod Luwor
“Using brain tumor organoids to evaluate efficacy of novel inhibitors”

Ilona Sunyovski
Ilona Sunyovski
National Heart and Lung Institute, London
Sponsors: Dr. Cesare Terracciano and Dr. Molly Stevens
“Vascularized three-dimensional constructs for CRISPR/dCas9-monitored cardiac maturation in vitro”

Aline Zbinden
Aline Zbinden
University of Tubingen, Germany
Sponsor: Dr. Katja Schenke-Layland
“Towards clinical studies on mature β-cell drug testing platform”