Primate Welfare Awards and Grants

Primate Welfare Presentation Award

Deadline: June 9, 2023

***For Reno’s 2023 hybrid meeting there will be an additional award given for virtual presentations.*** 

The American Society of Primatologists Primate Care Committee (PCC) will award one prize annually to an outstanding oral presentation or poster presentation given at the annual meeting. This award is intended to recognize high quality research that directly and significantly enhances the welfare and/or psychological well-being of captive nonhuman primates, or for research that provides a better understanding of the welfare of captive nonhuman primates.


The winner will receive a $150 cash prize AND a one-year membership to ASP (with electronic access to the American Journal of Primatology).

General Process:

Applicants for the Primate Welfare Award must register for the ASP meeting, submit their abstract for presentation, and during the registration process they must select the box indicating they will participate in the Primate Welfare Award competition.

Only after the Program Committee has accepted their abstract may applicants continue with the competition process. Once their abstract has been accepted, applicants must submit a written summary of the welfare value of their work. The application is available here.

The written applications will be reviewed prior to the annual ASP meeting by the Primate Care Committee (PCC). Members of the PCC will view the oral or poster presentations at the ASP conference by the qualified applicants to judge their presentations. The winner of the award will be announced at the ASP Closing Banquet.


To be eligible for the Primate Welfare Presentation Award the applicant needs to be the first author, and must give the oral presentation or be available to discuss the poster, but does not need to be present at the banquet to win. Anyone presenting their work at the ASP conference may apply. Individuals with or without terminal degrees (e.g., PhD, DVM) are eligible and those without such degrees are especially encouraged to apply. The written application and the project to be presented must be primarily the work of the first author.

Applicants may be entered in this competition and the ASP Student Competition simultaneously, but they will not be determined the winner for both.

Application Process:

The application is available here. The application includes a written description (no more than 500 words, excluding references) of the welfare value of your presentation (oral or poster) describing: how your research project enhances the welfare of captive nonhuman primates; how your research project could be applicable to other captive environments/primate species; and how your research project is innovative. Judges will consider the abstract, written description, and presentation/poster at the ASP conference in determining the award winner.  Contact the Co-Chairs of the Primate Care Committee, Lisa Reamer ( or Ori Pomerantz (, with any questions about the application process. 

Judging Criteria: 

Each presentation will be evaluated on the criteria listed below, using a five-point scale for each criteria. These scores will be summed to generate a score for each presentation. The presentation with the highest score will be selected as the winning presentation. In case of a tie, the Primate Care Committee will determine a single winner through discussion of the merit of the research.

Is the study well-designed?

  1. Have the data been appropriately evaluated?
  2. What is the extent of welfare or captive care impact?
  3. Does this increase our understanding of animal welfare?
  4. Is this information applicable to other facilities/species?
  5. Is the work innovative?
  • ASP 2022 – Josué Alejandro, Wildlife Research Center, Kyoto University. Podium presentation: “Behavioral and fecal glucocorticoid profiles in the formation of all female social groups of pygmy slow lorises (Nycticebus pygmeaus)”
  • ASP 2022 – Negin Valizadegan, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Podium presentation: “Blood microbiome compositions in humans and captive non-human primates and their variations in sensitivity to bacterial molecules”
  • ASP 2021 – Andrea Franklin, Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Podium presentation: “Functional analysis and treatment of disruptive behavior in a captive rhesus macaque”
  • ASP 2019 – Marissa Janavaris, Behavioral Services Unit at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Podium presentation: “Bedding as an enrichment strategy in group-housed Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis)”
  • ASP 2018 – Sarah J. Neal Webb, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Poster presentation: “Does (Group) Size Matter? Captive chimpanzee behavior as a function of group size and composition”
  • ASP 2016 – Ashley Edes, graduate student at The Ohio State University. Podium presentation: “Does proximity to the silverback increase allostatic load in zoo-housed Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) females?”
  • ASP 2015 – Dawn Abney, Charles River Laboratories – Safety Assessment Nevada. Poster presentation: “Strategies for successfully social housing incompatible cynomolgus macaque triads”
  • ASP 2014 – Melissa Truelove, a Lead Behavioral Management Specialist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Poster presentation: “Social interactions of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) through steps of pair caging introduction”

Melinda Novak Primate Welfare Grant (Awards ranging from $500 to $1500)

Application Deadline: extended to May 5, 2023

Applications Available: February 7, 2023

Funding for the ASP Primate Welfare Grant will be awarded to research projects designed to improve the lives of nonhuman primates in any setting (captive, semi-free ranging, and wild) which are highly impactful and innovative.

Proposal instructions:

All proposals should be formatted using the ASP Primate Welfare Grant application form which can be found here.

Projects must document full approval by their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or equivalent ethical research reviewing body, before funds are disbursed.

The grant recipient must submit a final report form (which will be provided with receipt of funds) to the Chair of the Primate Care Committee within 18 months of receiving funds. The report should highlight the recipient’s experiences and how the funds from ASP impacted their project.

  1. Applicants must be a current ASP Member. Membership in ASP for individuals from habitat or developing countries is FREE for those unable to pay dues. Please contact the ASP Treasurer for more details on complimentary membership. Please note that new and complimentary memberships can take up to a week to process.
  2. For an ASP Primate Welfare Grant application, you will need to provide two letters of recommendation. The online grant application will require the email addresses of your two letters of recommendation and automatically emails them with instructions on how to submit their letters. To ensure that the letters are received in time for review, these letters should be submitted within 2 weeks of the grant application deadline (due May 19, 2023).
  3. Undergraduate and graduate student applicants must have a sponsor/mentor. The sponsor/mentor does not need to be a member of ASP but should write one of the two letters of recommendation. Postdoctoral, junior faculty, and other professionals do not need a mentor to apply.
  4. The applicant must be officially affiliated with an institution that can assure that the funds are used appropriately (e.g., Primate Center, University, Foundation or established Field Program), funds will be distributed to the institution, not the individual.
  5. Grant proposals should be designed to test hypotheses relating to the development/piloting of new welfare-based ideas and the evaluation of their impact.  Examples include (but are not limited to) the evaluation of:  innovative enrichment and/or husbandry techniques; new clinical or behavioral treatments; improvements to positive reinforcement training; new technologies as welfare tools; new concepts that directly affect wild primate welfare; ways that the environment (space, structure, location, social composition, social network analysis, etc.) can affect behavior, health, and welfare; innovative, noninvasive methods of assessing health and well-being; etc. Proposals focused purely on conservation or basic research activities are not eligible as a welfare focus is required.
  6. Merit will be the primary criteria for the consideration of each grant. Specifically, we rate each application on 1) innovation and originality, 2) proposed research quality, 3), the methodological approach and feasibility of the proposed study, and 4) the potential impact of the proposed research.
  7. In the event of a tie, application origin (developing or primate range country) will be used as a tie breaker, as will a preference to applicants who have never received an ASP Primate Welfare Grant.
  8. Assurance should be given that if adjunct funding critical to the overall project does not arrive, the ASP funds will only be used for the proposed project.
  9. Field/Zoo/Sanctuary/Research Facility applications will be treated equally.
  10. Funds should not be used to support institutional overhead costs, build institutional infrastructure, to purchase institutional equipment that is typically provided by the sponsoring institution, or to cover publishing fees.
  11. Previously awarded applicants are not eligible to apply the following year after receipt of funding.
  12. For proposals that include an (optional) education or outreach component, applicants should describe the proposed activity and how they will evaluate the success of that activity.  

If you have any questions regarding your proposal’s suitability for funding, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or contact the Co-Chairs of the Primate Care Committee: Lisa Reamer ( and Ori Pomerantz (

I am doing a conservation-related project. Can I apply for an ASP Primate Welfare Grant?

If your project focuses primarily on conservation, you should apply for a conservation grant, not a welfare grant. Primate Welfare Grants should be designed to test hypotheses specifically about primate welfare. If your project is conservation-related welfare (such as introducing vaccines to a wild population), or you think it could impact captive welfare (such as looking at provisioned vs non-provisioned wild populations where direct implications could be made for captive populations in addition to using the data for conservation efforts), then the welfare grant is something you should consider.

Do I need recommendation letters?

Yes, for an ASP Primate Welfare Grant you will need two letters of recommendation and students will need to ensure that one of these letters is written by their sponsor/mentor. The online system will request the email addresses of your two letter-writers and automatically email them with instructions on how to submit their letters. To ensure that the letters are received in time for review, referees should submit their letters no later than 2 weeks after the grant application deadline.

My study has already begun. Can I apply for funds to reimburse myself?

No, grants are not awarded to replenish monies already spent. If you have already started your project, the only way you are eligible for an ASP Primate Welfare Grant is if you apply for portions of the project that will be implemented in the future.

My project is part of a larger, long-term study. The long-term study is well-funded, but I need additional supplies and/or personnel that are not covered in the larger program. Will an ASP Primate Welfare Grant cover these?

Yes, we welcome applications from long-term studies that have side projects or additional needs. If your proposal clearly shows the value of the project to primate welfare, it could be eligible.

How soon will I know if I’ve received a grant?

The ASP Primate Care Committee plans to announce grant awardees at each annual meeting. Winners are announced at the Business Meeting and at the Closing Banquet.

My project is rather small and not part of a larger or long-term project. The only funds I need would be covered entirely by an ASP Welfare Grant. Can I qualify for a grant?

Yes, it is not necessary for your project to be connected to a larger program. If the project is focused on primate welfare, is deemed feasible, and of high quality, you are encouraged to apply.

Which types of budget items will the Primate Welfare Grant fund?

In general, the Primate Welfare Grant can be used for project/research supplies, travel for research purposes, living costs while in the field, field assistants, etc. We do not fund overhead to universities, travel to scientific meetings, publishing fees, or equipment that should be available through the applicant’s institution.

Who can I contact for more information on the ASP Primate Welfare Grant program?

Lisa Reamer, Co-chair of the ASP Primate Care Committee. She can be contacted by email at

Is it permissible to apply for the welfare, conservation, and small general research grants in the same year? For example, may I apply for all and withdraw the welfare grant application if the conservation grant were to be funded?

Applicants may not submit duplicate, or essentially similar, grant applications to the ASP Primate Care, ASP Conservation, and ASP Research and Development committees for review within the same year, given the different focus of these three funding mechanisms. To discuss whether a project should be submitted as a welfare, conservation or research grant, contact one of the committee chairs.

I won an ASP Primate Welfare Grant, am I eligible to apply for another award?

Priority will be given to applicants who have never received an ASP Primate Welfare Grant and previously-awarded applicants are not eligible to apply the year following their receipt of funding.