ASP Melinda Novak Primate Welfare Grant

Application Deadline: June 14, 2024

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. Award amounts are up to $2000. Applications may be submitted starting April 15, 2024.

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.
  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 (

This grant is administered by the Primate Care Committee. Chairs: Lisa Reamer & 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 this grant again?

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.

  • 2023 – Missy Painter, “Exploring conspecific vocalization playback as a primate welfare tool”
  • 2022 – Tabor Whitney, “Associations between ecological attributes, the gut microbiome, intestinal inflammation and their impact on the welfare of mantled howlers in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico”