Every year we receive applications for funding from researchers in universities and practices across the UK. We only support studies involving naturally occurring diseases where the anticipated results of the study will result in a change in diagnosis or management of small animal disease. Our selection process involves peer review by veterinary clinicians and researchers from around the world who give freely of their time to evaluate the applications. We give special thanks to them here. Their informed assessments are considered by our Grant Awarding Committee, which comprises veterinary academics and practitioners who have direct experience of companion animal diseases, to ensure that the research meets our criteria for funding and helps us achieve our mission.

The assessment process

Stage 1 – The application

Each application form has been designed to provide the information needed to enable our Grant Awarding Committee to consider the research proposal and decide whether it is suitable for funding. Before making an application, you are advised to read the Guide to Applying for a BSAVA PetSavers’ Grant and the terms and conditions applicable to the grant for which you are applying. The application form, guide, and terms and conditions for each grant type can be found on the relevant webpages when the application process is active. If you have any queries please contact us on petsaversadmin@bsava.com.

Once you have completed the application form it is a good idea to get someone else to read it in order to make sure that it is clear and contains all the required information.

Applications should be emailed to petsaversadmin@bsava.com by midnight on the closing date. The application form should be accompanied by the following:

  • A signed copy of the terms and conditions
  • A letter of support from the head of department or practice principle, indicating that they support the application
  • Details of ethical approval from a recognised ethics review panel.
  • Further guidance for this stage of the process can be found here.

Stage 2 – Preliminary review

All applications will be subject to preliminary review to make sure that they meet our funding criteria and ethical and legal requirements. Where this is not clear from the application, you may be contacted to provide further information before the application is considered further.

The preliminary review will also seek to flag up any concerns with the research proposal for further consideration by the committee. For example:-

  • Is the project likely to advance the understanding or management of a disease in small animals?
  • Are the results likely to benefit cats, dogs or other companion animals?
  • Can the work be carried out effectively using the available and requested facilities?
  • Are the investigators competent to carry out the work?
  • Can the work be completed within the specified time?
  • Are the costs realistic?
  • For student projects, what is the standard of student training?

Stage 3 – Peer review

Each application will be sent to at least two external reviewers for comment. Reviewers must have no conflicts of interest with any of the applicants, such as:

  • Being applicants or co-applicants in the current round of PetSavers’ grants
  • A close personal friendship
  • Being recent collaborators (within the last 2 years), or
  • Working in the same organisation
    Where a large number of applications are received, the Grant Awarding Committee will produce a shortlist by voting on the applications before they are sent out for external review. If you have not been short-listed you will be advised at this stage.


Stage 4 – Committee meeting

The shortlisted applications, preliminary and external reviews will be submitted to a meeting of our Grant Awarding Committee where each application is considered and scored against specific criteria. Members of the committee are required to reveal any potential conflicts of interest and abstain from voting if any are identified.

Committee meetings are held in the spring and autumn. MDR applications submitted by 31st August are considered in the spring, and CRP applications submitted by 31st January are considered in the autumn. Decisions on funding SRP applications are made within 6 weeks of the cutoff dates of 31st January, 30th April and 31st August.