The House Rabbit Society Research Grant Program

profile of rabbit under chair

House Rabbit Society is excited to announce the HRS Research Grant Program (HRSRGP). The purpose of this new program is to encourage academic inquiry and humane research into domestic rabbits–their health, their welfare, their care and behavior, and their relationship(s) with humans. The program funds research in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities.

Through sustained investment in rigorous research, HRS hopes to work as a catalyst to advance global knowledge of rabbits as well as rabbit-human interactions.

Application Criteria

We welcome applications from compassionate, dedicated scholars and students, either affiliated with a university, veterinary school, veterinary clinic, or as a postdoc or independent scholar, who seek to improve the lives of rabbits. Award amounts range from $5,000 to $7,500 per grant and are accepted all year long.

Questions the HRS Research Grant Committee will consider when evaluating applications

1. How will the project impact rabbit lives? And how will it contribute to and further non-invasive, beneficial research on domestic rabbits?

2. Will this project advance our knowledge and understanding about rabbits, or about the relationships between humans and rabbits?

3. Is the proposed project methodologically sound? Are the methods articulated clearly, or plainly and understandably implicit?

4. Is the literature review current and adequate?

5. What are your plans for the publication of the research?

6. Is the applicant’s research experience, credentials and institutional and program environment adequate to manage the project? (We need to ensure that the applicant can not only carry out the project, but can publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal.)

7. Has the research project has been approved (or is intended to be approved) by an Institutional Review Board or IACUC?

8. What are the measures that are in place to protect rabbits (and/or any other animals) during your research?

9. What are the ways, other than publication in a peer-reviewed journal, that you plan to promote the results of your research? (We are especially keen to fund research that will have real-world positive impacts on rabbits; so disseminating the results of the research to the non-academic world is important to us.)

Examples of areas that research questions could be based on

  • Aggression and fear
  • Behavior problems
  • Caretaker understanding of rabbit behavior
  • Enrichment
  • Feral and free-roaming rabbits
  • Group behavior
  • Health issues by breed
  • Housing options
  • Husbandry methods
  • Impact of rabbits on human health and behavior
  • Litter safety
  • Rabbit abandonment
  • Rabbit adoption
  • Rabbit breeders, rescuers, or others who live or work with rabbits
  • Rabbit breeding and sales
  • Rabbit caretakers
  • Rabbit diseases
  • Rabbit-human interactions
  • Rabbit-other animal interactions
  • Rabbits in history
  • Rabbits in literature, film, myth, or popular culture
  • Rabbits in shelters
  • Rabbits under the law
  • Training

Reporting Requirements

Data should be made available to both HRS and to the relevant scholarly repository at the University or organization whether or not the study is approved for publication. The winner may also be invited to present their research findings in a lecture or other public event for HRS.

HRS policies with respect to the use of animals in research and society

  • House Rabbit Society does not support or align itself with any group or individual promoting rabbits as food animals, laboratory tools or fur animals.
  • House Rabbit Society is dedicated to prolonging quality life for rabbits. Euthanasia is recommended ONLY when irreversible animal suffering is involved and NEVER for owner convenience.
  • Although House Rabbit Society is involved in health research, all HRS health research is done by compilation of existing data and necropsy results. HRS “experiments” only prescriptively to save sick animals and bring about recovery. No animal is ever “sacrificed” for any reason.
  • Domestic rabbits are companion animals and should be afforded at least the same individual rights, level of care, and opportunity for longevity as commonly afforded to dogs and cats who live as human companions.
  • House Rabbit Society does not fund research which involves pain, suffering, or death of the animal.

If you are interested in applying to the program, please visit our application here.