2024 Rising Researcher Request for Proposals


The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is pleased to announce a call for research proposals from outstanding postdoctoral researchers committed to developing into independent scientists focused on advancing the health of dogs. This award supports research in areas of need in canine health while developing the careers of promising scientists who will be tomorrow’s leaders in canine health research. 

Research Focus Area

Applicants may submit proposals in support of any of CHF’s 23 Research Program Areas. Research projects should investigate canine disease processes, apply fundamental knowledge to develop solutions to canine health problems, or explore outcomes-based solutions in the clinical setting or any combination thereof. Priority will be given to studies that address demonstrated areas of need, foster critical discoveries, or have outcomes that impact canine health care and enable dogs to live healthier lives.

Project Budget

Both Acorn ($30,000 maximum including 8% maximum indirect costs) and Oak ($30,000+ including 8% maximum indirect costs) grant proposals that can be completed within the budget will be accepted for review.

Rising Researcher Principal Investigator applicants may request salary support for their research activities related to the proposed project if well-justified in the grant narrative and reasonable by the outlined work to meet the project's goal. 

Project Period

This award provides up to 3 years of support. Exceptions and extensions may be approved under unique circumstances. With CHF and Institutional approval, the Rising Researcher Grant Award can transfer with the Principal Investigator, if necessary. 

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria 

  • The Rising Researcher will serve as the Principal Investigator and must have a PhD, DVM, VMD or equivalent professional or clinical doctorate degree from an accredited school. At the time of award, applicants must not hold a faculty appointment.
  • Applicants must have the written Letter of Support of a mentor who is an Associate or Full Professor who holds a permanent academic appointment, maintains an active canine health research program, and is committed to mentoring the Rising Researcher to launch an independent research career.
  • Applicants must be able to devote a minimum of 6 calendar months (50 percent of the year) worth of full-time professional effort to the proposed project.
  • Applicants should not have other pending or funded CHF grant project proposals. Awardees are only eligible for a single Rising Researcher award, as it is expected that recipients will transition into independent research positions. 
  • Research project and career development objectives will both be considered in the review of the application. Applicant must provide a Cover Letter describing specific career goals, milestones in their research career, and how they plan to address career development and requisite skills to become an independent investigator in canine health. 
  •  A Letter of Support from the applicant’s identified mentor must demonstrate the mentor’s commitment to the candidate’s development into an independent investigator. The mentor’s letter should address the candidate’s salary request as it relates to the budget justification for this project in addition to the candidate’s qualifications, career goals, and comprehensive plan to develop into an independent investigator. This letter must also include a statement that the mentor has reviewed the application before submission.
  • A Letter of Assurance must be provided from the institution’s Dean or Departmental Chair. The support letter must clearly address how the requested salary support is in accordance with the department/university compensation schedule. The letter should address the time that the applicant has devoted to the project and academic, clinical, teaching, or other obligations for development into an independent researcher. Factors considered also include resources available to the applicant, including but not limited to mentorship, space, equipment, core facility resources, materials & supplies, travel, and publication costs.
  • Research proposals must be in line with the AKC Canine Health Foundation's mission to advance the health of all dogs by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease.
  • Instructions can be found on the Grant Submission and Report Template webpage and must be followed. Conformance to application requirements is enforced, and submissions that do not comply may be declined or delayed. Projects must strictly adhere to the Foundation's Humane Use of Animals Policy and eligibility requirements. While not required, applicants are strongly encouraged to fully address the suggested criteria provided in blue font in the application template. 

Application Deadline

The 2024 Rising Researcher application is open until Tuesday, December 31st, 2024, at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Applications will be reviewed and awards may be determined on a rolling basis upon submission.


Administrative and scientific inquiries regarding this RFP should be directed to Programs Staff at chfgrants@akcchf.org or the appropriate contacts listed below.

Stephanie Montgomery, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Chief Executive Officer

Email: stephanie.montgomery@akcchf.org

Andrea Fiumefreddo, MS

Chief Operating Officer

Email: arf@akcchf.org

ACORN: For studies up to $30,000 including 8% maximum indirect costs

OAK: For studies >$30,000 including 8% maximum indirect costs

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