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Animal Behavior Studies Funding Opportunities

Radio Systems Corporation (RSC) is now accepting pre-proposals for research projects in the following areas:

A) To determine if water intake by cats is increased when drinking from free-falling fountains as compared to circulating drinking bowls and standard still-water bowls. The total funding for each project will be up to $25,000. Smaller and student projects with budgets of approximately $3,000 - $5,000 are also encouraged under the supervision of a qualified PI.

B) To determine if access to treat-dispensing Busy Buddy toys (manufactured by RSC) results in behavioral and/or cognitive benefits to dogs (with and/or without pre-existing behavior problems). The total funding for each project will be up to $25,000. Smaller and student projects with budgets of $3,000 - $5,000 are also encouraged under the supervision of a qualified PI.

C) To explore the implications (as evidenced by positive or negative behavioral and/or physiological changes) of using Remote Training Collars (static/shock) manufactured by RSC (and perhaps other manufacturers) with dogs. Dimensions of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Characteristics of the human user (level of expertise, experience, compliance with protocols, etc.)
  • Characteristics of the dog (temperament, breed type, behavioral history, age, etc.)
  • Parameters of the electrical stimulation (intensity, duration, frequency, etc.)
  • Parameters of the various product features

Priority will be given to studies that address off-leash pet obedience training and behavior problems and which impact on quality of life of the dog. The total funding for each project will be up to $200,000.

All Pre-Proposals must include a testable, clearly defined hypothesis with adequate sample size and controls. (Invited full proposals must include brief explanations of materials and method and how the results will be statistically analyzed.)

Who can apply for RSC project funding?

Applications are invited from any organization, institution, interest group or individual who can meet the application requirements. While these are mainly targeted towards those in academic institutions with access to departmental resources, support and expertise, other organizations and individuals working in the field of feline and canine behavior and training, welfare etc. may also be eligible and are encouraged to apply. Such projects may also be funded if appropriate study supervision and IACUC review (see below) can be arranged. To see if your project or that of your organization, institution or interest group's project may be eligible, please e-mail RSC at studies@petsafe.net informally in the first instance and we will be glad to advise, and assist likely potential candidates with their application.

Download Pre-Proposal Submission Form

Approval by Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent

All prospective research studies funded by RSC must receive full approval from the PI’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or equivalent research review entity before funds are released, although applications may be made in advance of submission to the IACUC or equivalent review entity. If IACUC (or equivalent) approval is pending at the time of full proposal submission to RSC, proof of subsequent complete approval must be made available to RSC before funds will be released for the research project.

Student Proposal Requirements

In addition to the above, student proposals must also include a letter from a sponsoring faculty member affirming that the student is in good standing with the institution, confirming that the student is competent to conduct the study as proposed, and outlining the resources available to the student for the project.

Funding Conditions

Research funds may be requested for student stipends, research assistants/technicians, statistical assistance, animal per diem, essential basic equipment, materials, supplies, study-related travel, recruitment costs, relevant consultant fees, participant incentives, publication costs, etc.

Funds may not be used for student tuition, investigator, co-investigator or clerical support salaries or major equipment purchases. Institutional indirect costs will be limited to a maximum of 10% above the direct project cost. If indirect costs are to be paid, then budget line items may not include administrative overheads, facility costs, regulatory compliance, etc.

Upon completion of project, an additional request may be made for funding to cover presentation related expenses, including travel to professional meetings or conventions. RSC shall provide RSC-manufactured, and potentially other ECMA approved products, to be utilized/tested, and/or authorization and funding to purchase additional products as needed.

Completion Date

The full project, or portions of the project for which funding is requested, should ideally be completed within one calendar year upon receipt of funds. (If the project includes potential long-term follow-up studies after completion of the initial study, then separate individual proposals may be submitted subsequently for consideration for funding by RSC).


The review process, both pre-proposals and final proposals, will be confidential. Submitted proposals will not be shared outside of our Research Panel. For a listing of our expert panelists, read about our Research Panel.

Selected investigators are required to:

  • Provide a written 300-word research update to RSC at the end of the project period.
  • Provide a 600-word final research summary suitable for publication in media targeted at the general public no later than 12 months after the end of the project period.
  • If appropriate, submit the results of their studies for publication in a peer-reviewed journal as well as present the findings at an appropriate scientific conference.


Deadline: Completed pre-proposal applications must be received by June 30, 2012.



(Final proposals – by invitation only – must be received within 90 days from the date of invitation, tentatively November 15, 2012).

Please direct any questions via email to studies@petsafe.net. For telephone inquiries, contact Jim Tedford at (865)-824-5240. Do not use the customer service or media contact numbers on this page.