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The mission of the APDT Foundation is to provide funding for applied scientific research on dog training and behavior and to further increase the knowledge base of the dog training profession. The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Goals and Objectives

The APDT Foundation will support undergraduate, graduate, and faculty academic research in a field related to applied behavior, including behavior analysis, ethology, and cognition. Preference will be given to proposals that contain research questions that will have practical application for professional dog trainers and behavior consultants. Preference will also be given to proposals that include collaboration with the dog training and behavior community, specifically companion dog trainers who work with dog owners. We highly encourage proposals that create canine science outreach and education opportunities.


The APDT Foundation will offer up to 5 grants annually of $2500 each. All grants will be made in US dollars. A progress report will be due 6 months from the date of the first award, and a final report after 12 months.

Indirect costs or overhead will not be awarded but may be considered on a project-by-project basis (along with travel expenses and temporary staff salaries). Research must be completed within 2 years of receipt of the award.


Please read the conditions of eligibility listed below. Proposals must meet these criteria to be considered.

  1. The proposing institution must be either:
    A. An accredited degree-granting college or university with non-profit status and awarding degrees at the baccalaureate level or above.
    B. A research institution with non-profit status.
  2. All qualifying institutions are eligible without regard for geographic location.
  3. Proposals that are incomplete, inaccurate, request funds in excess of the maximum award available, or are otherwise not responsive to the terms and conditions of this RFP will not be considered.
  4. Proposals from APDT Foundation Board of Trustee members, committee and task force chairs, vice chairs and members and APDT contract employees will not be considered.
  5. Proposing institutions must have animal welfare assurance(s) to receive disbursement of grant funds; please reference the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare for more information. The APDT Foundation Board of Trustees strongly prefers that ethical clearances/approvals are in place at the time of application and are submitted with ALL research project grant applications.
  6. The receiving institution must agree that grants must be made as unrestricted gifts and will not be subject to indirect costs or overhead charges (unless approved by the APDT Foundation).
  7. Projects can have multiple Principal Investigators but a primary contact should be indicated with the proposal. We also ask that all additional collaborators be noted.

Submission Process

Proposals will be accepted in electronic form only at

Submission Format

The Complete proposal should contain full detail on the proposed project. 4,000 words maximum in a Microsoft Word or MS Word-compatible file. The 4,000 words do not include references, publications and Principal Investigator and collaborate qualifications, which can be listed in a separate section at the end of the proposal. Please do NOT send PDFs. Proposals exceeding the word limit pages will be disqualified. Please number all pages and font size should be 12 point with double line spacing.

Proposal contents: Proposals should address each of the items below under separate numbered headings.

  1. Applicant Detail and Summary
    1. Brief summary and contact information. Applicants must provide full contact information for principal investigators, collaborators, sponsoring institution, amount requested, and a brief abstract (250 words maximum). Please make this a cover page separate from the rest of the proposal. Please include a title for your proposal.
  2. Project Detail
    1. Research Design:
      1. What is the specific research question this study will address?
      2. What is the research area addressed by the proposal and why is it important?
      3. Give a brief summary of the current state of the field including references where appropriate and how the proposed project will address a specific research question.
      4. How will you evaluate the data and what statistical analysis will you use?
      5. Is this a pilot project or a longitudinal study?
        A. If a longitudinal study, how will this project be sustained financially after the grant funds end?
        B. If a pilot project, what is the long term plan?
      6. How will your research design ensure the welfare of the dogs in the study?
    2. Expected outcomes:
      1. Explicitly state the goals and objectives of the project.
      2. What tangible results if any will be created or produced as a result of the proposed project?  How could the expected results of this study be applied to increasing welfare or quality of life for dogs?
      3. How can companion dog trainers and behavior consultants benefit from the results?
      4. What is the potential contribution to the field of dog training and behavior consulting of the project if successful?
    3. Schedule:
      i. When is the project to be started and completed?
      ii. What milestones will be used to measure progress of the project and when will they be completed?
    4. Dissemination: How will the results of this project be disseminated?
    5. Use of Funds/Budget:
      1. Provide a detailed budget ($US) describing how the award will be used, including purchases of supplies, salaries and other costs.
        • The budget should be presented as a table with the total budget request indicated.
        • The budget should be an overall project budget where cost sharing, institutional and foundation funds should be clearly identified.
        • Indirect costs or overhead will not be awarded but may be considered on a project-by-project basis (along with travel expenses and temporary staff salaries).
        • Budget can be a separate page, preferably using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel.
        • Please include a budget justification for all line items of the project.
    6. Qualifications:
      • Principal Investigator(s): Include a brief description of any relevant prior research, teaching, publication or other professional experience. List all relevant publications.
      • Collaborators: Include a brief description of any relevant prior research, teaching, publication or other professional experience. List all relevant publications.

Selection Process and Criteria

All proposals in compliance with the eligibility criteria and received by the deadline will be reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts chosen by the APDT Foundation and which may include outside experts. Based on the evaluations by the board of trustees, the APDT Foundation will select the most worthy proposals for funding. The APDT Foundation reserves the right to fund winning proposals at an amount greater or less than the amount requested up to the stated maximum amount for individual awards.

Authors of winning proposals will be required to grant the APDT Foundation permission for the use of their name, image, institutional affiliation and related professional information in press releases or other media. The APDT Foundation may also request periodic reports (technical & public) on the status of funded projects. All proposals will be evaluated based upon the following criteria:

  1. Research design
  2. Expected outcomes
  3. Practical application for dog trainers and behavior consultants
  4. Schedule and time scale
  5. Clearly defined use of funds/budget
  6. Plan for dissemination
  7. Evaluation
  8. Qualifications of P.I. and team

Schedule and Deadlines

  • Announcement of RFP – January 2024
  • Early Bird Submission – April 9, 2024
  • Deadline for submissions – May 2, 2024
  • Grant award notification – May 23, 2024
  • First technical progress report due – December 6, 2024
  • Final technical progress report due – June 2, 2025


Upon publication of this research, the APDT Foundation will distribute the results of these studies via the APDT Foundation website, and to the dog training community through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ magazine, The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. Results will be provided to the APDT Foundation 90 days after the research project’s final technical progress report deadline in a format that is appropriate for professional dog trainers, behavior consultants and the public.  The APDT Foundation will also present the research to the APDT for possible invitation of the researchers to attend the APDT Annual Educational Conference to present in poster or lecture format.

Contact information

All proposals will be submitted to For more information about this RFP contact