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WALTHAM® Human-Animal Interaction (HAI) Research Program

WALTHAM science and publications in the area of human-animal interaction have been instrumental in helping to understand the special relationship between pets and people. 

The WALTHAM® Human-AnimalInteraction (HAI) Research Program is pleased to announce the availability of £340,000 (approx $US524,000) in 2015 to fund high quality research into “the impact of companion animals on human cognition or academic outcomes”.

Although animals are often included in educational settings for a variety of purposes, there is little empirical research documenting the efficacy of such practices. In the absence of an assessment system for these activities there are significant gaps in our understanding of the potential impact of animals on measures of academic success. Fundamental research is required to provide an evidence base to inform practice and guide educators and administrators on when, and under what circumstances, animal presence or animal ownership may be pedagogically valuable.

Specific areas of research eligible for funding under this call include but are not limited to the following categories:

  • Reading/literacy
  • Academic learning outcomes
  • Aspects of cognition (executive function, memory, learning, categorization, language etc.)
  •  Stress/anxiety reduction
  • Classroom behaviours impacting academic success
  • Physical activity and cognition/learning
  • Typical and/or special populations (e.g. ADHD, autism spectrum, etc.)
  • Letter of Intent: Prior to submitting a formal application, investigators are required to submit a Letter of Intent to Dr. Nancy Gee ( by June 1, 2015.
  • Application: The application deadline is June 31, 2015.