Michelson Prize and Grants
The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology is an undertaking of the Found Animals Foundation to incentivize research in reproductive biology and other fields, with the ultimate aim of developing a permanent, single-dose non-surgical sterilant for male and female cats and dogs. The Michelson Prize & Grants program has designated $50 million in grant funding and a $25 million prize to the researcher(s) who can develop a product that meets the program’s criteria.
Further criteria for a winning non-surgical sterilant include: a product that is both safe and effective for male and female dogs and cats, can be administered without general anesthesia, ablates sex steroids and their effects, can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable cost, has a viable path to regulatory approval, and is suitable for administration in a field setting—all features that will enable animal shelters, animal welfare organizations, and public health groups to achieve the common goal of humanely reducing numbers of unwanted animals. Just as these stipulations reflect the Found Animals Foundation’s strong dedication to animal welfare, the Michelson Prize & Grants program has established high standards of animal welfare for any animals who take part in program-supported research to turn the vision of a non-surgical sterilant into reality.
In 2007, ACC&D brought the idea of a prize and related research funding for a non-surgical animal sterilant to Dr. Gary Michelson, who founded the Found Animals Foundation. Found Animals launched the Michelson Prize & Grants the following year, in doing so committing $75 million in grants and incentives for development. The existence of the Michelson Prize & Grants program has hugely energized the field of non-surgical animal sterilization, and continues to draw talented researchers from across multiple disciplines, including biology, neuroscience, veterinary medicine, and psychology, among others. Want to learn more about the work that’s underway? The Michelson Prize & Grants program offers profiles of current grantees and program-related research findings.
ACC&D is fortunate to collaborate with this innovative initiative in multiple capacities. Six individuals serve both as ACC&D Directors/Scientific Advisors and on the Michelson Prize & Grants Scientific Advisory Board. ACC&D partnered with Found Animals Foundation to host the 4th International Symposium on Non-Surgical Methods of Pet Population Control, which showcased research of several Michelson Grants recipients. Our 5th International Symposium also benefited from presentations by seven current grantees, who represent some of the most groundbreaking research in this field.
The Michelson Prize & Grants has not only infused vital funds into this field; it also conveys confidence that a permanent, one-time dose, affordable solution is achievable. For its commitment to advocacy and innovation, the program is an undeniable source of hope for the future of non-surgical sterilization and for the world of animal welfare as a whole.
(The Found Animals Foundation was established in 2005, with the mission of reducing shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats. In addition to creating the Michelson Prize and Grants program, Found Animals runs low-cost spay and neuter clinics, operates a cat adoption center, and offers microchip registry for owned animals.)