Call for Proposals


The Center for Human-Animal Interaction provides research support to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) faculty members and VCU faculty-sponsored dissertations for studies that directly relate to the Center’s mission: improved health and well-being through human-animal interaction. The maximum amount available for supporting research will be determined annually by the Center’s Executive Committee. Research proposals must have clearly defined hypotheses, well-designed methodology, and appropriate statistical analysis that will lead to further research with a high likelihood of receiving external funding.


Funding preference will be given to tenured, tenure-track, or collateral full-time faculty. Applications from non-tenured faculty must be accompanied by a letter from the Department Chair confirming that the faculty member is considered permanent and continuing.


Please note that we are not accepting new applications during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Application Review

The Center Research Review Committee (CRRC) will complete review of proposals within six weeks of the submission deadline. The CRRC will assign a score (0-10) to each proposal based upon: relationship to the Center’s mission, likelihood to advance the field of human-animal interaction, scientific quality, level of current funding, and likelihood of leading to external funding. Applicants will receive written notice of committee decisions from the Chair of the CCRC.

Suggested Research Topics

Suggested areas of research include, but are not limited to the evaluation of AAT or companion animals and:

  • Physical benefits (cardiovascular, motor skill coordination, cognitive/perceptual)
  • Psychosocial benefits (loneliness, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, stress reduction)
  • Special populations (autistic children, abuse survivors, elderly, physically challenged)
  • Unique settings (psychiatric institutions, prisons, rehabilitation programs, workplace)