laboratory glassware
The Michelson Prize & Grants in Reproductive Biology is a $75M program that exists to incentivize research through prize philanthropy and grant funding to rapidly develop a permanent, single-dose, nonsurgical sterilant for male and female cats and dogs.

Apply for a Michelson Grant

Scientists wishing to be considered for Michelson Grant funding for research in pursuit of nonsurgical sterilization methods for cats and dogs must submit a brief letter of intent (LOI). LOIs may be submitted at any time, and we aim to review all LOIs within one month of submission. To submit a letter of intent, please follow the steps below.

Step 1: Review our Online Resources

Found Animals provides valuable online resources to assist applicants in submitting successful letters of intent. The following resources must be reviewed prior to LOI submission: Investigators are encouraged, but not required, to review the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D)'s white paper entitled Contraception and Fertility Control in Dogs & Cats. This document provides information about advantages and limitations of current approaches.

Step 2: Prepare an LOI

An LOI must contain:
  • Investigator's name, institution, address, phone, email, and a title descriptive of the work proposed
  • Proposed approach for developing a single-dose, permanent, nonsurgical sterilant
  • Rationale for proposing this approach
  • Overview of required research (budget estimates not required)
  • Confirmation that the applicant has reviewed the resources outlined in Step 1 above
The LOI must be limited to three (3) typed pages, have 3/4 inch margins, use 11 point Arial or Helvetica font, and be submitted in English. Found Animals reserves the right to decline LOIs that do not conform to these guidelines. As a reference for applicants, Found Animals has created a fictional sample letter of intent, which is formatted to the LOI guidelines.

Sample Letter of Intent

Tips for Applicants:

  • Investigators should review the Michelson Grant Funding Criteria in order to familiarize themselves with current funding requirements.
  • At the time of submission, investigators should consider including reprints of all literature cited within their letters of intent, as well as any additional attachments that may be informative to reviewers.
  • When developing an approach, investigators are encouraged to keep in mind the mission of the Michelson Prize & Grants program, which is to reduce shelter euthanasia of pets with a single-dose, permanent, safe sterilant.
  • An injectable or implantable route of administration is preferred to oral, intranasal, or other formulations. LOIs pursuing bait or feed products will not be considered.
  • Though the board will consider approaches hypothesized to be effective in a single gender or species only, the potential product must represent a significant improvement over existing products in order for the proposal to be funded (information about current products is available on the ACC&D website).
  • For an unproven concept, we recommend proposing a small pilot/proof of concept study rather than a large project.
  • Preliminary data should be provided to justify the proposed approach. These data may have been generated in the applicant's laboratory, another laboratory, or may be referenced from the literature.
  • Investigators with controlled release technologies or other sophisticated delivery approaches are encouraged to consider potential collaborations. Email addresses are provided for all Michelson Grant-funded researchers on our Research Findings page.
  • The title of a letter of intent should be descriptive of the work proposed [i.e. Not: "A Nonsurgical Sterilant for Dogs and Cats"; But: "Destruction of Hypophyseal GnRH Receptors Using Intravenous Kryptonite: Proof of Concept Study in Mice"]
  • Applicants do not need to include information about pet overpopulation in their LOIs, as we are already aware of the magnitude of this problem.

Step 3: Submit an LOI

Send the LOI as an attachment to In the text of the email, we ask that applicants please indicate where they first learned about our grant funding.

Review Process

If an LOI is approved, investigators will be invited to submit a full grant proposal and will be provided with the guidelines for proposal submission. Foundation staff will work with applicants to determine a timely proposal deadline that is convenient for all parties. Feedback from Scientific Advisory Board reviewers is provided to applicants at both the LOI and proposal stages. Applicants may submit revised LOIs and proposals incorporating reviewer feedback only if invited to do so by the Foundation. Proposal resubmissions must be submitted within one year of the date of disapproval. Final decisions on grant funding are at the sole discretion of Found Animals. Upon approval of the Michelson Grant proposal, applicant institutions enter into grant agreements with Found Animals. Read more about Grant Agreements.