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The Research Award aims to support veterinary/biology/ecology projects investigating aspects of health and disease in Australasian wildlife. Up to five research stipends of up to $2000 are awarded annually, to members of the WDA-A Section.

The Applicant/s will be awarded on the understanding that funds will be used to meet the running costs of a project and not for salaries or major equipment. 

A panel of 4 WDA-A members will review the applications and choose the successful applicant/s. Closing date for the WDA-A Research Award applications generally is around March-April with the award made in April-May.

Award holders will be expected to present their findings at an annual conference of the Australasian Section of the Wildlife Disease Association and to acknowledge the Section Research Fund in any presentations or publications.

Applications for the 2022 WDA-A Research Award are open. Closing date 30th April, 2022. 

Research Award

Winners of the 2021 Research Award

Due to our commitment to supporting our members and their research, particularly in this uncertain time, it was decided to award grants of $2000 to five applicants this year. The successful applicants and projects are:

Josephine E. Humphries, PhD Candidate at Griffith University - 'Assessing the impact of metamorphosis on the susceptibility of Fleay’s Barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) to chytridiomycosis using immunologic and transcriptomic analyses.'

Kerri Morgan and Emily Short, Massey University - ‘Ultrasonic determination of yolk sac size in kiwi chicks.’

Christina Næsborg-Nielsen, PhD candidate, University of Tasmania - 'The restoration and recovery of the skin microbiome in response to disease control in bare-nosed wombats.'

Luisa Helena Monteiro de Miranda and Andrew McPherson, Sydney University - ‘A descriptive analysis of the nasal microbiota and mycobiota of free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) and its correlation with local cytokine expression and establishment of Cryptococcus infection.'

Melanie Wells, PhD Candidate of the University of Tasmania - ‘A pilot program to quantify the uptake of persistent organic pollutants by little penguins along the Tasmanian coastal urban fringe.'

How to Apply

Applications for the Research Award are requested, via an email to WDA-A members, each year around February - April. 

Conditions of the Award

  • Applicant must be a current WDA-A member at the time of application

  • Application to be made by the individual conducting the research

  • Monies to be used to fund the project and not for salaries or major equipment

  • Results to be presented at annual meeting of the Australasian Section

  • Section to be acknowledged in any publication of results.

All those who have applied unsuccessfully in previous years are encouraged to submit proposals again if their projects are still running or able to be run.

A panel of 4 members will review the applications and choose the successful applicant.


Application details
Project outline should be brief and concise (one A4 page excluding references) and include: 

  • a title, 

  • a description of the project and its expected duration, 

  • a budget including any other support expected for the project and 

  • the name (s) and occupation(s) of the principle investigator(s)

  • If part of a larger project (e.g. PhD), please indicate specifically what the funds would be used for.

Note: Submissions that are longer than 1 A4 page (excluding references) will not be considered.

Selection criteria for the Award

Merit: What is the intrinsic merit of the proposed project to wildlife health? How worthwhile would the project be if it did what it set out to do? For example, is there a target species? If so, what is its conservation status? What is the threat posed by the disease?
Scoring range 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Relevance and Scope: What is the relevance of the project to this threat? How likely is this project to do what it sets out to do? Is the proposed research well focused, can the anticipated results be applied and has there been care and clarity (writing/thinking) in the preparation of this proposal?
Scoring range 1 (low) to 5 (high).

Support: If this project is worthwhile by your assessment and already funded, would a “top-up” of $2000 boost it into another realm of value and benefit to wildlife health?
Scoring range 0 to 1.

The value for the Support category has been chosen in order not to penalise unduly those who do not have other funding for their proposed project.

Applications are to be submitted in electronic format to Brett Gartrell (at and should briefly and concisely detail (one A4 page) the project outline, principal investigators and an anticipated budget breakdown. If part of a large project (e.g. PhD) indicate specifically what the funds would be used for.

Applications for the 2022 WDA-A Research Award are open. Closing date 30th April, 2022. 

Please note: Awards should be exempt from tax and administrative charges of individuals or organisations receiving the grant. It is expected that Award holders will obtain permission for any work that requires animal ethics committee or environmental government authority approval.

Previous WDA-A Research Award Winners

IMG_2287 turtle.jpg

Image courtesy of Laura Grogan


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