One of our main goals is to encourage organizations and individuals to use evidence to guide their actions on behalf of animals. We address that goal in many ways, from producing summaries of existing research to conducting original studies. We also encourage organizations to expand and improve their self-assessment methods through our Survey Guidelines project.
However, not all research can effectively be done by the organizations carrying out advocacy programs or even by a charity evaluation organization like ACE. Some research requires highly specialized training or access to resources through a university. Even research that doesn’t necessarily require such resources can benefit from the involvement of academic researchers who bring their knowledge and reputation to the project.
We believe academic researchers at all levels, from undergraduate thesis students to tenured professors, have the interest and the ability to make meaningful contributions to animal advocacy. One challenge for such researchers is that they may be unaware which specific topics and research questions could produce the most valuable information to help animals. Many topics related to animal advocacy are under-studied and present a wide array of questions for researchers to address. Those questions that are most easily or naturally addressed from an academic point of view may not, however, also be the questions that have the most immediate practical implications.
To aid researchers in understanding the types of studies that would have immediate practical implications for our work, and which we believe should have practical implications for the animal advocacy community as a whole, we have drafted a list of research proposals that address questions we find interesting but that we do not have the capacity to approach in the near future. These brief proposals are intended to serve as starting points for interested researchers; we have not attempted to predict the many constraints and concerns that will inform the final study designs.
Do you have a different idea of something that would be particularly valuable to examine? Do you know an academic who might be willing to work with us on research like this? Please reach out and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!