Research Planning Grants Recipients


  • Dozens of “burning questions” have been collected from advocates and activists.
  • The point of gathering these “burning questions” is to get academics to focus their research on them. In an ideal world, Tiny Beam Fund will fully fund any and all researchers who want to explore or undertake in-depth studies into these questions. Unfortunately, it does not have enough funds to do this – a vast amount of funds is needed because the burning questions cover a wide array of topics and academic fields.
  • Tiny Beam Fund has decided to concentrate on providing planning grants. Researchers with robust plans stand a much better chance of obtaining grants from governments and major funders. And grants to help with planning can be harder to come by than those for research projects that have done all the scoping and pilot work.
  • In a nutshell, the grants are aimed at (i) motivating researchers to pursue studies that shed light on the “burning questions”; (ii) supporting researchers who have started projects recently that are relevant to the “burning questions” but are still trying to secure enough funds to develop and sustain their projects.

Examples of activities for which these grants can be used

  • Hire graduate students to assist with preliminary literature surveys.
  • Obtain teaching “release time” to have more time to prepare proposals for government grants.
  • Undertake pilot studies that produce a “proof of concept” that lead to full studies.

Recipients of 2019 Research Planning Grants

Grants are offered to universities.
Quotes are excerpted from grant proposals.

Lille Catholic University (France)

Farmer-led strategies to resist factory farming in the Global South

The research project is about “understanding the dynamics of small-scale and industrial livestock production in emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and China, as well as regions of the world that have traditionally received less attention in ‘pro-poor’ agricultural development, such as parts of West Africa or East Africa”.

The project aims to:

  •  Understand both immediately recognizable forms of resistance to industrial livestock expansion (such as protest) and “everyday forms of resistance” (less dramatic acts such as non-compliance) that are employed by pastoralists and small-scale livestock farmers in rural and urban contexts.
  •  “Identify mechanisms through which livestock farmers and pastoralists in specific Global South locations may learn from farmers in other regions of the world about successful agricultural, advocacy, and/or policy strategies to resist industrial livestock development.”

University of Edinburgh (U.K.)

Alternative model to industrial poultry operations in South India involving the use of indigenous slower-growing poultry breeds

The project will:

  •  “Assess the viability of ‘country bird’ farming as an alternative to industrial poultry expansion in South India, and identify interventions that could help it succeed.”
  •  Assess whether a model developed for “local collaboration in South India – an approach that engages village-level veterinarians and farmer advocates as community educators and researchers” can be replicated for “international NGOs working on animal welfare issues in India”.
  •  “Conduct a landscape analysis of the contours and drivers of food animal production systems in Tamil Nadu, in order to inform interventions in India by international organizations, philanthropists, investors, and the Indian government itself that directly or indirectly enhance the welfare of farmed animals.”

University of Adelaide (Australia)

Globalization’s impact on industrial animal agricultural expansion and animal welfare in developing countries reliant on halal production practices

The research project seeks to understand the direct and indirect impact and interplay of several complex issues:

  •  Animal welfare concerns within halal slaughter practices
  •  International regulations (e.g. WTO law) and local rules affecting these practices
  •  International trade and export of meat as well as live animals from high-income countries to low and middle-income predominantly Muslim countries (e.g. Kuwait, Indonesia)
  •  Expansion of industrial-scale meat production in the latter

University of Waterloo (Canada)

Financial supports enabling factory farming industry to expand to emerging markets, and interventions that can impede the expansion

The research project will explore:

  •  “Financial supports that enable the factory farming industry to operate and expand (with a special focus on emerging markets like India).”
  •  “Viability and efficacy of various interventions advocates could pursue to impede the factory farming industry’s ability to expand into emerging markets.”

The research will look into issues such as: (1) “Analogs from disrupted industries” (e.g. horse and carriage, coal, newspapers). (2) “Investment guidelines for trusts” held by pension funds, faith-based organizations, governments. (3) “Examples of catastrophic financial events that have affected factory farming operations”. (4) “The financial risks investors (private public, and government) face when they are involved in factory farming” (e.g. lawsuits, food poisonings, human epidemics, waste regulation, animal cruelty scandals, climate disasters). (5) “How the capital from debt and equity investors flows into factory farms”.