Advancing Science with Compassion and Innovation

We are seeding the science community of today to create a more just science of tomorrow.

Our Mission

Our mission is to fundamentally change the course of science by incorporating respect and compassion for animals along with the pursuit of knowledge.

Our History



IFER is founded as a joint venture by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), and New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) to support the development of practical, viable non-animal methods and models. While AAVS and NEAVS later funded their own ventures, NAVS made a commitment to continue with IFER and support the scientific grants awarded each year.


Scientific Advisory Board

IFER’s Scientific Advisory Board is established, comprising experts from the fields of academia, industry and government.


First Grant

The first IFER research grant is funded. Ruy Tchao, PhD, received a grant in support of his project, “Development of a Trans-epithelial Permeability Assay as an Alternative to the Draize Eye Test.”


World Congress Sponsorship

The World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences is established in Baltimore, Maryland. Every two to three years, this group brings together researchers and advocates from academia, industry, government, and non-profit organizations to advance the 3Rs—the replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use in the life sciences. IFER becomes a regular sponsor at the Third World Congress in 1998.


A Shift in Focus

IFER shifts its focus to funding early career researchers rather than principal investigators. Five grants were awarded to IFER Fellows that year.


50th Fellow

IFER funds its 50th fellow, Kaihua (Chloe) Chen, for her project: “In vitro studies of biophysical and molecular determinants of the blood-brain barrier during sepsis and systemic inflammation.”

IFER has provided more than $1.9 million in funding since its inception.


Funding the Future of Humane Science

Recipients of the annual Graduate Fellowships for Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Science recognize the significance of humane science. Through their work, these talented early career researchers are developing more human-relevant models to advance science and lessen reliance on animal experimentation. We are committed to support the outstanding graduate students who are working to promote the advancement of these methodologies that will spare animal suffering.


Principal Investigator Teams Funded


Years with Grants Totaling Over $700,000


Fellows Awarded Funds

Board of Directors

The International Foundation for Ethical Research is guided by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure the resources of IFER are used in the most efficient, professional and effective ways possible. Working together, they bring decades of experience in nonprofit management, finance, and legal expertise to the Foundation.

Peggy Cunniff

Former President, IFER
Executive Director Emerita, National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)

Peggy served on the Board of Directors when NAVS founded IFER and has continued to support the Foundation. Formerly the executive director of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, Peggy has also served as president of the National Council for Animal Protection and worked with numerous coalitions of animal advocacy organizations. Prior...

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Sylvia O. Decker

Retired attorney

Sylvia’s professional career stands in testament to the contributions of women leaders within the legal community. She was a vice president in the Personal Trust Administration of The Northern Trust Company who helped to advise her clients on their long-term financial plans and how to wisely invest for their future...

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Kenneth Kandaras

President, IFER
Executive Director, NAVS

Kenneth joined the NAVS Board of Directors in 1999 and served as its President from 2001 to 2018. Before joining IFER and NAVS, he was a professor of law and the director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the John Marshall Law School (now the UIC College...

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Thomas Moore


Thomas is a highly respected attorney who successfully represents his clients with skill, experience and passionate advocacy. He is also an advocate for the underdog and understands that animal protection is a logical extension of other respected social justice movements.

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Pamela Osenkowski, Ph.D.

Science Advisor, NAVS and IFER

Pamela advises for both NAVS and IFER. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Michigan and her doctorate in cancer biology at Wayne State University. She conducted her postdoctoral studies in Alzheimer’s disease at Harvard Medical School and is currently a senior lecturer in the biology...

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John Scheid


John has extensive experience as a litigator and successful negotiator who wholeheartedly endorses the mission of IFER. He especially appreciates that it serves as an effective bridge between people who care passionately about animals and those who work in science. He believes that implementing new advancements in technology offers the...

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