IVVN Launches Fifth Round of Pump-Priming Grant Funding

08 Feb 2024

The International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN) has opened applications for its fifth round of pump-priming grant funding. 

Collaborative teams of IVVN members can now apply for pump-priming grants of up to £100,000 to support their vaccine research, in order to improve the development of vaccines for livestock and zoonotic diseases in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). Proposals for pump-priming projects should be aimed at overcoming key bottlenecks in vaccine development, and successful grants will be awarded through a competitive application process led by the IVVN Network Management Board. 

The IVVN has funded 13 innovative projects through its pump-priming funding scheme. Many of these projects have been led by early career researchers and they exemplify the impactful contributions these grants can make to the field of veterinary vaccine development. IVVN members are encouraged to submit an application for funding and continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the fight against infectious diseases affecting livestock and humans worldwide. 

For further details and application submission, click here. The closing date for applications is 29 April 2024. 

Projects from Previous Rounds 

Low-cost thermostabilisation of a Rift Valley Fever vaccine for veterinary use 
Funding Round One – January 2018 

Researchers involved in the project:   

  • Prof George Warimwe, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya 
  • Dr Alexander Douglas, Jenner Institute, UK 
  • Dr Michael J Francis, Biovacc Consulting Ltd, UK 

The project successfully developed a low-cost thermostabilisation method for the Rift Valley Fever vaccine (ChAdOx1 RVF), offering two viable distribution options outside the cold chain. The liquid formulation remains stable for a week at 30°C or a month at 20°C, and the lyophilized version stays stable for at least six months at 30°C. Published in Vaccines journal (2021), these findings promise improved vaccine distribution in challenging environments, particularly benefiting LMICs. 

Efficacy testing of novel immersion and oral vaccines for Aeromonas hydrophila in Tilapia and Vietnamese catfish 
Funding Round Two – November 2018 

Researchers involved in the project:   

  • Dr Thao Ngo, Biotechnology Center of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 
  • Prof Dang Thi Hoang Oanh, Can Tho University, Vietnam 
  • Prof Alaa Eldin Eissa, Cairo University, Egypt 
  • Prof Alexandra Adams, University of Stirling, UK 
  • Dr Kerry Bartie, University of Stirling, UK 
  • Dr Andrew Desbois, University of Stirling, UK 
  • Prof Dirk Werling, Royal Veterinary College, UK 
  • Dr Callum Scott, Benchmark Animal Health Ltd, UK 

The project addressed Aeromonas hydrophila-related diseases in tilapia and Vietnamese catfish. By testing easily administered immersion and oral vaccines, the team aimed to reduce antibiotic reliance in aquaculture, leading to the development of a successful formalin-inactivated whole-cell vaccine. The project ended with a virtual workshop, bringing together 68 IVVN members from 28 countries to share their insights and outcomes from the pump-priming grant.  

Isolation and Purification of Nairobi Sheep Disease Virus (NSDV)  
Funding Round 3 - October 2019 

Researchers involved in the project:   

  • Dr Caroline Wasonga, University of Nairobi, Kenya  
  • Dr Joel Lutomiah, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya  
  • Dr Jennifer Duncan, University of Liverpool, UK  
  • Dr Michael Muthamia Kiraithe, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Kenya  
  • Dr Allan Ole Kwallah, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya  
  • Edna M Ondari, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya 

Addressing the severe impact of NSDV on sheep and goats, this initiative genetically characterised NSDV, leading to the development of an inactivated vaccine candidate. The double-shot vaccine demonstrated potential in effectively shielding animals from NSDV attacks. 

Discovery of T Cell Epitopes of the Intracellular Parasite Babesia bovis  
Funding Round 4 - April 2020 

Researchers involved in the project: 

  • Dr Silvina Wilkowsky, National Agricultural Technology Institute, Argentina 
  • Dr Nicola Ternette: University of Oxford, UK  
  • Magali Valenzano, National Agricultural Technology Institute, Argentina 
  • Professor Morten Nielsen, University of San Martin. Argentina 

Focusing on bovine babesiosis, this project identified T-cell epitopes of B. bovis crucial for the bovine immune response. The discovery of antigenic sequence candidates for new-generation vaccines is a significant step in combating this tick-borne disease. 

Details about other projects funded by our pump-priming scheme can be found here.