Become an AWF Trustee

We’re recruiting for new trustees

Would you like to be a trustee of the Animal Welfare Foundation? AWF is BVA’s animal welfare charity with a mission to use veterinary knowledge to improve the welfare of animals through research, education and debate.

We’re looking for 4 to 5 new trustees from the veterinary and animal welfare professions, from primary care through to academia and the commercial veterinary sector.

In addition to experience working in veterinary and animal welfare – we are also looking for people who possess one or more of the following skills: strategic planning, business leadership, knowledge of charity governance and finance, strong connections within the veterinary commercial sector and/or academia, an understanding of animal welfare legislation, experience of grant giving and assessment of research proposals.  We’re also particularly interested in applications from people with an interest in or understanding of human behaviour change and theory of change.

You’ll be joining a Board of 10 Trustees who have a range of specialisms and skills.

The Board is responsible for providing strategic direction to achieve its mission. AWF trustees play a very active role in the charity’s work, so this is a wonderful opportunity for a qualified veterinary or animal welfare professional who is keen to use their expertise towards giving animals a better life.

Time commitment

1 or 2 days per month

This is a hands on role and trustees are expected to attend three Board meetings a year, as well as AWF’s annual flagship event, the AWF Discussion Forum. In addition to this, they are also expected to engage with one or more of AWF’s subcommittees focussing on particular areas of the charity’s activity, such as grant making and professional education.

AWF’s current focus and goals

The current three-year theme for our work is Breeding for better welfare. We fund research around this theme and use it to inform our debate and education activities.  Students are important as the welfare advocates of the future and as such we offer free talks and research grants to students. Some of our goals for the coming years are to increase our engagement with key stakeholders in the veterinary and welfare sectors, expand our student and debate offering and become financially sustainable through our fundraising and income generation activities.


To apply please complete the application form and submit it with your CV to:

Before making your application, please read the role description which includes a person specification outlining the skills we are looking for.

The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 15th August

Interviews will take place between 12th and 23rd September



If you would like to speak to the Chair of Trustees about the role, don’t hesitate to get in touch here:


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  1. Discussion Forum 2022 – AWF Chair reflects on the day

    Last month we held our first ever hybrid Discussion Forum, exploring a plethora of animal welfare issues including ‘extreme breeds’, pest control, gene editing and ‘overtreatment’ in the equine world. In this piece, AWF Chair Julian Kupfer reflects back on the day, the themes that came out of it, and why a platform like the […]
  2. Meet our student researchers – Matt Goins

    Thinking of applying for an AWF student research grant? Find out what it’s like to undertake a student research project and get advice from previous researchers in our mini Q&A series. Research topic: Characterising the abandonment and relinquishment of exotic pets in Ireland   Name, degree, university Matt Goins, MVB (5th year), University College Dublin   Research […]
  3. Meet our student researchers – Madeline Heys

    Thinking of applying for an AWF student research grant? Find out what it’s like to undertake a student research project and get advice from previous researchers in our mini Q&A series.   Research topic: Investigating the usage of enrichment feeding for pet dogs and the associated perceived benefits and challenges Name, degree, university Madeline Heys, […]
  4. Meet our student researchers – Katherine Duffy

    Description   Thinking of applying for an AWF student research grant? Find out what it’s like to undertake a student research project and get advice from previous researchers in our mini Q&A series. Research topic: A novel intervention for cat hoarding: 3 year follow up Name, degree, university Katherine Duffy, BVM BVS, University of Nottingham Research […]
  5. Eddie Clutton on the topic of overtreatment

    We’ve been speaking to Eddie Clutton, who is speaking in our Innovation and Overtreatment session at this year’s Discussion Forum. Eddie Clutton is an expert in the field of veterinary anaesthesia and will be debating the motion “Uncontrolled treatment innovations are detrimental to welfare” with Karen Humm. Eddie sees overtreatment as a huge problem, which […]
  6. Project in a pandemic: what an AWF student grant taught me about research

    The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, both personally and professionally. Normal routines had to be adapted, and pre-pandemic plans changed. For our 2020 student grant recipients, this was especially true. In this blog, Kerry Long talks us through her experience of carrying out her project ‘Identifying maternal and post-natal effects on […]
  7. Meet the speakers – Q&A with Jimmy Turnbull

    As the drive for cheap, efficient and environment-sparing livestock agriculture continues to grow, can intensive farming ever be good for both welfare and sustainability? That is just one of the questions we will be asking ourselves at this year’s Discussion Forum. Recently we spoke to Professor Jimmy Turnbull, vet, aquaculture specialist and Discussion Forum speaker, […]
  8. Funding research for better welfare

    AWF funds five new research projects designed to move the dial on key animal welfare issues.
  9. BVNA ‘This is Us 2020’

    Calling vet nurses! We are thrilled to announce that AWF will be hosting a debate as part of BVNA’s ‘This is Us 2020’, a two-day online event dedicated to celebrating veterinary nursing. AWF has previously held animal welfare debates at BVNA Fringe and we welcome the opportunity to continue having these important discussions, but with […]
  10. Completing research in a pandemic – a student’s experience

    Funding student research is an important part of what we do, giving students an insight into the world of research and the opportunity to make a practical difference to animal welfare. In 2019 we granted funding to Sheryl Bradley, an MSc student of International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law at the University of Edinburgh, for […]