The Christopher Wathes BSAS 2025 Travel Award


This Award has been established to honour the contributions which Professor Christopher Wathes OBE made to animal science, in particular through improving the welfare of farmed livestock. The awards are intended to help members of BSAS to attend scientific meetings and workshops in the UK or overseas who might not otherwise be able to go through lack of financial support. The award is targeted at early career scientists.

Who was Christopher Wathes?

Christopher was an outstanding and uncompromising scientist who acted on evidence and always challenged ill-informed opinions. He was strongly supportive in developing the careers of his younger colleagues. His career began with a degree in physics followed by a PhD in environmental physics. In 1980 he became a lecturer in animal husbandry at the University of Bristol. Here his interest in the impact of housing design on farm animals led him to develop expertise in the field of animal welfare including the use of preference testing. In 1990 he moved to Silsoe Research Institute to head their bioengineering division, where he was at the forefront of the newly emerging field of precision livestock farming. He then joined the Royal Veterinary College in 2005 as their first Professor of Animal Welfare, where he also developed a strong interest in animal ethics. Christopher chaired the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) for eight years from 2005, working with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a clear strategy and produce a number of highly relevant reports, which have a lasting impact on the welfare of farmed livestock in the UK. He was also instrumental in the formation of EuroFAWC, providing a platform for informed debate and development of shared policy relating to animal welfare throughout Europe. He was awarded the 2002 Research Medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the 2016 UFAW Medal for Outstanding Achievements in Animal Welfare Science. He received an OBE in 2013 for services to animal welfare.


The award must be used for travel, accommodation and/or registration to attend BSAS 2025. The value of each award will be determined by the distance traveled by the applicant from their place of residence to Galway. This award supports studies involving animal welfare, precision livestock farming, design of animal housing or ethical considerations relating to the use of animals. To enter you must have submitted an abstract to BSAS 2025 and provide a short video clip (2-3 mins) stating why you should win this award. The maximum amount awarded will £1500. The award may be split to offer more than one bursary.

Review of competition entries

Applications to the Christopher Wathes award will be assessed based on the submitted video clip. In making its decision, the selection panel will consider the relevance of the applicants work and the extent to which they will benefit from attending BSAS 2025.

Reporting requirements

The award holder will be required to submit a short report to BSAS following their attendance at BSAS 2025, which focuses on the benefit in knowledge and skills gained from winning the award.


If you have any queries, please contact

What is the prize?

The maximum amount awarded will be up to £1500.

How do I apply?

The award is open to applicants from all branches of animal science who are in the early stages of their careers. Applications are accepted from BSAS members only. Please send your video clip to Please include your full name and contact details in the email.

Application deadline

18th November 2024

Click here for the downloadable information leaflet. 

Click here for hints and tips for making your video