Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Western University of Health Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine

Summer Research Training

 Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Research Scholars Program

 

WesternU, College of Veterinary Medicine offers a Veterinary Research Scholars Program (VRSP) to expose qualified veterinary students to the field of biomedical research during the summer.

 

Objectives:

Our 2014 Sponsors

 

The short term goal of this program is to expand students’ interest and skills in research and scholarly writing. The long-term outcome expected of this program is that students engaged in this program will seek advanced training after graduation, pursue a biomedical research career and/or remain scholarly active in their field of interest.

During this program, students will work under the supervision of experienced faculty members and research technicians to gain experience in grant writing, research design and methodology, technical skills, data recording and analysis, eventually leading to the presentation of a poster and podium presentations.

 

The VRSP at WesternU will:

 

  1. Initiate students to research design and grantsmanship
  2. Foster understanding of and responsibility for proper conduct in research
  3. Train students in research methodology and relevant technical skills
  4. Offer opportunities for experience in interpretation and dissemination of results
  5. Expose students to various research career pathways available to veterinarians

 

Program Description

Some Program Highlights:

 

Students will submit a grant as part of their application to WesternU VRSP. Mentors will guide students through the submission of a three page application including all major portions of a professionally prepared grant.

  1. Students will learn about laboratory safety, proper daily recording in a laboratory notebook, research ethics and commercialization of intellectual property through:
    • Participation in the Introduction to Research seminar
    • Weekly “Fridays Investigations and Topics” (FIT) lunches, during which a faculty will lead a student and faculty discussion session on a selected research related topic. These meetings will also be an opportunity for students to share their progress and discuss any issue they may be facing in their project.
  2. Students will participate in data collection as part of their project. They will be expected to prepare for this phase by reviewing relevant literature and demonstrating their understanding of the methodologies used in their project. Students will acquire technical skills and generate data by working under direct supervision of their mentor and research technicians. Students will have an opportunity to develop problem solving skills during one-on-one interactions with their mentor as well as during weekly research meetings.
  3. Students will be exposed to other forms of research designs and methodology by attending the meetings of our Research Interest Groups in the college.
  4. Several opportunities are offered to develop skills related to dissemination of knowledge:
    • Students will attend a seminar introducing them to some of the common statistical methods in biomedical research (topic for a FIT lunch)
    • Students will analyze their data under supervision of faculty members experienced in statistics
    • Students will attend the Pacific Veterinary Conference during fellow students previously enrolled in the summer research program present the results of their study
    • Students supported through the Merial VRSP will prepare a poster for the Merial NIH Veterinary Research Scholars Symposium
    • Presentation of 15 minute oral presentation in the WesternU Student Technology And Research Symposium (STARS), held each year at the end of the student summer research period
  5. Students will investigate various research career pathways available to veterinarians both on and off campus (during FITs, research experience, field trips, and Merial NIH Veterinary Research Scholars Symposium).

 

Potential research mentors

Below is a list of faculty members with active research and experience mentoring students in research:

Infectious Disease Research Interest Group – more information on Infectious Disease RIG.

 

Evidence-Based Veterinary Medical Education (EBVME) Research Interest Group – more information on EBVME RIG.

 

Collaborative Clinical Research Interest Group – more information on Collaborative Clinical RIG.

 

Eco Health Research Interest Group – more information on Eco Health RIG.

 

Timeline and Schedules

 

Veterinary Research Scholars will be enrolled full time from May 19 to August 3, 2014. The program consists of hands-on research in the mentor’s laboratory and research-related activities. The program concludes with a campus-wide day of research presentations by students (STARS). Funds will be provided to offset the costs of poster preparation and allow presentation of a poster at the national Merial Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

 

Step 1: Application process

Applications for the Merial Veterinary Research Scholars Program and for the Morris Animal Foundation are due to the CVM Office of research by February 15, 2014:

Students applying for the Merial Veterinary Research Scholars Program will need to submit the following documents to the CVM Office of Research by February 15, 2014 to complete the application process:

  1. A brief description of the proposed project (3 pages maximum, arial 10, 1” margins) including significance, background, objective, hypothesis, study design, expected outcomes and impact.
  2. A statement of goals: the student describes what he/she hopes to achieve by enrolling in this program
  3. A statement from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs reporting the student’s good academic standing in the College or a copy of your most recent transcript (does not need to be official)
  4. A letter of support from the proposed mentor: Including a statement regarding the proposed source of funding for supplies and consumables of the student’s project
  5. Completed application form

Criteria for selection for the Merial Veterinary Research Scholars Program include: quality of the grant application as it pertains to viable, worthwhile summer student project, and the potential for the student to receive an excellent research experience will be major selection criteria, as well as those students who express a genuine desire for an authentic research experience experience and will actively participate in all activities of the program. The scoring system used to evaluate these applications is available here. Applications should be directed to John R. Greenwood, CVM Office of Research, 309 E. Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766-1854, greenwoodj@westernu.edu, Ph: 909-469-5557

Student Eligibility: Students will be eligible to apply for the WesternU VRSP if they have completed at least one year of the DVM curriculum, are currently enrolled, and in good academic standing with CVM. One position may be filled by a student from another veterinary school as long as the start and end dates of the WesternU VRSP can be accommodated. Students must be enrolled in (not graduated from or admitted into) a professional veterinary training program, have a letter of good academic standing from their college, demonstrate good English proficiency, and have established a working relationship with one of the WesternU VRSP research mentors, as evidenced by the grant application (see selection criteria, below). WesternU VRSP will welcome students in the pilot programs from Europe as long as they meet the criteria for eligibility above.

 

Students applying for the Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar Program will need to submit the following documents to the CVM Office of Research by February 15, 2014 to complete the application process:

  1. A description of the proposed project: The scope of the project and the format of the application should follow the guidelines of the foundation, available at:
    http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/assets/pdfs/spa/vss-guidelines-2013-2014.pdf
  2. A statement of goals: the student describes what he/she hopes to achieve by enrolling in this program
  3. Biographical information, a statement from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs reporting the student’s good academic standing in the College or a copy of your most recent transcript (does not need to be official)
  4. A letter of support from the proposed mentor: Including a statement regarding the proposed source of funding for supplies and consumables of the student’s project
  5. Completed application form

Applications for MAF will first be reviewed and scored based on impact, scientific merit, feasibility, participation to the training program, and mentoring . Only one application will be forwarded electronically by the CVM Office of Research to the Morris Animal Foundation. The scoring system used to evaluate these applications is available here. Applications should be directed to John R. Greenwood, CVM Office of Research, 309 E. Second Street, Pomona, CA 91766-1854, greenwoodj@westernu.edu, Ph: 909-469-5557

Step 2: Research training

Students enrolled in the VRSP will attend seminars, small group discussions and several field trips to received training in topics relevant to research

 

 

Veterinary Research Scholars Program 2014Download the schedule

Step 3: Hands-on experience in research

Students will work under direct supervision of their faculty mentor and research specialists in the laboratories to acquire the technical skills required for their project. Students will spend the majority of their time in the mentor’s laboratory conducting hands-on research; however, all mentors must agree that students will be available for FIT lunches, STARS, and field trips. Students and mentors will have the opportunity to share progress and discuss ongoing issues during the FIT lunches organized every Fridays.

 

Step 4: Dissemination of results

 

Inquiries should be directed to John R. Greenwood, CVM Office of Research: greenwoodj@westernu.edu, Ph: 909-469-5557.

 

The VRSP program is sponsored by:

 

Enquiries should be directed to John R. Greenwood, CVM Office of Research: greenwoodj@westernu.edu, Ph: 909-469-5557.