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

Student Research Involvement

Student Involvement in Research

As developing scientists, students are encouraged to actively engage and participate in research during their tenure at WesternU-CVM. This participation will manifest differently in students, depending on their interests, career goals and motivations; examples of this participation include the Western University Student Summer Research Program, Student Technology and Research Symposium (STARS), Junior Presentations , Research Rotation, and Independent Research with Thesis. Faculty are available to students as research project coordinators and mentors to help develop the drive toward scientific inquiry in all veterinary graduates.


Western University of Health Sciences and the College of Veterinary Medicine support the concepts of E. L. Boyer in Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate (The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Princeton, NJ). In this examination of the intellectual environment of universities, he presents research to encompass the scholarship of discovery, the scholarship of integration, the scholarship of application and the scholarship of teaching. He captures the concept in the statement:

Surely, scholarship means engaging in original research. But the work of the scholar also means stepping back from ones investigation, looking for connections, building bridges between theory and practice, and communicating ones knowledge effectively to students.


CVM 7090 Third Year Student Presentation (1 credit) – Semester 5 & 6


Each student is required to make an oral presentation of a case, series of cases, research project, or a herd/flock problem with which they have been involved during Phase I and/or Phase II of the curriculum. Students, in preparing their case presentations, carry out a thorough literature search and evaluate the strengths of relevant published materials, as it may apply to their case(s). Presentations are evaluated by faculty and students are encouraged to be both critical and analytical in their presentations.


CVM 7564 Research Rotation (Optional) (4 credits) – Semester 5 & 6


This rotation provides students with a research experience. The student will learn principles of experimental design and good laboratory practices. Early in the rotation, the student will develop a specific hypothesis and design a protocol to test the hypothesis. The student will maintain a laboratory notebook, documenting the procedures and assays that are performed on a daily basis, as well as, define and explain the scientific questions that each assay is addressing and the underlying mechanisms by which the assays operate. Depending upon the rotation site, the student may participate in laboratory meetings, seminars, and/or journal clubs. At the end of the rotatio n, the student will prepare a one page summary of their research project, which will be written in abstract form that contains both a title and an author(s) section, with the body of the abstract addressing the background, objectives, methods, results, and conclusions of the project. Additionally, a four to five-page technical summary of the research project will be prepared. This document should be written in manuscript format, including an abstract (same as above), introduction, methods, results, and conclusions/discussion sections.


CVM 8999 Independent Research with Thesis (Optional) (1 – 4 credits) – Semester 7 & 8


Students are encouraged to conduct scholarly research and submit a thesis, during their four-year curriculum. The thesis should explore an original question relating to the basic sciences, a clinical problem, or a public or environmental health issue involving veterinary medicine. Students are supervised by faculty members from the CVM or jointly by faculty from other institutions. Students who complete a thesis will be acknowledged at graduation, and their achievements recorded in their permanent academic records.


The veterinary research club (VRC)’s

The VRC mission is to enhance interest in the field of biomedical research and laboratory medicine and to promote scholarly opportunities for veterinary students.Some of activities organized in previous years by the club the club include on-campus research facility tours and guest lectures on topics related to veterinary research. Examples include seminars offered by Western University faculty about their ongoing research, presentations on general topics such as navigating on-line research resources, and organization of a meeting between faculty and students interested in summer veterinary scholars programs.  In addition, our club takes an active role during our College’s open house event, illustrating the impact of veterinary research to the general public, and introducing such concepts as zoonotic diseases.  In upcoming years, the research club would like to expand their activities and organize field trips to surrounding research facilities, designed to maximize the exposure of club members to different research settings and career opportunities.