College of Veterinary Medicine

WesternU CVM Summer Research Program – USDA AHDR

Applications for this opportunity are due to the CVM Office for Research by January 31, 2021

USDA AHDR Program Mission:

The purpose of the USDA Animal Health and Disease Research Program is to promote animal health research at accredited state veterinary schools or colleges or agricultural experiment stations. It is designed to improve global food security, reduce the incidence of food-borne illness, improve the health of livestock, and protect agricultural health.


Expectations and support:

  • Each student research scholar receives a stipend of $5,000. CVM will match $2,500 towards supplies and consumables.
  • Student research scholars are expected to attend all group training opportunities offered by the program (workshops and field trips) and present a poster at the Boehringer Ingelheim National Veterinary Scholars Symposium (NVSS). Registration fees, travel costs and poster preparation will be covered.
  • Individual projects should enable the student research scholar to formulate a testable hypothesis, identify specific objectives, conduct research, interpret data and present their findings in the form of an abstract and/or poster.
  • Demonstration of the use of biomedical research skills in specialty fields (e.g. Pathology, Toxicology, Laboratory Animal Medicine, Pharmacology, Clinical, and Imaging) is desirable.

Student Eligibility:

Students without prior research experience are encouraged to apply. Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Students must have completed at least one year of a DVM curriculum, be currently enrolled, and in good academic standing at their University.
  • Students must commit to attending all training opportunities, including the BI-NIH Symposium. The 2021 BI-NIH Symposium (NVSS) will be held at Iowa State University.
  • WesternU will welcome students in the European programs as long as they meet the criteria for eligibility.

Application process:

There is a new application process for the 2021 program. Students applying for the USDA AHDR should contact the CVM Office for Research (cvmresearch@westernu.edu) for new application instructions, or check back soon for updates. 

Selection process:

Student research scholars will be selected based on the scientific merit of the project, its feasibility within the timeframe of the program, its relevance to the career goals of the student and to the field of biomedical research, and the breadth of learning objectives. The scoring system used to evaluate these applications is available here.