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Summer Research Internship Program for First- and Second-year Veterinary Medicine Students

Co-directors: Sam Jones and Jody Gookin

I. Objective

The majority of students entering the DVM program do so largely because of interests related to private practice. Providing veterinary students with positive experiences in research early in their curriculum is likely to encourage students to consider alternative careers in clinical or basic science. The objective of the Veterinary Scholars Program is to provide veterinary students with mentored research experiences in biomedical laboratories located within our College of Veterinary Medicine.

II. Program Description

i) Eligibility

Veterinary students who have completed their first or second year of veterinary school are eligible to apply. The highest priority will be placed on students who genuinely desire a research experience but have not previously had such an opportunity. Students enrolled in graduate programs, students who have received advanced degrees in science, or students who previously participated in similar research programs at NCSU or elsewhere are not eligible to apply. These students may apply for any of the other opportunities listed at the end of this website.

ii) Recruitment

In October, the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies will host an evening information session for all participating faculty mentors and DVM students interested in a summer research experience. The session will describe the program and various research opportunities available at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Applications from students attending other veterinary schools is encouraged. A list of other veterinary schools offering similar summer research programs can be accessed at Merial Veterinary Scholars Program. A minimum of 4 stipends will be available for participation of outside scholars in our program.

iii) Application Process

Veterinary students will be invited to submit applications by February 2, 2015. In order to complete an application, each student must identify a faculty-mentor that will supervise the research internship. It is expected that individual projects will enable the student to formulate a testable hypothesis, identify specific objectives, conduct research, interpret data, present their findings in an oral abstract format, and submit a one-page summary at the conclusion of their summer experience.

VSP Information Session

Program Announcement 2015

VSP and IBRTP Program Application 2015

Students may submit applications with more than one mentor, but are limited to 2 applications. Students are required to meet with prospective mentors prior to submitting an application to work with that mentor. An open period to meet with mentors will be held during which time no commitments by either mentors or students may be made. Students will then select one or two mentors with whom to prepare an application.

iv) Participating Mentors and Research Interest Areas


A complete listing of mentors and projects available for this summer is available at:

List of Participating Mentors and Project Descriptions 2015

In addition to having a strong track record of positive mentorship, all mentors have agreed to meet the following criteria:

Detailed information for prospective mentors

v) Matching Process

Students and mentors will be required to rank their proposals. The number of students ultimately matched with a particular mentor will be limited to the maximum number of students the mentor has agreed to accommodate. Our goal is to match students with their highest priority project while spreading them out amongst as many mentors as possible. Applications will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and both Program Co-Directors. Successful applicants will be notified in early March.

vi) Activities and Expectations (six activities listed)

Students are expected to complete 10 weeks of full time research over the course of the summer. In addition to working in research laboratories, there will be several joint events held during the summer for all participating students. Full participation in each activity is an expectation of each student in the program.

1) An orientation program including lunch and seminar for scholars and their faculty mentors on the first day of the program. Goals of the program are to clarify procedures and expectations of mentors and scholars; impart a global perspective on evidence-based inquiry and technical approaches to problem solving; and to showcase NCSU excellence in research. The program will be followed by lunch for the scholars, mentors and guest speakers.

2) A weekly seminar series that will cover a range of topics including the following:

Seminars will be held at 8:00 am to facilitate scholar participation without conflict with their ongoing activities in the laboratory.

3) A half-day symposium and lunch at Glaxo-Smith-Kline, NIEHS or, the Wake Forest Primate Center. The goal of this trip is to feature the unique role of veterinarians engaged in research for industry and government. Veterinarians in pathology, drug discovery and development, and laboratory animal medicine will be featured speakers.

4) Attendance at the annual Merial NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium by the directors and scholars.

5) Finally all summer research interns are expected to present results of their summer research project at the following Spring CVM Research Forum.

2015 Veterinary Scholars Program Schedule of Activities

vii) Stipend Support

A stipend of $4,325.00, plus 8.45% social security benefit, will be awarded for completion of 10 weeks of full time research.

III. Research Opportunities for Veterinary Students


Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Training Program (IBRTP)

The College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University established the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Training Program (IBRTP) for veterinary students to provide research training in a multidisciplinary environment.  Trainees will complete a 3-month research experience in the laboratories of two faculty members drawn from seven different disciplines.

NIEHS Summers of Discovery Program

The NIEHS has established the Summers of Discovery Program for which Intramural Research Training Awards (IRTAs) are given to outstanding DVM and graduate students interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical/ biological sciences. Scientific disciplines within the program include neurosciences, biophysics, genetics, carcinogenesis, reproductive and developmental biology, chemistry, pharmacology, pulmonary pathobiology, classical and functional toxicology, clinical research, statistics, biomathematics, epidemiology, computer modeling and risk assessment.

Glaxo-Smith-Kline (GSK) Summer Interns Programs

GSK offers 10-12 week internship opportunities during the summer to college students that are currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. level degree program. Interns have the opportunity to assist with meaningful work and make integral contributions to GSK departments. Several of our CVM Summer Research Interns have gone on to do Summer Internships at GSK.

Other Research Opportunities for Veterinary Students

National Merial Veterinary Scholars Program

Funding provided by this program supports summer research for DVM students at about 20 veterinary schools. The national program encourages students to apply to other veterinary schools offering summer research programs sponsored by Merial to broaden their experiences. The participating veterinary schools are all eligible to send students to the Merial NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

National Institutes of Health Training Programs at US Veterinary Schools

A group of veterinary schools have NIH-funded training programs to offer more extensive research experience to veterinary students. See the National Merial Veterinary Scholars Program website for links to these schools and for more information. In addition, the NIH has summer research internships available.

Cornell Leadership Program

The Leadership Program for Veterinary Students at Cornell University is a unique summer learning experience for veterinary students who seek to broadly influence the veterinary profession through a career in research. The program is an intensive, research-oriented learning experience that combines faculty-guided research with career counseling, student-directed learning, and a variety of professional enrichment activities.

Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar Program

The Morris Animal Foundation provides competitive stipends to first through third year veterinary students proposing research projects, at their own school, that enhance the health and welfare of companion animals. Applicants must devote a minimum of 50% of their time to the project for an equivalent of a 10-12 week period.