Summer Research Internship Program for First- and Second-year Veterinary Medicine Students
Co-directors: Sam Jones and Jody Gookin
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
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.
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.
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.
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
- Kenneth B. Adler, Cell Biology, Respiratory Epithelium
- Kevin Anderson, Mastitis
- C. Scott Bailey, Diseases of pregnancy in the mare, and perinatal death in foals
- Ronald Baynes, Pharmacology
- Anthony Blikslager, Gastrointestinal diseases and physiology
- James Bonner, Toxicology
- Luke Borst, Anatomic Pathology
- Matthew Breen, Genomics, Cytogenetics, Cancer
- David Dorman, Cell Biology, Toxicology
- Derek Foster, Ruminant Internal Medicine
- John Gadsby, Reproduction
- Brian Gilger, Ophthalmology
- Jody Gookin, Tritrichomonas foetus
- Megan Jacob, Clinical Microbiology
- Sam Jones, Inflammation
- Sophia Kathariou, Food science and microbiology
- Duncan Lascelles, Pain management, physiology of pain
- Elizabeth Loboa, Stem Cell Biology
- Chris Mariani, Cancer biology, neurology, neuroimmunology, neuro-oncology
- Mike Martin, Avian diseases
- Denis Marcellin-Little, Orthopedics, distraction osteogenesis
- Kyle Mathews, Investigational and minimally invasive treatment modalities (surgical techniques, drug delivery methods and biomedical implants).
- Christine McGahan, Cell Biology of the Eye
- Kate Meurs
- Adam Moeser, Gastrointestinal pathophysiology
- Alison Motsinger-Reif,
- Paul Mozdziak, Animal tissue culture techniques
- Paul Orndorff,
- Mark Papich , Pharmacology
- Jorge Piedrahita, Genomics
- Simon C. Roe, Orthopedics, Bio-medical Engineering
- Korinn Saker, Nutrition
- Phil Sannes, Respiratory epithelial cell biology
- Lauren Schnabel
- Barbara Sherry, Virology, Viral Carditis, Influenza
- Heather Shive, Pathology
- Rob C. Smart, Cell Biology, Toxicology, Cancer
- Geof Smith, Internal Medicine of ruminants and swine
- Sid Thakur
- Jeff Yoder, Innate immunity
A complete listing of mentors and projects available for this summer is available at:
In addition to having a strong track record of positive mentorship, all mentors have agreed to meet the following criteria:
- Oversee all aspects of the project; provide the background, financial resources, and facilities and equipment for necessary for successful completion of the project
- Meet regularly with the student and be accessible outside the regular meeting schedule
- Contribute to the students intellectual growth and development; Help the student with experimental design and methodology; Help the student develop experimental progress and direction; Help the student troubleshoot experimental problems; Help develop the students capacity for reasoning and data interpretation; Help the student think critically and objectively about their own results and ideas
- Contribute to the students professional development; Provide counsel for professional decisions; Help the student envision a career plan; Provide input and guidance for abstract, presentation, and poster preparation
- Serve as a role model; Convey high ethical standards and concerns for research subjects; Illustrate active teamwork and collaboration; Illustrate good work habits; Illustrate good mentoring skills
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.
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:
- Conducting studies with animals – ethical and regulatory considerations
- Information resources for the clinical and basic sciences
- Effective grantsmanship and the development of hypothesis-driven research
- The essentials of manuscript preparation
- Preparing and presenting scientific data as an oral abstract or poster
- Practice session for oral abstract presentation
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.