Research Program Opportunities
Research Program Opportunities

Veterinary Student Research Program Opportunities

Research Scholars Program

student with microscope looking at dish

The goals of the Research Scholars Program are to:

  • Attract to the veterinary profession, individuals of exceptional aptitude who are oriented toward a career of basic or applied research,
  • Maintain a high level of motivation for these individuals to pursue advanced training and become productive research scientists,
  • Provide training in the philosophy and methodology of science, as well as hands-on research experience from the level of problem identification through publication of results, and
  • Encourage the participant’s scholarly development through concurrent DVM/PhD programs and/or postdoctoral training.

This is a three to four year program, with research taking place in the summer months. The research scholars curriculum includes participating in two weekly seminar courses, directed readings on research topics, and completion of an independent research project under the guidance of a mentor which includes a submission of one article for publication in a refereed journal. Currently, participants receive a yearly $2500 stipend for each of the first three years.

For more information, http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/research/student-research/research-scholars.

Summer Research

Cutting-edge biomedical research opportunities are offered to the 1st and 2nd year students, allowing students to discover the benefits of a veterinary career that includes research. Three different funding opportunities include the Morris Animal Foundation’s Veterinary Student Scholars Program, the AVMA/AVMF Opportunity Summer Research Scholarship, and the WSU CVM Summer Research Fellowship.

Please contact Dr. Michael Court for more information.

Research Elective / Supplemental Core Courses

students smiling in labVM 508 – Research Orientation, 1 credit (fall; years 1,2,3)

This course is an informal discussion-based course designed to expose the student to the broad range of research being performed in the WIMU Program. With this information, the student should be equipped to make an informed decision about the level of interest in , and feasibility of, performing research as a WIMU veterinary student.

VM 509 – Research Issues, Ethics and Literacy, 1 credit (spring; years 1,2,3)

The goal of this course is to acquaint students with issues related to pursuing a career that includes scientific research. The first half of the course delves into topics selected by the instructors. The second half of the course involves weekly discussions of topics that are chosen and introduced by the students. The instructor selected topics include: 1) a philosophical discussion as to what is science and what is not; 2) the interplay of observation and luck in driving scientific advances; 3) the responsibilities of students and mentors; 4) authorship and peer review; 5) manuscript and grant writing; 6) funding mechanisms; 7) the patenting process and intellectual property; 8) conflict of interest; 9) scientific fraud - its causes and consequences; and 10) selected ethical issues - e.g., use of animals in research, gene therapy, stem cells and medicine.

Northwest Bovine Veterinary Experience Program (NW-BVEP)

The immediate goals of this program are to engage veterinary students early in their veterinary education in industry-relevant livestock operations, so as to increase the number of students interested in agriculture animal veterinary medicine as a career choice. Some students in the second-year summer experience have participated in clinical research trials (beef feedlot) that have or will lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals.

For more information, http://www.cainecenter.uidaho.edu/nwbvep-aboutprogram.htm.

Combined DVM / Graduate Studies

Horse on Treadmill with students working along sideMany students have completed advanced degrees (MS, PhD) while participating in the DVM curriculum. We can offer you this possibility, but our program is not highly structured. The upside of this is that we can be flexible and customize a plan that works for you and your interests. The downside, if indeed it is a downside, is that each student’s program is different. There is no specific application for you to fill out at this point aside from the standard DVM program application (http://dvm.vetmed.wsu.edu/admissions/apply). We just need to keep a dialogue going as to what your interests are and how we can best structure something that works to meet those interests. This is something we can do now, or it is something that can wait until you would come as a DVM student and get your bearings.

In general terms, we can garner for you dual credit from some of your DVM-program courses to apply toward your graduate degree (either PhD or MS).  The main effort, though, would be to link you up as quickly as possible with a faculty member whose research interests are aligned with your interests and goals, and who has the quality of scholarly program to provide you with an excellent research training experience.  Realistically, if you are interested in DVM/PhD, you should prepare to commit to 7 years or more, although 6 might be possible depending on progress.  For a DVM/MS, depending on progress, it is feasible to finish both in the same four years you would take to earn the DVM – at worst, it might be only a summer or fall session longer.

students with big horn sheepIf you pursued the DVM/PhD, you would very likely be financially supported as a graduate student for those years in which you were predominantly engaged in the PhD program (stipend and tuition waiver).  Support during the DVM years in a DVM/PhD program is individually negotiable and would depend on our assessment of your goals and commitment to scholarly career as a veterinarian; i.e., why you wanted the PhD.  There would be unlikely to be much financial support for pursuing a DVM/MS, other than support that might come from our summer programs for students or from your faculty mentor.

The first place to start is to review what faculty are working in our research programs, focusing on researchers in the Departments of Integrative Physiology and Neuroscience, Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and the School of Molecular Biosciences.  Once accepted into the DVM program, close working with your selected mentor is critical, so that you can pencil out what the next 6 to 7 years or more might look like.

Some WIMU Research Areas

  • Neurobiology
  • Blood and Cardiopulmonary Studies
  • Muscle Function
  • Pharmacology / Toxicology
  • Reproductive Biology
  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunology
  • Radiation Biology and Therapy
  • Population Medicine
  • Integrated Biotechnology