Research Program Opportunities

Image of a student doing lab work

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,

Summer Research

Cutting-edge biomedical research opportunities allow first and second year 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 Fellowship, the AVMA/AVMF Opportunity Summer Research Scholarship, and the WSU CVM Summer Research Fellowship.

Our Summer Research Fellowship Program provides a 10-12 week mentored summer research project experience for first or second year veterinary students. Students carry out hypothesis-driven research with world-class faculty mentors. Our primary goals are to: 1.) Recruit veterinary students of exceptional aptitude who are oriented toward a career of basic or applied research, 2.) Provide training in the philosophy and methodology of science, including hands-on research experience from the level of problem identification through publication of results, and 3.) Maintain a high level of motivation to pursue advanced training and become productive research scientists.

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.

Please see the NW-BVEP webpage for more information.

Combined DVM / Graduate Studies

Horse on Treadmill with students working along side

Many students have completed advanced degrees (MS, PhD) while participating in the DVM curriculum. While not highly structured, this program offers the flexibility for DVM students and their faculty advisors to customize a plan uniquely suited to them and their interests. This means that each student’s program is different. There is no specific application for prospective students aside from the standard DVM program application. Students interested in dual degree programs are encouraged to dialogue with the faculty about their interests and how a plan can be best structured to meet those interests.

In general terms, students can garner dual credit from some of their DVM program courses to apply toward a graduate degree (MS or PhD). Another key component is connecting interested DVM students as quickly as possible with faculty member(s) whose research aligns with those students’ respective interests and goals, and who have the quality of scholarly program to provide students with an excellent research training experience. Student interested in pursuing a combined DVM/PhD should prepare to commit to seven years or more, though six might be possible depending on progress. It is feasible to complete a DVM/MS in the same four years necessary to earn a DVM – though this may take longer depending on each student’s individual circumstances.


students with big horn sheepStudents pursuing a DVM/PhD would very likely be financially supported as graduate students for those years in which they would be 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 program’s assessment of each student’s goals and commitment to a scholarly career as a veterinarian, i.e., why each student wants the PhD. There would unlikely be much financial support to pursue a DVM/MS, other than support that might come from our summer programs for students or from each student’s faculty mentor.

A good first step for interested prospective students 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 Health, and the School of Molecular Biosciences.  Once accepted into the DVM program, close working with a selected mentor is critical, so that an individual plan can be devised for interested students.

Some WIMU Research Areas

  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunology
  • Radiation Biology and Therapy
  • Population Medicine
  • Integrated Biotechnology
  • Global Health