Program supports veterinary student research ranging from climate change to pandemic prevention.

February 16, 2024

2 Min Read
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Veterinarians are vital to maintaining a safe U.S. food supply and play a critical role in protecting public health. The United States is facing a shortage of livestock and poultry veterinarians. According to a recent report, only 3%-4% of new veterinary college graduates have entered food animal-related practices over the last 20 years, a 40% reduction from about 40 years ago.

To support the development of future veterinary researchers, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research and the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges established the Veterinary Student Research Fellowships in 2018. The program is accepting applications for the 2024 cohort.

Veterinary research is critical to solving challenges affecting nutritional security, environmental sustainability and public health. However, most fellowships available to veterinary students are limited to traditional biomedical research, with few opportunities for research outside that scope. To ensure students are aware of the numerous opportunities for veterinarians, the FFAR Vet Fellows supports veterinary student research ranging from climate change to pandemic prevention. The fellowship prepares fellows for multi-faceted careers in science and public service. The fellows complete their research with a qualified mentor and present their findings at the annual Veterinary Scholars Symposium.

“The Vet Fellows program is one of the only programs that allows veterinary students to conduct cutting-edge research that can have significant impacts to global food security and sustainable animal production,” said Nikki Dutta, FFAR scientific program officer. “FFAR’s collaboration with the AAVMC is essential to our mission to build partnerships to support scientific workforce development and fund audacious science addressing food and agriculture challenges.”

The 2024 FFAR Vet Fellows program is providing a $10,000 stipend for up to 15 students to perform research on global food security and sustainable animal production. The fellowship is open to domestic and international students currently enrolled in a DVM or VMD degree program who are conducting research with a qualified mentor at an AAVMC member institution. Students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in agriculture are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants are not required to have prior research experience, and matching funds are not required for this program.

The application period opened Thursday, Feb. 15, and closes March 27. Additional information about the application process is available on the Vet Fellows webpage.

“Collaborating with FFAR to support the Vet Fellows program aligns with AAVMC’s goal of preparing the veterinary workforce for the future through global research programs,” said Andrew T. Maccabe, AAVMC's chief executive officer.

The Vet Fellows program is one of FFAR’s Scientific Workforce Development programs that prepares today’s scientific workforce to address the food and agriculture challenges of tomorrow.

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