Yearlong Exposure to Advanced Research (YEAR) Program

The YEAR Program is sponsored by a T32-predoctoral training grant award to UC Davis from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).  Our program welcomes first, second and third-year veterinary students from any AVMA accredited North American veterinary school to apply.  This program provides the opportunity to experience animal-oriented, hypothesis-driven, biomedical research uninterrupted for an entire year. Specifically, the YEAR Program emphasizes multifaceted, cross-disciplinary training in animal-based research, with special emphases in:

  • scientific dialogue and communication
  • laboratory conduct and professionalism
  • research ethics and bioethics
  • project planning and experimental design
  • statistical analyses
  • collaborations and cooperations
  • the mentor-mentee relationship
  • grantsmanship
  • self-education and motivation
  • critical review and assessment
  • appreciating and understanding published scientific literature
  • scientific reporting and presentation

NIH funds are used to provide stipend, tuition and fees, project-related travel to scientific meetings, health insurance and benefits, and research-related expenses for students enrolled in the YEAR Program. Up to three positions are available each year. Stipends will be provided at an amount not to exceed predoctoral stipend levels recommended by the NIH (see "NRSA Stipends - FY 2011") for predoctoral trainees. Students who complete the YEAR Program will not incur any payback obligation.

Concerted recruitment strategies have been designed to identify the most outstanding and best qualified students to apply and participate, especially women and under-represented minorities. The program has been designed to be flexible, yet structured broadly enough to enable participating students to gain sufficient understanding of the attractiveness, responsibilities, and impacts of biomedical research.

The YEAR Program adds one extra year to the participant’s veterinary curriculum-four years of the professional curriculum and one year research, for a total of five years.  In this way, participating students graduate one year after their entering class year of graduation. During this time, YEAR Program students will be completely immersed into the research activity of the mentor's laboratory group. Students will be given the opportunity to choose which mentors and research themes they wish to experience, scheduling up to four three-month research blocks during the year. This customization of the research experience allows the participating student to choose research emphases that closely meet their interests. Students may, for example, schedule four different three-month rotations in four different mentor's labs, or they may choose to remain in one lab for the entire year.

Students who participate and complete the YEAR Program are highly competitive for completing a dual-degree (DVM/PhD) program, such as that provided through the VSTP.

The long term goal of the YEAR Program is to prepare more research scientists with both the professional veterinary degree and advanced scientific degree (PhD) who can collectively participate in the national biomedical research enterprise and, in turn, improve and enhance the health of the nation.