Research Opportunities

Veterinary education provides a solid foundation of comparative knowledge upon which research training and careers in biomedical research can be built. No other profession provides such global perspectives on comparative anatomy, physiology, pathology, and medicine at the organismal level. Today, especially, veterinary education provides an outstanding base of knowledge in infectious disease, an area of emerging importance in a shrinking world. Further, the molecular reductionism of the last century has given way to integrative approaches to biomedical investigations, especially in the use of animal models to study disease. Therefore, to advance animal health, which in turn promotes public health, the capture of a new generation of highly skilled and broadly educated veterinary students to prepare them for careers in biomedical research must be a high priority.

Opportunities for veterinary students in the School of Veterinary Medicine include:


The Student Training and Advanced Research (STAR) program is open to veterinary students in years 1-3 and provides a funded opportunity over the summer to explore and experience research in an established laboratory along with seminars and discussion groups on careers in science. Students will pursue their own research project under the close mentorship of faculty, experiencing research in a nurturing, supportive and stimulating  environment culminating in a poster presentations to faculty, staff and students within the School of Veterinary Medicine at the beginning of the fall quarter.


This program provides first, second and third-year veterinary students with the opportunity to experience animal-oriented, hypothesis-driven, biomedical research uninterrupted for an entire year. Specifically, theYEAR Program emphasizes multifaceted, cross-disciplinary training in animal-based research, and 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.

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. 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 Veterinary Scientist Training Program (VSTP) provides an opportunity for veterinary students enrolled in the School to engage concurrently in a formal scientific training program, thus enabling them to graduate with dual DVM and PhD degrees. The goal of the VSTP is to train veterinary scientists who are especially well prepared to help meet evolving scientific, social, ethical, political and humanitarian challenges facing animal and public health care. Meeting these challenges requires advanced PhD training in a chosen scientific area in addition to the traditional training received during completion of the DVM degree. This program allows a broad diversity of PhD disciplines, including biomedical and biological sciences, engineering sciences, computer sciences, food sciences, and humanities and social sciences.