Objective of the Program

The objective of the program is to provide an opportunity for students enrolled in the professional veterinary program (designated as Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars) to have a faculty-guided, positive, and rewarding research experience in the basic or clinical sciences. In addition, the program provides an introduction to research issues, facilities, opportunities, and current research topics. The format is a research experience that occurs primarily in the summer, but literature search, proposal writing, and project planning all occur prior to the summer. The goal of the program is to increase the number of graduating veterinarians who choose a career in research that focuses on animal health and disease. The program is considered successful if it increases student awareness of the excitement and challenges of the research process, and of course, if it increases the number of DVMs who choose a research-related career.

Current Projects

Jumanah Bilal is working with Dr. Brianna Beechler to undertake “Investigating gastrointestinal parasites in sea lions from Oregon – A comparison of healthy and stranded individuals.” This study will use molecular techniques to determine if the parasite burden in stranded sea lions is different from that of normal sea lions. This may help to understand a relationship between parasite loads and sea lion health.

Cherise Hoagland is working with Dr. Lacy Kamm on “A systematic review of outcome measures in clinical cases of equine osteoarthritis.” This study aims to define commonly used outcome measures to determine which set of measures may become the standard for use in clinical equine orthopedic research. Standardization of outcome measures would assist in the comparison of treatments for osteoarthritis. Both students will be working throughout the summer with a stipend provided for their efforts. 


  • First, second, and third-year professional veterinary students in good academic standing at the OSU Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Students with advanced degrees (i.e. M.S. or Ph.D.) are not eligible to apply.
  • Students who have previously participated in a summer research program while in veterinary school are not eligible to apply.

Application Process

Faculty members interested and willing to serve as mentors for this program prepare a brief description of their research interests, which are posted on this site annually in early January. Veterinary students at Oregon State University, academic institutions around the country and partner schools in France, Germany, and the Netherlands have a chance to review these descriptions and contact potential mentors working in an area of mutual research interest. A mentor must agree to provide a supportive and learning atmosphere with consistent supervision and direction given to the student. Each student must commit to working full-time on the research project including attending all laboratory and program meetings. Students contacting possible faculty mentors should make sure that the mentor will be in town for the majority of the summer research period and will arrange for supervision during any absences.

The potential faculty mentor and scholars will meet as soon as possible. Faculty mentors will provide a brief introduction to their research interests at this meeting. Scholars write a two page research application under the guidance of the faculty mentor to be submitted to the program director. Submission will be reviewed and ranked by an ad hoc committee. Veterinary students with advanced degrees (M.S. or PhD) will not be eligible for the program. Students who have already participated in a college-funded summer research program will also not be eligible for this program. 

Selection Criteria

Applications will be ranked based on the independence of the project (pre-existing projects will not be approved), likelihood of successful completion in the time frame available, relevance to a significant veterinary problem and quality of hypothesis, objectives and description of methods.

Submission of applications by students from other veterinary schools is encouraged.


Students will receive an awarded amount of $6,500 for the summer period, which will include $1,200 for travel.  

Required Extracurricular activities

  • Students participate in noon-hour seminars throughout the summer. They explore diverse research-related issues and challenges such as manuscript and grant preparation, experimental design, laboratory record-keeping, presentation skills, and ethics of research.
  • Students will present their research at the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Symposium. For Summer 2024, the symposium will be held from August 8-10, 2024 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Travel will be paid for.
  • A field trip will be scheduled during the summer research period.
  • Students present their research during the 21st Annual Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine Research Day, Thursday, August 29, 2024 in Magruder 1152. They will be encouraged to participate actively in national meetings.

Questions about the BIVSP Program? Contact Program Director Dr. Susan Tornquist or Dr. Lacy Kamm.  

For more information about the program, please visit the program website