Veterinary Student Scholars Program

The Veterinary Student Scholars (VSS) Program gives veterinary students hands-on involvement in research early in their career so they will consider entering this field where they are so critically needed.

Health research is critically important for giving veterinarians the tools they need to better prevent, diagnose and treat illness in their animal patients. Yet currently, there is a lack of veterinary scientists being trained to meet future needs of animal health.

Since the creation of the VSS Program in 2005, Morris Animal Foundation has given more than 150 grants to veterinary student researchers from more than 40 different colleges and universities in 8 countries.

How the program works

The Veterinary Student Scholars Program awards stipends up to $4,000 to veterinary students or non-veterinary graduate students who wish to participate in clinical or basic animal health and/or welfare research. Applicants must devote a minimum of 50 percent of their time to the project for the equivalent of a 10- to 12-week period. While most of these research projects are anticipated to occur during summer months, MAF will consider projects that occur at other times. Students must be nominated by their dean of research or equivalent, be in good academic standing and be paired with a responsible mentor to be eligible. Students enrolled in a combined DVM/PhD degree program or a PhD degree program are eligible, as long as they are not receiving concurrent stipend support at the time of their intended research. Scholars are invited to one of three MAF meetings held each year, where they present their work to Foundation scientific advisers and trustees and compete for cash awards in each species category.

Each institution’s research program director, or equivalent, should identify outstanding applicants and then submit applications electronically to MAF for final selection. Institutions may submit the three best applications they receive from students in the following areas: one application for a large companion animal research project, one application for a small companion animal research project, and one application for a wildlife/special species research project. 

For more information, go to the Morris Animal Foundation Scholars Program website.