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2015 Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program

The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is pleased to announce the availability of summer research fellowships for veterinary and undergraduate students. These fellowships offer veterinary and undergraduate students the opportunity to work on independent research projects with a faculty mentor and explore non-practice careers.

The veterinary student program is funded jointly through Merial and the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine. Undergraduate study opportunities are funded through the College of Veterinary Medicine. Students from other universities are encouraged to apply.

Goal of the Summer Research Program

The goal of the Veterinary Scholars Summer Research Program is to increase the number of veterinarians involved in biomedical and clinical research. The program provides an opportunity for veterinary and undergraduate students interested in veterinary medicine to explore non-practice careers by engaging in a mentored research project through informal and formal interactions with scientists. Veterinary students will also travel to the Merial NIH National Veterinary Scholars Symposium. It is anticipated that the positive experiences during the summer program will inspire students to pursue rewarding careers in veterinary and biomedical research.

Program Summary:

  • Explore careers in clinical, diagnostic, and basic biomedical research.
  • Work with a faculty mentor to design and conduct a summer research project.
  • Participate in weekly seminars on: careers in academic, industry and government; lab animal medicine; ethics; scientific writing; research funding; and how to balance career and personal life. Weekly lunch is provided for these seminars. 
  • Participate in extracurricular activities such as a trip to a local pharmaceutical company and a fellows picnic.
  • Travel to a national symposium to present your work and meet summer fellows from other colleges (Veterinary students only). 
  • Veterinary students earn $5,000 for 12 weeks of the summer program and undergraduate students earn $3,000 (May 18, 2015 to August 3, 2015). 
  • Program applications are due no later than 5PM (EST) February 6, 2015.

Application Process:

Download and complete the application: 

The selected students will be matched with faculty members before the end of March 2015. The successful candidates will be expected to write and submit an abstract of their work, and prepare a poster for presentation to an outside company on a field trip, at the Summer Research Program poster session, and at the national symposium. Veterinary students are also required to present their poster at the annual College of Veterinary Medicine Phi Zeta Research Day the following spring.

Examples of potential faculty mentors and projects from previous years are available, see links to Fellow/Mentor pairings in left-hand column. Applications are encouraged from veterinary professional students and undergraduates at universities other than Purdue University.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the dates of the program?

The program starts on May 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM with an orientation session and ends August 3, 2015, unless you have to make up time for taking time off during the summer. Each Wednesday at 12 noon until 1 PM there is a weekly seminar. Lunch is provided and there will be a speaker. You are expected to attend and participate in each of these informal discussions. 

Are the dates flexible - what if I need time off?

You can take up to one week off during the summer as long as your mentor agrees in writing and you make this time up at the end of the summer. You are expected to work 12 weeks in the summer research program, and you will need this time to conduct a reasonable research project. 

How do I find a mentor and research project?

Dr. Harm HogenEsch, associate dean for research, and Dr. Eli Asem, professor and co-director of the program, will do the initial matching of the students and the available mentors. They carefully consider the research projects available and the student's research interests. Once you are initially assigned, you need to contact the research mentor and work out the details of the project. You both must agree on the project and the research goals to be accomplished during the 12-week program. 

When do I work?

You are expected to work Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM unless other arrangements are made with your mentor. Your research may require you to come in after hours and on weekends. The University is closed on May 25 and July 4, 2015. 

Are there any special events during the program?

There will be a summer BBQ held at a local park in June--this is in the evening and free. It is a social time for you to get to know the other participants and mentors. Additionally, Purdue will host a joint meeting with the University of Illinois Summer Research Fellows. There will also be a field trip to a pharmaceutical industry at the end of July. Details about these events will be shared when the plans have been finalized. 

Are there any reports that I will have to complete for the program?

All students are expected to prepare an abstract and poster presentation about their summer research project. You will need to work closely with your mentor when preparing your abstract and poster. These Posters will be presented to the PVM faculty and when visiting a Pharmaceutical laboratory on a field trip. Additionally, DVM students are required to submit their poster abstract and present their poster at the National Symposium and at the Phi Zeta Research Day the following year.

Is housing available on Campus?

Unfortunately, we do not have housing available to assign. We suggest that you contact other participants and share an apartment or rent housing with other students. This holds costs to a minimum. We will be sending the selected fellows a listing of housing available in the area as well as a listing of the other participants and their e-mail addresses so you can contact them. Subleases can typically be found during the summer months.

Travel to/from Purdue?

You will need to make your own travel arrangements to and from Purdue. Bus services are available from the airports in Indianapolis and Chicago directly to campus. The travel costs are included in your stipend for the summer. 

When will I be paid?

You will be paid in two installments. You will receive the first payment in the middle of May (shortly after arrival) and a second payment in the middle of June. These are lump sum checks and not biweekly or monthly payroll checks. You will be sent pay certification forms to complete and return so that you can be paid. Without the forms, you will not be paid. 

Can I bring a car and where do I park?

Parking at Purdue is very limited on campus. However, if you plan to have a car, we can make a request for a “B” parking pass for the 12 weeks for the approximate cost of $30-$35. We need to know ahead of time if you plan to bring a car. Additionally, you will need to park in areas only designated for “B” permits, which are on the outskirts of campus. We have a bus system that travels throughout campus. Once you have your temporary student ID, you can then travel for free on the bus system.

What about food?

There are several facilities/food courts, etc. on campus that provide meals as well as many local restaurants – most are reasonably priced. The Continuum Café in the College of Veterinary Medicine offers reasonable priced breakfasts and lunches each day. 

What about e-mail and the internet?

You can be set up with a limited e-mail account through Purdue University and internet access as it relates to your research. Please let us know if you are in need of this service.

I have heard that there is a national Merial/NIH symposium that I get to attend?

This is only for veterinary students who have completed their 1st or 2nd year and who participate in the Summer Research program for the first time. This trip is funded. While you may need to pay for part of it initially, students will be reimbursed. This year the Symposium is at the University of California-Davis, Davis, California. Students must leave from Purdue and return to Purdue as a group. Additional information will be given as the program develops.


Please contact Dr. Harm HogenEsch at hogenesch@purdue.edu or at 765.496.3485; or Mrs. Erin Lane at lane35@purdue.edu or 765.496.3487.