CVM Summer Scholar Research Program

Summer Scholar

The CVM Summer Scholar Research Program introduces veterinary medicine students to research in a wide array of areas such as clinical medicine, animal science, public health, epidemiology, pharmacology, biomechanics, neuroscience, immunology, parasitology, molecular genetics and cellular or molecular pathology. Participants choose to investigate specific issues that match their interest and the work of an established researcher. Scholars will work with faculty mentors and other research personnel for approximately three months (May-August). Through hands-on experiences, seminars and tours, students will gain valuable perspectives on the exciting roles played by veterinarians in biomedical and public health research. A stipend is provided to defray costs of participation.

Program seminars will assist scholars in developing critical thinking skills, preparing hypothesis-based proposals, designing statistically sound experiments, and appropriate interpretation and presentation of data. The training program is offered through the College of Veterinary Medicine, and applications for participation are accepted from eligible students enrolled in ALL colleges and schools of veterinary medicine in the U.S.

2024 Program

Applications for the program are closed.

Apply for the 2024 Program Here

2024 Program Key Dates

  • Applications accepted January 24-February 7 2024
  • Program begins: May 16
  • Summer Scholar Research Day: August 13
  • Program ends: August 13

Veterinary Scholar Symposium. 
The Veterinary Scholar Symposium (VSS) is scheduled to be in Minneapolis this year. Dates, including travel, are August 8-11.

This experience is open to students who are funded from specific  sponsors. If you have a strong interest in attending the symposium, you will have the opportunity to indicate this on the application.

Annual CVM Summer Scholar Research Day

CVM Research Day is scheduled for August 13.

Learn more about the program

Frequently Asked Questions


  • The program is open to first- and second-year veterinary students enrolled in any of the 30 U.S. colleges and schools of veterinary medicine
  • Students from overseas institutions area also considered for participation
  • Students enrolled in graduate programs are NOT eligible to participate (this does not include concurrent students completing rotations)
  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required
  • Preference is given to applicants who have not previously participated in the program

CVM Summer Scholar Research Program is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Boehringer Ingelheim,  Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council (ILHAC), and additional funds at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine. Each scholar will receive a monthly stipend for the entire 13-week program (1 week of vacation is allowed, but must be approved by scholar's faculty mentor).

Application Procedures

Applications will open in January. The online application will request the following information:

  • A brief resume which includes your GPA
  • Names and phone numbers of two references
  • One-page personal statement (related to the research program - what you bring to the program or hope to gain as a participant)

Abstracts for Available 2024 Projects

Group A Abstracts (Updated 2/1)

Group B Abstracts

Selection Criteria
Matches are made based on a combination of the student’s GPA, funding availability and criteria, and faculty and student interest. All attempts are made to match the student’s with their first choice project.

  • GPA and academic performance
  • Work and research interests/experience
  • Stated long-term goals
  • Communication skills
  • Potential for success

Applications are open from January 24 to February 7, 2024.

Match with Research Mentors
The match between a Research Scholar and a Faculty Mentor is central to the Summer Scholar Research experience. Once students are selected as Research Scholars, several steps occur to create the appropriate match. 

Faculty mentors will have submitted a research abstract describing an important problem to be investigated and specific aims associated with the proposed research project. 

  1. Current year's Mentor Abstracts will be uploaded into the CVM Summer Scholar Research Program online application form by mid-January each year.
  2. The scholars are required to rank their top six preferences for participating mentors/projects. Please complete the project rankings section in the Summer Scholar online application.
  3. If mutually agreed upon and ample funding is available, matches are made by the program directors.
  4. The student applicants will be notified about the matching process via email.


Applications will be accepted January 24 to February 7, 2024

Apply for the 2024 Program Here

Group A Abstracts (updated 2/1)

Group B Abstracts

To expedite the application process, be sure to have all information gathered before beginning. You will need: Your project choices, Your resume/CV, two references, and your brief personal statement. If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact Karen Barker: 

Nondiscrimination Policy
Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran.  Inquiries can be directed to the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 3680 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.

Faculty Program Director
Dr. Jodi McGill, 515-294-2635,

Program Coordinator
Karen Barker, 515-294-4348,

The Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Award Program for Graduate Veterinarians 

This research award program is open to veterinarians who have completed graduate research or residency programs and provides a $2,500 honorarium and the opportunity to present her/his research at the 2023 BIVSP Symposium at San Diego UCSD and Western University. For additional details on this research award please go to the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program.