CVM Summer Scholar Research Program

Summer Scholar

The CVM Summer Scholar Research Program is designed to introduce 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 Iowa State University's 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.

2016 Program

Applications Due
First week of February each year
Online application

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Vet Med 2226
Iowa State University

Annual CVM Summer Scholar Research Day
Poster Session, Recognition Luncheon and Program

Friday, August 5, 2016
Scheman Building, 1st Floor
Iowa State University
Poster Session: 10-11:30 am
Luncheon & Program: Noon to 1:45 pm
(Event is open to CVM and invited guests from outside the college.)

Learn more about the program
2016 Program Brochure
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
  • 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, Merial Limited, and additional funds at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.  Each scholar will receive $459.00 per week for the entire 13 week program (1 week of vacation is allowed, but must be approved by scholar's faculty mentor).

Application Procedures
Deadline for scholar applications: First week of February each year.
Online application

Research Scholar On-line application will request the following information:

  • A brief résumé
  • 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)

Selection Criteria

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

Deadline for faculty mentor abstracts: Mid-December each year.
Early in January each year completed Mentor Abstract forms are to be submitted via email (click here) to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University. Mentors, please indicate on the form if you have discussed your project with a potential scholar.

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. Then:

  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 three preferences for participating mentors/projects. Please complete the project rankings section in the Summer Scholar online application.
  3. Student applicants will be asked to set up meetings with potential mentor matches. 
  4. If mutually agreed upon and ample funding is available, matches are made by the program directors.
  5. The student applicants will be notified about the matching process via email.

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.

Contact Information
Misty Carder, 515-294-4348,

Faculty Program Director
Dr. Mark Ackermann, 515-294-3647,

Faculty Program co-Directors
Dr. Eric Rowe, 515-294-7729,
Dr. Bradley Blitvich, 515-294-9861,

The Merial 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 $2500 honorarium and the opportunity to present her/his research at the 2017 MVSP Symposium in Washington, DC.  For additional details on this research award please go to the Merial Scholars Web site here.

Merial Veterinary Scholars Program