Research Opportunities for DVM Students

Summer Research Training Program

The Summer Research Training Program helps veterinary students explore research-focused career paths.

…the work I contributed to a project even landed my name as a co-author on a paper that will soon be published… Research is definitely something I want to keep in mind as I pursue a residency and a future in academia.

Teddy Hristova, Class of 2018

The Summer Research Training Program at Illinois is one of many similar programs nationally and internationally and is funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program. Students receive a stipend for participation in the program.

During the 10-week program, students are expected to:

  • Work on a research project in the mentor’s laboratory for 40 hours per week
  • Complete training modules to learn about laboratory safety and the use of animals and human subjects in research
  • Complete training in the ethical conduct of scientific research
  • Attend a seminar series covering topics from research compliance to career opportunities and career planning. Careers in academia, industry, and government are discussed
  • Participate in a scientific writing series;  prepare an abstract, a poster presentation and a short manuscript
  • Participate in a field trip to pharmaceutical companies;  visit veterinary students in the summer research program at Purdue University
  • Write a research abstract and submit it to the Boehringer Ingelheim-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium
  • Present a research poster at the Boehringer Ingelheim-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium
    If you have questions regarding the application process, please send an email to the Program Director ( prior to submitting an application.

2018 Summer Research Training Program Information

  • The program will begin on Monday, May 21, and end on Friday, July 27, 2018.
  • The Boehringer Ingelheim-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium will be held at Texas A & M University from August 2 to 5, 2018.
  • Students will receive a stipend of $4967.50 for participation in the program.
  • Complete the online application form by February 1, 2018.


    Application Process

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Enrollment in the first or second year of veterinary school at the time of application.
    • A cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the DVM curriculum.
    • Career interests that would benefit from research training. (Veterinary students from other universities are encouraged to apply.)

    Submitting Your Application

    • Complete the online application form.
    • The application deadline for the program is February 1, 2018.

    Selection Process

    • All applications will be reviewed by the program’s Scientific Steering Committee.
    • Academic record, application information and professional references will be considered in the review process.
    • The student-mentor matching process will begin immediately after the application deadline and continue until all places in the program are filled.

    Student-Mentor Matching

    • Students will be matched with mentors based on the student’s statement of interests and availability of research projects. Applicants may learn about potential mentors below under “Meet our Mentors.”
    • Students will be notified of a potential match in the program and will meet with the mentor to discuss possible research projects. Following that meeting, the student and mentor will provide feedback to the program’s committee to indicate whether they have agreed to work together.
  • Other Summer Research Opportunities

    View the list of institutions participating in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program.

    See the summer opportunities available through Morris Animal Foundation.

  • Orientation and Seminar Schedule for 2017

    Orientation Schedule

    Mon., May 22
    8 am
     Program Overview Dr. Lois Hoyer, Nikki Clarkson, Leah Peoples
    9 amHuman Subjects in Research, Jennifer Ford
    10 amAnimal Use in Research Dr. Judith Van Cleeff
    11 amThe Electronic Library and Data Management, Erin Kerby
    noonLunch provided
    1 pmResearch Misconduct, Dr. Kyle Galbraith
    2 pm
    Mentor/mentee responsibilities and relationships, Dr. Jodi Flaws
    3 pmResponsible authorship and publication; peer review, Dr. Romana Nowak
    Thursday, May 26Field Trip to Pharmaceutical Companies (Indianapolis area)

    Seminar Series

    May 30Careers in Laboratory Animal Medicine
    Dr. Sarah Allison
    June 6Careers Discussion with SRTP Alumni, Dr. Kalyn Herzog

    What is Your Hypothesis?/Writing a Methods Section, Dr. Lois Hoyer

    June 13Drawing in Powerpointand Designing Your Poster Nancy Oliver from The Design Group
    June 20Mentor/Student Meal

    Discussion of Contemporary Issues in Biomedical Research

    June 27Field trip to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Summer (all day)

    Activities will include a session on writing an abstract for the Boehringer Ingelheim-NIH Veterinary Scholars Symposium; bring a draft abstract, Dr. Lois Hoyer and Dr. Harm HogenEsch (Purdue)

    July 11Careers Discussion with SRTP Alumni, Dr. Kat Brannick, Dr. Beth Noe, Dr. Megan Watson

    Conflict of Interest—Personal, Professional, Financial, Dr. Lois Hoyer

    July 18Careers Discussion with SRTP Alumni, Dr. Jen Reinhart, Dr. Abby Mathewson

    Compiling Your Experimental Results into a Short Manuscript: Presenting Results and Discussion; Creating Figures and Tables Dr. Lois Hoyer

  • Meet our Mentors

    A listing of program mentors is provided below. Additional mentors may be added to this list to accommodate student research interests.

    Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

    Department of Animal Biology

    Department of Animal Sciences

    Department of Comparative Biosciences

    Department of Chemistry

    Department of Entomology

    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

    Department of Kinesiology and Community Health

    Department of Microbiology

    Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

    Department of Pathobiology

    Department of Psychology

    Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine


  • Is participation in the program a full-time commitment?

    Yes, the program is a full-time commitment. You are expected to work 40 hours per week during the program. By accepting a traineeship in the Summer Research Training Program, it is expected that you will not participate in other programs or expect vacation time during the 10-week program.

  • What will my hours and schedule be?

    Hours and scheduling will vary depending on your project (for example, lab work vs. field work) and are determined by your mentor.  By accepting a traineeship in the Summer Research Training Program, it is expected that you will not participate in other programs or expect vacation time during the 10-week program.

  • Can I hold another job as long as it does not interfere with the Summer Research Training Program?

    Many students use the summer to earn as much money as they can to finance their education and living expenses. It is common for students who are participating in the Summer Research Training Program to hold a part-time job, either on or off campus. These students work in the evenings or on weekends, when they are not committed to their research project. Because of the way that the Summer Research Training Program pays its stipends, students who hold an hourly job on the university campus cannot work more than 6 hours per week at the other campus job. Failure to disclose the second job will delay processing of paychecks.

  • Is my summer stipend taxable?

    Funds may be considered taxable income to the recipient, but are not reported as taxable income by the University on Forms W-2 or 1099-MISC. Taxability of the stipend depends on personal circumstances, so it is advisable to consult with a tax professional for advice on your own situation.

  • Do I need to choose a mentor prior to applying?

    No. In fact, you should not select a mentor prior to completing an application.  Mentors and students are matched based on the student’s statement of interests and the research projects available in a given year.