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. 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;  network with veterinary students in the summer research program at Purdue University
  • Write a research abstract and submit it to the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium
  • Present a research poster at the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium
    If you have questions regarding the application process, please send an email to the Program Directors (SRTP@vetmed.illinois.edu) prior to submitting an application.

2020 Summer Research Training Program Information

  • The program will begin on Monday, May 18, and end on Friday, July 24, 2020.
  • The National Veterinary Scholars Symposium will be held in San Diego from July 31 to August 3, 2020.
  • Students will receive a stipend of $5170.00 for participation in the program.
  • Complete the online application form by January 20, 2020.

Online Application

    Application Process

    Eligibility Requirements

    • Enrollment in the first or second year of veterinary school at the time of application.
    • Career interests that would benefit from research training. (Veterinary students from other universities are encouraged to apply).

    Submitting Your Application

    Selection Process

    • All applications will be reviewed by the Program Directors.
    • 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 interests and mentors availability. Applicants may learn about potential mentors under “Meet our Mentors” (below).
    • 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 Directors to indicate whether they have agreed to work together.
  • View the list of institutions participating in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program.

    See the summer opportunities available through Morris Animal Foundation.

  • A list of program mentors is provided below. Mentors may be added to accommodate student research interests.

    Department of Animal Sciences

    Department of Comparative Biosciences

    Department of Chemistry

    Department of Entomology

    Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

    Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

    Department of Kinesiology and Community Health

    Department of Microbiology

    Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

    Department of Pathobiology

    Department of Psychology

    Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine

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

  • 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, you agree not to participate in other programs or expect vacation time during the 10-week 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 campus job will delay processing of paychecks.

  • 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.

  • No. In fact, you should not select a mentor prior to completing an application. It is important that the application process allows every student an equal opportunity to be accepted into the program. Mentors and students are matched based on information provided in the program application.

  • Yes. Program activities are open to all veterinary students. Contact the Program Directors to request a schedule of activities.