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 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.

2020 Program

Applications will be open for submission January 22, 2020 and an email will be sent out to all ISU CVM's VM1 and VM2 students to notify them of the application going live.

Applications Due
Application Submission is now closed. All successful applicants will be advised of their acceptance in early March.

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

Friday, August 7, 2020
Scheman Building, 1st Floor
Iowa State University
Poster Session: 10-11:30 am
Luncheon & Program: Noon to 1:45 pm

Keynote Address:

(Event is open to CVM and invited guests from outside the college.)

Learn more about the program
2020 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, Boehringer Ingelheim, 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.

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

  • A brief resume
  • 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
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 1st choice project.

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

Deadline for faculty mentor abstracts: Mid-January 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 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.

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 co-Directors
Dr. Cathy Miller, 515-294-4797, 

Faculty Program co-Directors
Dr. Bradley Blitvich, 515-294-9861,
Dr. Jodi Smith, 515-294-9013,

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 $2500 honorarium and the opportunity to present her/his research at the 2020 BIVSP Symposium at San Diego UCSD and
Western University.  For additional details on this research award please go to the Boehringer Ingelheim Scholars Web site here.

Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program