Veterinary surgeons urged to consider applying for Fellowship in 2020 - Veterinary Practice
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Veterinary surgeons urged to consider applying for Fellowship in 2020

The application process for joining the Fellowship of the RCVS in 2020 has been launched, with vets of all backgrounds being urged to consider applying

The Fellowship is the learned society of the RCVS aimed at veterinary surgeons whose activities demonstrate excellence in veterinary endeavour and who have distinguished themselves on account of their ongoing commitment to using their experience and knowledge to enhance the profession further.

The Fellowship, which was founded in 1877, underwent a transformation in 2016 when it was opened up to more of the profession with three new routes to entry recognising meritorious contributions to: veterinary knowledge; clinical practice; and the profession. Since 2016 over 150 veterinary surgeons have been welcomed to the Fellowship under the new routes.

In 2018 the Fellowship was given additional impetus with the development of a three-pronged strategy to help it reach its aim of becoming a learned society. The three key aims were: promoting scientific excellence; harnessing the expertise of Fellows to further professional skills and practice and to invigorate a curiosity for innovation; and undertaking activities that enrich public discourse about the impact of veterinary science to everyone.

Now Professor John Innes, who this year was elected as Chair of the Fellowship Board which runs the initiative, is calling on more veterinary surgeons to help the Fellowship meet its strategic aims by applying for FRCVS status. He said: “When I applied to join the new Fellowship back in 2016 it really appealed to me because of my love of research gained from my academic career and because I could see that, under the Chairmanship of my predecessor Nick Bacon, there was a new vibrancy to the scheme.

“This has been demonstrated by not only an increasing number of people joining the Fellowship, but a broader range of the profession including more women, more people outside academia and people of a slightly younger demographic. I would also encourage primary care vets who have made substantive contributions to also consider applying.

“As a whole I believe the Fellowship, as a learned society with a pool of knowledge and expertise, can play a distinct role in helping animal owners and wider society understand some of the scientific issues and debates of the day. Individually, Fellows can also provide guidance and mentoring to some of our younger peers, including veterinary students, and encourage them to think about joining the Fellowship at a later date.

“If this appeals to you I would strongly encourage you to, at the very least, consider applying to become a Fellow and find out about the requirements, the process and about the evidence you need to supply and talk to any peers and colleagues already in the Fellowship for help.”

The deadline for applying to join the 2020 tranche of the Fellowship is Monday 3 February 2020. All the details on how to apply – including the overall criteria, specific requirements for each route and the application forms – can be found at the RCVS Fellowship webpage. Those seeking more bespoke advice and mentoring on their application can email

The RCVS also has a Fellowship Directory featuring profiles of many of the veterinary surgeons who have recently become Fellows with information about their areas of special interest and areas in which they can provide further support as well as biographical details. The Directory also allows you to request contact with individual Fellows and can be found on the directory webpage.

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