Katie Whalley became the first veterinary nurse to win top prize at MSD Animal Health’s virtual Research Bursary Awards Day 2020 on Friday 18 September. Katie won the MSD Animal Health Research Bursary trophy and £1,000, in addition to her original bursary, for her research and presentation on quantifying and monitoring practice cleanliness. Runner up, winning £500, was Glasgow University veterinary student, Alysia Empert-Gallegos for her research into owner perspectives on feeding raw diets to dogs.
Katie, who is Deputy Head Veterinary Nurse at Chipping Norton Veterinary Hospital, commented on receiving her award: “I am very grateful to MSD Animal Health for awarding me the research bursary and prize. Cleanliness is such an important subject area for the veterinary field and I’m pleased that I can hopefully inspire others to monitor it effectively; enabling us to continually improve our standards across the industry. I am excited to be the first Veterinary Nurse to take part and win, and hope that I can encourage other nurses to take an interest in research and help improve standards.”
Social distancing restrictions meant that this year’s awards day had to be held online. Research presentations were given by the recipients of the MSD Animal Health Veterinary Student Research Bursaries in 2019. The topics and species covered were wide-ranging and included equine, poultry, canine, cattle and sheep. Guest presentations were also given by MSD Animal Health Research Bursary Veterinary Surgeon Research Bursary recipients; Simon Archer, from the University of Surrey, and Amie Wilson, a Resident in Equine Internal Medicine at the University of Liverpool.
Michelle Townley, Veterinary Advisor at MSD Animal Health, responsible for managing the Research Bursaries commented: “It was wonderful that this year everyone could present, no matter where they are working in the world, and despite the event having to be virtual this year, there was a huge amount of energy in the ‘room’, that shone through from the enthusiasm of the presenters. Their love of their work and commitment to research was apparent to everyone on the judging panel. It was a great day all round and we’re excited and delighted to have awarded the top prize to our first veterinary nurse and Katie’s extremely valuable and practical work on monitoring clinical hygiene.”
For further information on the MSD Animal Health Research Bursaries, go to the website.