The RVC and Penn Vet New Bolton Center launch new MARS EQUESTRIAN veterinary scholarship programme for equine research - Veterinary Practice
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The RVC and Penn Vet New Bolton Center launch new MARS EQUESTRIAN veterinary scholarship programme for equine research

Programme is aimed at advancing the health and welfare of the horse while providing an unparalleled learning experience for one aspiring vet investigator

The RVC – together with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) and MARS EQUESTRIAN – has launched a new, international scholarship programme aimed at advancing the health and welfare of the horse while providing an unparalleled learning experience for one aspiring veterinary investigator.

Through its interdisciplinary, mentorship-based approach, the MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar Programme offers the unique opportunity to conduct research alongside internationally-renowned experts in equine health and veterinary welfare while pursuing two advanced credentials: the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior at Penn Vet during year one, followed by the Master of Research (MRes) program at the RVC in year two.

Building upon Penn Vet’s MARS EQUESTRIAN Early Career Investigator Program launched in November of 2020, this new format offers the candidate an exclusive opportunity to refine critical research skills and expand animal welfare knowledge while learning on location at both the RVC in England and Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States.

The RVC’s MRes programme gives students the chance to develop into scientists who can work well across interdisciplinary teams, tackling problems of practical relevance to veterinary and medical science. Many of the courses’ graduates go on to work in some of the world’s leading scientific research institutes, as well as within industry and government.

Professor Richard Bomphrey, Interim Vice Principal for Research at the RVC commented, “I am delighted that the RVC is able to support this new transatlantic initiative for veterinary graduates following a generous donation from MARS EQUESTRIAN. It strengthens the ties between the RVC, the University of Pennsylvania and MARS EQUESTRIAN while providing an outstanding training and research opportunity. We look forward to welcoming the successful scholar and helping them to make an impact in equine research.”

Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved, Assistant Professor of Large Animal Surgery at New Bolton Center, will serve as the primary mentor for the programme’s embedded research project. She commented, “There are two fundamental components to a successful career in the veterinary medicine field: exceptional mentorship and the continuous pursuit of applicable knowledge. The multidisciplinary approach of the MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar Programme is set to provide both of these cardinal elements through an experiential learning environment that will ultimately culminate in delivering meaningful advancements that will have a very real, positive impact on the lives our equine partners.”

Dr. Bridgett McIntosh, Director at MARS Equestrian, added, “MARS EQUESTRIAN is thrilled to support this truly unique and innovative international program unlike anything else offered in veterinary medicine training,” said, “Our goal is to continue to drive the field forward in creating a better world for horses by engaging and training the next generation of veterinarians.”

The MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar program is open to interested UK, US and international candidates holding a veterinary degree (DVM/VMD/BVSc or equivalent). The chosen candidate will receive an annual stipend and tuition as well as travel expenses. The programme will commence in September 2021 in the United States before moving to the UK in October 2022 until its conclusion in September 2023.

The deadline to submit applications for consideration is 30 June 2021 or until an acceptable candidate is identified. Applications should be sent to the Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved at

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