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Application Deadline: February 27th at 5pm EST

The University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Summer Scholars Program is an 11-week research program designed to provide veterinary students with training in biomedical research. This program is only open to UTCVM veterinary students. We are unable to accept external candidates at this time.

This 11-week research program spans from late May to mid-August each year. Students will have 10 weeks of research and 1 week for oral presentations. Summer scholars work on research projects that will enable them to test hypotheses, pursue specific objectives, conduct research, interpret data, and present their research findings. Mentors for the students are highly experienced research faculty with established research programs here at UTCVM.

For Summer 2024, our program has generous support for funding up to 20 students from the Center of Excellence in Livestock Diseases and Human Health and 6 students from Boehringer-Ingelheim (as part of the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program).

Additional funding opportunities are available from AVMA 2nd Opportunity, Merck Animal Health, Morris Animal Foundation, the USDA, etc. See below for those additional funding opportunity due dates.

Applicants for the UTCVM Veterinary Summer Scholars Research Program must be a current first or second year veterinary student at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.


The Veterinary Summer Scholars Program is an 11 week program beginning late May and ending mid August. Scholars engage in research projects under the mentorship of research faculty. This program is only open to UTCVM veterinary students. Students can begin work no earlier than May 20th, and end their work no later than August 11th. Students will have 10 weeks of research and 1 week for oral presentations.

In addition to your research project, scholars will attend a mandatory weekly seminar series that will cover a range of topics including:

  • Conducting studies with animals – ethical and regulatory considerations.
  • Information resources for the clinical and basic sciences.
  • Effective grantsmanship and the development of hypothesis-driven research.
  • The essentials of manuscript preparation.
  • Preparing and presenting scientific data as a presentation or poster.
  • Training and practice in scientific writing.
  • A special session hosted by Boehringer-Ingelheim (as part of the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program) regarding careers in research.

At the end of the summer, ALL scholars will present their research at UTCVM. Select students will also present at the National Veterinary Scholar Program Symposium, sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim. The Summer 2024 National Veterinary Scholar Program Symposium will be hosted in St. Paul Minnesota, August 8th – 10th, 2024.

View all Summer 2024 key dates and activities here.

Current first and second year veterinary students at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine are encouraged to apply. If you are matched for a project, you must be in good academic standing when the program starts in late May. If you are not in good academic standing at the end of the spring semester, you forfeit your position in the program.

Each scholar must decide this with their mentor. This is a good question to ask during the mentor selection process. While some of the research projects can be completed in a traditional 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. workday, others involve weekend and evening work. In addition, if a scholar needs to be absent from the project for any reason, this needs to be discussed with their mentor.

Students funded by the COE program are paid $11 per hour, not to exceed 40 hours of work per week. Each project has a varying workload. Some projects may require full time 40 hours per week, whereas some projects may only require 20 hours per week. This is important to discuss with your potential mentors when looking for a project.

Students funded by Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Animal Health, AVMA 2nd Opportunity, Morris Animal Foundation and the USDA/BI Scholars Program are expected to work full 40 hour weeks, for a pay rate set by the sponsoring agency. Those rates vary each year, but are usually between $5,000-$6,500 for full time 40 hours per week projects.

All available research projects will be posted here on January 31, 2024.

Once you find a project that you would like to work on, your next goal is to set up a meeting with that mentor to further discuss the project. You are encouraged to talk with multiple mentors, to get better understanding of what each project entails.

Next, students will fill out the application by clicking here. You will be required to list your potential mentors in preference order. You may list up to 5 mentors. Only list those projects that you are willing to work on. Student applications for Summer 2024 are due February 27, 2024 at 5pm.

Faculty mentors will also fill out a ranking form for up to four students in preference order. Mentor “ranking of student” forms for Summer 2024 are due February 27, 2024 at 5pm.

Last, the students and mentors will be matched. The student and mentor ranking forms will be processed by Summer Program Co-Directors Dr. Sree Rajeev and Dr. Andi Lear.

Match results will be announced via email on March 8, 2024.

Interested faculty mentors must submit their project proposal by January 28, 2024.

Faculty “ranking of student forms” are due February 27, 2024 at 5pm.

Match results will be announced via email on March 8, 2024.

Summer 2024 employment can begin on May 20, 2024 and must end by August 11, 2024. Students may not exceed 400 total hours for those 11 weeks.

Granting AgencyDescriptionSubmission Info and DeadlinesAttachments/Links
AVMA/AVMF 2nd Opportunity GrantThe AVMA/AVMF 2nd Opportunity Summer Research Scholarship provides support for currently enrolled veterinary students who conducted a summer research project in summer 2023 and are seeking to gain a second summer of research experience. Five $6,500 awards will be provided.January 11, 2024
UTCVM can only submit 1 application. Email Dr. Sree Rajeev with questions and to submit the application.
AVMA/AVMF 2nd opportunity website and application
Merck Animal Health Veterinary Student ScholarMerck Animal Health and the AVMF are dedicated to supporting exceptional veterinary students. Merck Animal Health is proud to show its dedication to veterinary students by providing $5,000 scholarships. Students are required to be in SAVMA.December 31, 2023.
Students/mentors apply directly to the website. UTCVM can submit an unlimited amount of applications.
Merck Animal Health website
Morris Animal Foundation Veterinary Student Scholar Each chosen Veterinary Student Scholar is awarded a $5,500 stipend to support their summer research project. The program is open to currently enrolled veterinary students in good standing from any AVMA-accredited US or international college, university or school of veterinary medicine.January 17, 2024 at 4:59 PM EST
UTCVM can only submit 2 applications. Email Dr. Sree Rajeev with questions and to submit the application.
Morris Animal Foundation website

Morris Application and Guidelines

Program Contact Information

Dr. Sree Rajeev

Summer Program Co-Director

Dr. Andi Lear

Summer Program Co-Director