New MARS Equestrian Veterinary Scholarship Program for Equine Research

Penn Vet New Bolton Center and the Royal Veterinary College have launched the new MARS Equestrian Veterinary Scholarship Program for Equine Research.
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The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), together with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and MARS Equestrian, has launched a new, international scholarship program 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 program 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 London, England and Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States.

Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved, assistant professor of large animal surgery at New Bolton Center, will serve as the primary mentor for the program’s embedded research project. A clinical expert in equine orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, Ortved’s research program seeks to better understand attributes of the equine joint in order to improve clinical outcomes associated with osteoarthritis following injury in horses.

“There are two fundamental components to a successful career in the veterinary medicine field: exceptional mentorship and the continuous pursuit of applicable knowledge,” said Ortved. “The multidisciplinary approach of the MARS Equestrian Veterinary Research Scholar program 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.”

The selected candidate will also learn from leading experts in animal welfare including Penn Vet’s Dr. Tom Parsons, professor of swine production medicine, director of Penn Vet’s Swine Teaching & Research program and one of the founding members of Penn Vet’s Animal Welfare and Behavior Certificate program. This certificate, coupled with the RVC’s MRes program, will balance pragmatic understandings of multi-species health, behavior, and well-being with interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that can be directly deployed through the program’s research projects.

“I am delighted that the RVC is able to support this new transatlantic initiative for veterinary graduates following a generous donation from MARS Equestrian,” said Professor Richard Bomphrey, Interim Vice Principal for Research at the Royal Veterinary College. “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."

“MARS Equestrian is thrilled to support this truly unique and innovative international program unlike anything else offered in veterinary medicine training,” said Bridgett McIntosh, PhD, Director at MARS Equestrian. “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 program 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 June 30, 2021 or until an acceptable candidate is identified. Applications should be sent to the Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved at kortved@vet.upenn.edu.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top 10 veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,300 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

Learn more by visiting www.vet.upenn.edu

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