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Comparative Biomedical Research Training for Veterinarians

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsors a T32 institutional training grant at Texas A&M University to help produce the next generation of veterinary scientists who will contribute to the advancement of biomedical research. The program offers up to three years of training and is designed to culminate in the PhD degree. In addition to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, faculty mentors are drawn from the Colleges of Medicine, Agriculture and Life Sciences, Science, Liberal Arts, and the Institute of Biosciences and Technology in Houston. Mentor research areas are broad and include infectious disease, metabolic disease, toxicology, nutrition, developmental biology, cancer, and neuroscience. Participating faculty are not only graduate faculty of departmental graduate programs, but are often also members of one or more campus-wide Interdisciplinary Programs in Genetics, Toxicology, Neuroscience, and Nutrition. Texas A&M offers a very wide selection of graduate courses that allow degree plans to be tailored to the interests and career aspirations of the trainee.

The minimum requirements for application include the DVM degree and U.S. citizenship or noncitizen national status. The criteria for selection of trainees include:

  1. A demonstrated interest and experience in a career within biomedical research;
  2. Outstanding academic record and GRE scores;
  3. Residency or post-DVM experience;
  4. Strong letters of recommendation;
  5. Communication skills; and
  6. High professional ethics.

The ideal applicant will have completed a three year residency program and have transferable graduate course credits.  The salary is at NIH postdoctoral stipend levels, ranging from $37,740 to $52,068 depending on the number of years of postdoctoral experience. Benefits include health insurance, paid tuition and fees, and travel support to one national meeting per year if the trainee gives a presentation at the meeting.

The program is committed to strong mentorship that takes into consideration the unique and valuable qualities that veterinarians bring to research.  Trainees submit a yearly progress report to the T32 Program Advisory Committee, and further funding is based on their progress.  After consultation with the trainee's mentor and the Program Advisory Committee, the Program Director meets with the trainee to discuss their progress.  At the conclusion of the training program, each trainee is expected to:

  1. Competently discuss hypothesis-driven research in their biomedical discipline.
  2. Critically review current literature.
  3. Formulate hypotheses and design sound experiments.
  4. Produce high quality research data.
  5. Critically analyze results and demonstrate complete understanding of those results.
  6. Engage in effective written and oral communication.
  7. Communicate research results in at least 2-3 peer-reviewed journals.
  8. Understand and adhere to compliance issues involving animal use, laboratory safety, and biosafety.

Applications are accepted year-round. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, letter of goals, a veterinary school transcript, a graduate school transcript (if applicable) , GRE scores, and a list of 3 references to Dr. Ann Kier, Program Director, Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4467. Members of minority groups who are underrepresented in biomedical research are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Mentors

More Information

For more information, contact Dr. Ann Kier (akier@cvm.tamu.edu).