Veterinary Research Scholars Program

The objectives of the MU VRSP are to expose veterinary students to research career opportunities through a mentored research experience and develop a much-needed community of veterinary research scientists.

Veterinary Research Scholars Program

For additional veterinary student research opportunities, see the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars and National and Canadian Research Opportunities for Veterinary Students web sites.

Application Deadline: February 2, 2024

Eligibility: Students who have:

  • completed at least one year of Veterinary School or are part of an MU guaranteed admissions program (Pre-Vet or Ag Scholar)
  • are interested in exploring research
  • maintained a GPA of 2.5 or better (IP 1-3 for MU VM1 students)
  • students currently enrolled in DVM/PhD or DVM/MS program should discuss options with Dr. Franklin
  • students enrolled in or planning to enroll in the DVM/MPH program are eligible and the VRSP may apply to MPH internship requirements. Please discuss with Dr. Adkins (
  • international applicants should be enrolled in AVMA-recognized veterinary schools/colleges and upon graduation be eligible for the AVMA’s ECFVG program.

For MU student 8-week program – $4520
For out of state or prevet/ag scholars 10-week program – $5650

Program duration, students from the University of Missouri CVM: Project development and implementation, mentor meetings and a weekly “Foundations in Veterinary Research and Discovery” course will begin in March of 2023. Full-time research activity will occur during the entire summer break from June-August.

Program duration, students from other Veterinary Colleges or Pre-Vet/Ag Scholars: The program schedule is flexible with a 10-12-week requirement.

Program description: The MUVRSP will include:

  • an intensive research experience to include state-of-the-art experimental methodology.
  • weekly topics course that gives a broad exposure to biomedical sciences.
  • social events to foster interaction and sense of community.
  • an opportunity to attend and present at the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium (NVSS) in St. Paul, Minnesota from August 8-11, 2024.
  • field trips to local and regional research institutions

Mentor Selection (MU scholars): Participating mentors and their profile (description of research and mentoring style) are listed here and a schematic of mentor selection options is here. It is expected that prior to applying you familiarize yourself with the mentors and their projects for VRSP scholars.

Prior to the application deadline, it is recommended to contact mentors with whom you might like to work (consider all and get beyond your comfort zone). If you and a mentor decide you wish to work together for the summer, send an email to Craig Franklin ( with your mentor copied indicating that you have established a match. Dr. Franklin will then send you a confirmation email. After receiving this confirmation email, on the application you may select “Yes” for the question that asks “Have you pre-matched with a mentor and informed Dr. Franklin of this mentor?”. Please note that pre-matching is intended to support participants finding a mentoring relationship that mutually fits their styles and goals but does not guarantee acceptance into VRSP.

If you do not establish a match prior to the application deadline, never fear, there is another option. On the application list, select four mentors with whom you would like to work. An advisory committee will then determine if selected mentors are available and work with you to secure a match. MU scholars will meet with mentors no less than weekly beginning in March. Scholars from other schools should contact mentors to begin project planning no later than one month prior to their start date. NOTE: if you would like to work with a mentor that is not on the VRSP list, contact Dr. Franklin to discuss.

Mentor Selection (MU scholars from other schools): Review mentor list here and contact Dr. Franklin with a short list of mentors with whom you would like to work.

Related Programs: ASLAP Summer Fellowship in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Comparative Medicine Research – click here for details

Foundations in Veterinary Research and Discovery: This formal course will meet weekly from March through August and include discussions and interactive sessions on experimental design, data presentation and analysis, poster preparation, planning for a research career to include meetings with a panel of post-DVM graduate students and a CVM workshop, responsible conduct of research, visit to an industry research farm, laboratory tours and social outings.

Scholar Expectations: MU scholars are expected to commit full-time to the program, perform a hypothesis-or discovery-based research project, participate in the “Foundations in Veterinary Research and Discovery” course (scholars from other schools will begin participation upon arrival) and present results of experiments at a VRSP Data Blitz in October, 2024 and the CVM Research Day in May, 2025. Scholars will also have the opportunity to attend and present their project at the 2024 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium in St. Paul, Minnesota from August 8-11. On completion of the program, scholars will have been exposed to careers in research and obtained the necessary information to pursue a science-related career. Opportunities to continue beyond the program are usually available through the mentor’s lab.

Other Funding Opportunities: In addition to the VRSP, there are several other sources of possible funding that are great CV builders.

Time Line:

Feb 2
Deadline for applications

Scholar selection and orientation meeting

Foundations in Veterinary Research and Discovery course meets weekly for 1-2 hours

Weekly mentor/scholar meetings to outline project/goals and begin research

Welcome social gathering for scholars from other schools.

May 3
Participate in 2023 CVM Research Day

May 25
MU scholar research outlines due; outlines discussed in small group sessions as part of Foundations course

Out of state scholar outlines due two weeks after their arrival

June 28
Full-time in laboratory work begins (MU scholars)

Aug 8-10
Participate in National NIH-Boehringer Ingelheim Symposium in San Juan Puerto Rico

Field trip to Boehringer Ingelheim Midwest Research Center – Fulton, MO

Oct 25 (tentative)
MU VRSP Research Data Blitz

May 9, 2024 (tentative)
2024 MU scholars presentations at 2025 CVM Research Day

Application: (Application Deadline is February 2, 2024) See mentor selection process above. To apply, complete online form and have one letter of reference from a CVM faculty member or former employer/mentor who is familiar with your career aspirations. The online application will require you to provide several additional documents (e.g., letter of interest, resume, transcript), additional details on these can be found here. Selection criteria include demonstration of passion and commitment to exploring research, academic credentials, and your reference letter. In addition to individuals with prior research experience, those with no experience are highly encouraged to apply and explore! Missouri applicants will also be interviewed.

THANK YOU! to all of our sponsors who provide critical funding for our scholars’ research experience: Boehringer Ingelheim, IDEXX BioAnalytics, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Morris Animal Foundation, the Kent Tomazi Memorial Research Fund in Veterinary Medicine, a gift from Dr. Natlie Rabiner, and the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Need more information? Please contact Dr. Craig Franklin at (573) 882-6623 or