Summer Research and Leadership Program

About the program

The Atlantic Veterinary College invites DVM students (BSc students may be considered depending upon space availability) interested in participating in a mentored research program during the summer of 2017 to apply to our AVC Summer Research and Leadership Program. The program introduces students to careers in veterinary and biomedical research by incorporating a summer research project with a faculty member, which is complemented with a weekly lecture. Completion of this program will be part of a pre-requisite for a fourth-year rotation in research.

Goals of the program

  1. to provide each student with a summer experience in animal health or biomedical research.
  2. to provide each student with information about potential career pathways in veterinary medicine with a focus on post-graduate studies and research-related careers.
  3. to expose each student to important aspects of research, like ethics, IP, and research communication.

Students will work with faculty advisors and other research personnel on a specific research project for approximately 3 months, (May to August 2017). The program will also consist of a series of seminars and round table discussions on various aspects of research as well as give the students an opportunity to present their research results.

DVM student summer research funding opportunities

AVC Veterinary Student Research Award (VetSRA) is a matching fund available for AVC veterinary students to work with AVC faculty on a research project during the summer of 2017. Read more about the award.

Merial Veterinary Scholars Programs are offered at AVC and at other veterinary colleges across Canada and the United States. These programs are designed to provide enhanced exposure to career opportunities in biomedical and veterinary research. The programs provide DVM students with a stipend (matched with funds from supervisor’s or college research support) towards their summer research position. It also provides funding to attend the 2017 Merial Veterinary Scholars Symposium at the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. from August 3-6, 2017. Further details on the Merial Veterinary Scholars Programs at AVC will be available early next year, contingent on receiving funding. Refer to this file for further details

2017 MVSP Program in FranceRead more about the award.

Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Summer Student Research Award is also available for summer animal welfare-related research projects at AVC. Check the website for details.

2017 AVC Zoetis Summer Research Student Award is an award for clinical research with companion animals. Read more about the award.

NSERC – Undergraduate Student Research Awards are managed centrally by the university. These funds are available to AVC and non-AVC students across campus to work with NSERC funded faculty. The VetSRA has been designed to align with USRA such that if the project proposed by a vet student is with an AVC faculty member eligible to supervise USRA students, it will automatically be included in the USRA competition. Although students may apply for USRA alone, the automatic inclustion of VetSRA applications in USRA competition means that the student must choose only one candidate supervisor for these two competitions. [It is not permissible to apply for VetSRA with one supervisor (i.e., who is not eligible for USRA supervision) and apply to USRA with another supervisor (i.e., who is eligible for USRA supervision)]. The application deadline for USRA is February 16, 2017. Questions should be directed to Leslie Cudmore ( and further details can be found on the Research website's Undergraduate Research Opportunities page.

AVC Summer Research and Leadership Program Eligibility:

Applicants must be DVM students (BSc students may be eligible if space is available) who have completed their first or second year of study. In order to partake in the program you must have (or obtain) a summer position with a faculty mentor at the AVC. Students from other veterinary colleges in Canada and the USA and working with AVC faculty are eligible to participate on a limited basis. Contact GSR office ( for details.

Application process

To apply for the AVC Summer Research & Leadership Program, complete and submit the application form. The deadline for application into the Summer Research and Leadership Program is May 10, 2017. 

Student responsibilities in SRLP

  1. To participate in the interactive sessions of the schedule, including presentation of research project and plans and a poster presentation of research results.
  2. To participate in the roundtable, lecture, and seminar sessions outlined in the schedule.
  3. To participate in scheduled group field trips.

Faculty responsibilities in SRLP

  1. Adjust the student’s work schedule to permit attendance in program events and to accommodate a field trip, unless an unreasonable burden is placed on the research.
  2. To assist the student in preparation of a poster describing the summer’s research or educational project.
  3. To provide the necessary resources for a positive summer research experience.

Finding a research project

At the Atlantic Veterinary College, the major focus areas of research are comparative biomedicine, fish health, population health, animal welfare, and infectious diseases/public health. Check the AVC departmental websites for faculty research interests and current projects. You should also regularly check the UPEI Human Resources website for advertised summer student positions offered by AVC researchers. Participation in the Summer Research & Leadership Program is not feasible in every summer position (e.g., positions requiring extensive travel for field work that would make regular attendance in SRLP activities impossible), so check with the supervisor before applying to SRLP.

Stipend information

Stipends vary depending on the source of funds. Generally, summer research positions cover a period of 12-15 weeks starting in May and ending in August. Stipends for students are not administered by SRLP. They are the responsibility of the sponsor (see funding opportunities listed earlier on this page.)

SRLP activities (details subject to change):

  • Program Overview and Post-Graduate Opportunities in Veterinary Research
  • Proposal Writing and Research Grant Process
  • Principles of Good Scientific Presentations
  • Preparing a Poster Presentation
  • Opportunities in Government Animal Health Research
  • Workshop in Scientific Writing
  • International Research Opportunities
  • Ethics in Research
  • Animal Welfare and Animal Care in Research Settings
  • Careers in Biomedical Research
  • Field Trip – Industry Research Organization
  • There will also be lectures/roundtable discussions on specific areas of research
  • (topics to be determined)
  • Poster Presentations and Luncheon

Contact information

Darlene Wakelin 
Graduate Studies and Research
Atlantic Veterinary College, Room 2309N
550 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 4P3
Phone: (902) 566-0572

Contact UPEI