Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships

Female student wearing PPE in laboratory looks at sampleOur Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships Program provides veterinary students of an AVMA-accredited veterinary school program with a unique opportunity to spend the summer learning about the cutting-edge science impacting both human and animal health.

As part of the 12-week funded fellowship, students will learn about many aspects of laboratory animal medicine, including:

  • Clinical medicine, surgery, and pathology
  • Animal colony management
  • Regulations
  • Animal program administration

Clinical medicine, surgery, and pathology comprise approximately 70% of a student’s effort. Students will shadow veterinarians, veterinary technicians, anesthesia technicians, and/or veterinary pathologists.

Students are expected to participate in a mentored research project, with the goal of presenting their work to the department at the conclusion of the externship. The project will comprise approximately 30% of the student’s effort and may be selected based on personal interests or current clinical research efforts within the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM).

Veterinary students in any year of an AVMA-accredited veterinary school program are eligible to apply. Although students will be expected to participate in a mentored research project as part of their fellowship, no previous research experience is required.

Students who apply must be available for the duration of the 12-week program.

The expected time commitment for the program is:

  • Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Occasional Saturday or Sunday (not a full day)
  • Weeknights, approximately 1 or 2 hours per night for reading and/or reviewing materials

               * Optional one-week vacation added into program duration

Applications for the 2024 Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships Program must be received by 5:00 PM on Friday, March 1, 2024.

Interested applicants should download and complete the Veterinary Student Summer Fellowship Application in order to be considered for the program. Additional application materials include a Letter of Intent and current resume or CV. An optional letter of recommendation may also be submitted.

Materials should be submitted to ULAM at Two concurrent fellows will be accepted each year. The decision date for the 2024 Program is March 22, 2024.

The overall objective of the Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships Program is to expose current veterinary students to the many aspects of laboratory animal medicine, including clinical medicine, pathology, administration, regulation, and research. Specific learning objectives include:

Improved and expanded clinical skills through direct participation in clinical cases achieved by:

  • Shadowing veterinary technicians and residents
  • Participation in clinical rounds

Increased understanding of animal pathology achieved by:

  • Direct work with pathologists and residents on current case submissions
  • Attendance and participation in necropsies and pathology rounds
  • Viewing tutorials

Better understanding of animal anesthesia and perioperative care of multiple species achieved by:

  • Assisting Animal Surgery Operating Room Technicians with surgical procedures
  • Proposing anesthetic and analgesic regimes to be utilized for surgeries 

Expanded knowledge base in husbandry, biology, and diseases of common laboratory animal species
achieved by:

Gained or increased experience in the scientific method and proper research techniques achieved by:

  • Participation in a mentored research project in which they will:
    • Refine and implement the study
    • Conduct a formal presentation of research findings to ULAM
    • Be strongly encouraged to attempt to publish their work
  • Participation in journal club

Learn the basic principles of managing large colonies of laboratory animals achieved by:

  • Studying the basics of rodent health monitoring and quality assurance
  • Attendance at Rodent Health Surveillance Team meetings
  • Shadowing Rodent Health Surveillance Technicians
  • Devising a solution to a non-rodent, population-based problem

Become acquainted with general regulatory requirements pertaining to laboratory animal care and use
achieved by:

  • Attending Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee meetings and/or meeting with select staff
    from the Animal Care & Use Office
  • Attendance at facility inspections and post-approval monitoring
  • Reviewing animal use applications
  • Didactic instruction

Specific topics that the Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships Program may include, but are not limited to:

  • Breeding, Management, and Diseases of Rats and Mice
  • Biology, Laboratory Management, and Diseases of Rabbits
  • Breeding, Management and Diseases of Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, and other Rodents
  • Primate Biology and Medicine
  • Diseases, Husbandry, and Research Uses of ‘Other’ Species
    • Fish
    • Amphibians
    • Reptiles
    • Hoof stock
    • Swine
    • Non-vertebrates
  • Clinical Pathology in Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Organization and Administration of Animal Resource Programs
  • Research techniques pertaining to animal use, including:
    • Diagnostic imaging
    • Animal behavior
    • Neurological and cardiovascular assessment
    • Creation and maintenance of transgenic rodent colonies
    • Germ-free technology

References and Resources


For more information about the Veterinary Student Summer Fellowships Program, please contact ULAM at or (734) 764-0277.