NIH Support of Biomedical Research Training for Veterinarians

Comment on this policyVeterinarians play an important role in biomedical research that benefits animal, human, and environmental health. As identified by multiple studies, including a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, federal support for graduate education and scientific training of veterinarians is critical to support a broad approach to health, including spontaneous and designed models of human disease, transmission of disease from animal to human populations, and comparative studies that provide insight on biological processes fundamental to human disease mechanisms. Postgraduate research fellowships from the National Institutes of Health play an important and often limiting role in the support of postgraduate research education of veterinarians. While physician scientist training programs from the National Institutes of Health explicitly include veterinarians as potential trainees, individual Institutes may, and often do, exclude veterinarians from eligibility. The AVMA strongly supports the policy of inclusion of veterinarians in individual and institutional postgraduate training programs from the NIH and the selection of trainees and training programs based on competitive applications for funding.