Students, veterinarians can apply for AVMF scholarships, grants

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The American Veterinary Medical Foundation has announced its scholarships for 2013.

Veterinary students
Veterinary students who received scholarships from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation last year were recognized at the Foundation’s Partner Breakfast during the 2012 AVMA Annual Convention this past August in San Diego. (Courtesy of Matt Alexandre/Robb Cohen Photography)

This year, the Foundation will continue to partner with the Winn Feline Foundation in awarding a $2,500 scholarship to a third- or fourth-year veterinary student with an interest in feline medicine. Emphasis is placed on students who are involved in, or volunteer for, activities that benefit the health and welfare of cats, such as research or shelter work. GPA and financial need are also considered.

AVMF 50th anniversary logoIn addition, through the Mildred C. Sylvester Scholarship Fund, the AVMF will award multiple $1,000 scholarships to first-, second-, and third-year students attending AVMA Council on Education–accredited veterinary schools and colleges.

New in 2013 is a scholarship program focused on students interested in aquatic veterinary medicine. The Aquatic Veterinary Scholarships are sponsored by the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Foundation, and AVMA.

Another scholarship the AVMF is debuting this year is the Elinor McGrath Scholarship. This will be a $500 award to a female veterinary student who has had to overcome an obstacle in her life to pursue a veterinary career. Dr. McGrath, who graduated from Chicago Veterinary College in 1910, is recognized as America’s first practicing female veterinarian. She has been quoted as saying, “I had a goal to reach, so I overcame the obstacles.”

The AVMF is partnering with Juliette Fassett for this award. She is founder of Dr. McGrath’s, a brand of animal grooming products named in honor of the pioneering veterinarian. A portion of sales from Dr. McGrath’s Conditioning Animal Shampoo funds this award.

A special scholarship opportunity is being offered to celebrate the AVMA’s 150th anniversary and the AVMF’s 50th anniversary this year. Students are invited to research and prepare a report on one topic of interest in the history of veterinary medicine for the competition “Understanding Our Past to Transform our Future.” Eight veterinary students will be chosen to each receive a $2,500 scholarship prize and travel expenses for the AVMA Annual Convention in Chicago. There, the winners will present their entries at a special symposium.

The application for these scholarships can be found on the AVMF’s website,, by clicking on the “What We Fund” link. The deadline for submission is May 15.

In October, the AVMF will launch the fourth annual Pfizer Animal Health/AVMF Student Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $3.12 million to more than 850 second- and third-year veterinary students.

Awarding exceptional veterinary students with scholarships is one way the AVMF supports its strategic goal of student enhancement. Another strategic initiative of the AVMF is humane outreach and animal welfare. The Foundation accomplishes this goal partly by helping veterinarians provide medical care to animal victims during and after disasters.

Each year, the Foundation sponsors state, regional, and national disaster training sessions; up to $5,000 is available per session.

An organization may apply for sponsorship of one training session per year. The number of sessions to be sponsored in 2013 will depend on application merit and availability of funds. Application forms, which can also be found on the AVMF website, are due by April 30; recipients will be notified by letter in June.

The 2012 disaster training grant winners were the Michigan State Animal Response Team and Missouri VMA.

For more information on the scholarships or grants, contact Cheri Kowal, AVMF manager of programs and impact. She can be reached by email at ckowalatavma [dot] org (ckowal[at]avma[dot]org) or by phone at (847) 285-6691.