AVMA supporting student research, evaluating AJVR

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The AVMA Executive Board took several actions in April within the realm of research, including actions to support research by veterinary students and to evaluate the quality of the AVMA’s American Journal of Veterinary Research.

The board approved spending $30,000 annually to support veterinary students conducting summer research projects across the country. Every year, the AVMA will provide each of five students with a $5,000 stipend along with $1,000 to attend the Merial/National Institutes of Health National Veterinary Scholars Symposium, the culmination of the projects.

Dr. Janver D. Krehbiel, board chair, spoke in support of the growing summer research program as a way to start students on a path toward a career in research. According to background materials, about 200 students who wish to conduct summer research projects cannot do so each year because of a lack of funding.

One goal in the 2012-2015 AVMA Strategic Plan is to advance scientific research and discovery, with an objective being to “support increased exposure of veterinary students to the value of research.”

The American Veterinary Medical Foundation supports the Veterinary Scholars Symposium with $20,000 annually, including sponsorship of the Young Investigator Award for veterinarians in postdoctoral programs.

On a recommendation from the Task Force on the American Journal of Veterinary Research, the board approved developing and administering two surveys to assist in determining whether the AJVR is meeting the needs of its target audiences.

The Task Force on the AJVR is seeking answers from the journal’s target audiences to two questions: “What do you want the AJVR to be?” and “How well is the AJVR delivering on those expectations?”

The first survey will explore whether the AJVR meets the expectations of the veterinary research community, and the second survey will explore whether the AJVR meets the needs of readers and AVMA members.

The board also approved revising the charge of the task force, which had originally been to develop a process to evaluate the quality and direction of the AJVR. The charge now extends to determining whether the AJVR is meeting the needs of its target audiences and making recommendations regarding the journal’s mission, scope, and quality.

In another action, the board approved spending $7,000 in 2013 and $8,000 in 2014 and 2015 for the AVMA to participate in the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use.

According to background materials, the roundtable will foster communication and problem solving among representatives of constituencies with interests in the use of laboratory animals in research and testing.