Veterinary Summer Scholars Program

Gain practical research skills with expert insight and mentorship from a faculty member

Under the guidance of a College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty mentor, complete a 12-week research project during the summer term. Veterinary students gain experience in hypothesis-based research in comparative and veterinary medicine. The program culminates in a research symposium, where students present their research findings to faculty and peers. Funded projects will provide student stipend.

2024 Program Dates: May 13-August 12

Program Activities

vet student giving poster presentation

Seminars and workshops

Topics include:

    • Conducting ethical and responsible research
    • Scientific dialogue and communication
    • Effective grantsmanship and the development of hypothesis-driven research
    • Clinical trials and clinical research design
    • Preparing and presenting scientific data as an oral talk or poster
    • Research careers in the veterinary sciences
    • Rodent handling

Field trips

Destinations include Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and Soapstone Prairie to participate in tours and learn about research conducted on site. Social activities like hiking and bike rides are paired with these activities.

Science Slam

Veterinary Summer Scholars Program Science Slam takes place the week preceding the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium and offers students a chance to showcase their research to their peers, mentors, and lab-mates via short oral presentations.

National Symposium

The National Veterinary Scholars Symposium will be held August 8-10 in St. Paul, Minnesota, bringing together veterinary students from most of the veterinary programs in the United States and Canada. Students present their research in the form of a poster and learn about current research topics in veterinary science. All students are requested to attend. Travel costs (registration, airfare, lodging, and meals) will be provided by mentor laboratories.


2024 Orientation Agenda

Monday, May 20, 2024
9–11:30 a.m.
PATH 103

9-9:15 a.m.Dr. Mark ZabelWelcome/Introductions
9:15-9:30 a.m.Aimee Oke, Wendy Stevenson, Kristy MorenoOrganizational Details/Paperwork
9:30-10 a.m.Rebecca MoritzBiosafety
10-10:30 a.m.Dr. Colleen Duncan, Dr. Tracy WebbGreen Lab Ambassador Challenge
10:30-11 a.m.Pamela KempThriving Amid Challenge
11-11:30 a.m.Dr. Steve DowClinical vs. Basic Science in Veterinary Research

2024 Program Schedule

Week May 13-17 Start of the program (lab-specific orientation, social events)
Friday, May 17TBDTBDGet Together
Week May 20-24
Monday, May 209-11:30 a.m.PATH 103Summer Program Orientation REQUIRED
Tuesday May 219-11 a.m.PATH 103Responsible Conduct in Research Training (Kathy Kioussopoulos) REQUIRED
Thursday May 231-2:30 p.m.PATH 103Rigor and Reproducibility (Kathy Kioussopoulos) REQUIRED
Week May 27-31
Tuesday, May 281-2 p.m.PATH 103CSU Writes: Scientific Writing (Kristina Quynn, Ph.D.)*
Thursday, May 309-11 a.m.DCS VTH A221Green Labs (Drs. Colleen Duncan and Tracy Webb) REQUIRED
Friday, May 316:30 a.m. (leave CSU) to 5 p.m., details TBDField tripWild Animal Sanctuary – Keenesburg
Week June 3-7
Tuesday, June 49-10 a.m.PATH 103Writing an Abstract (Jeff Wilusz, Ph.D.) REQUIRED
Friday, June 7Meet at CSU TBD. 8:30 start. 90-minute tour. Max 25 people.)Field tripColorado Parks and Wildlife (Drs. Maicie Lingwall and Pauline Nol) CPW at west end of LaPorte
Week June 10-14
Tuesday, June 119-10 a.m.PATH 103Clinical Trials (Dr. Kristen Weishaar)*
Friday, June 148 a.m.-1 p.m., details TBDField tripSoapstone Prairie Natural Area (Jen Barfield, Ph.D.)
Week June 17-21
Tuesday, June 189-11 a.m.PATH 103Making a Scientific Poster and Science Slam (Dr. Steve Dow and Mark Zabel, Ph.D.) REQUIRED
Thursday, June 209-11 a.m.Bay Facility East of TMI (2351 Jensen Rd)Rodent Handling Workshop and Use of Animals in Research/LAM Careers (Dr. Lon Kendall)*
Week June 24-28
Tuesday, June 251-3 p.m.PATH 103Making Best Use of Research Design and Statistics in Veterinary Science (Sangeeta Rao, Ph.D.)*
Week July 1-5
Thursday, July 4 is a holiday
Week July 8-12
Monday, July 8 (tentative)Abstract Submission Due
Tuesday, July 99-10:30 a.m.
PATH 103Microaggressions in Medicine: Understanding, Preventing, and Responding (Naomi Nishi, Ph.D.) REQUIRED
Thursday, July 111-2:30 p.m.PATH 103Next Gen Sequencing NGS enlightenment - base meditation and bridge amplification for your synthesis (Dr. Christie Mayo and team)*
Friday, July 12 (tentative)All Day, details TBDField tripCSU Spur - Denver
Week July 15-19
Monday, July 15All Day, details TBDField tripRocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)
Tuesday, July 162-3 p.m.PATH 103Abstract Presentation - How to Make Your Data Important and Accessible (Dr. Gregg Griffenhagen)*
Week July 22-26
Thursday, July 259-10 a.m.PATH 103Fundamentals of Grant Writing (Jeff Wilusz, Ph.D.)*
Week July 29-Aug. 2
Friday, Aug. 210 a.m.-noonHEOC Hall and H131 study areaVSSP Poster Symposium REQUIRED
Week Aug. 5-9
Monday, Aug. 5TBDTBDVSSP Science Slam REQUIRED
Aug 8-10MinneapolisNational Veterinary Summer Scholars Symposium
Monday, Aug. 12Last Day

*There are 9 events that are REQUIRED. You must attend your choice of 3 of any of the * seminars listed.


Interested first- and second-year veterinary students from any accredited veterinary college in North America are encouraged to apply. Students must have completed at least one year of the veterinary curriculum by May of the program year and be in good academic standing.

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion among students, staff, and faculty, so that the college is a welcoming and supportive place for all. Individuals from underrepresented backgrounds in science are highly encouraged to apply for the Veterinary Summer Scholars Program.

Find a Mentor

Students are encouraged to begin seeking out mentors to outline potential research projects one to two months in advance of the application deadline. Mentors will need to provide a letter of support for students outlining the potential research project and commit to supporting any research expenses (materials, supplies, services, and equipment) associated with the project, and provide funding to attend the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium at the end of the program.


Student stipends are funded through grants awarded to CSU from multiple sources, including Boehringer-Ingelheim, the National Institutes of Health, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Some funding sources only support specific project types, so students looking to secure funding from one of these grants should align their application materials with a project focus specified by the funding source.

  • Boehringer-Ingelheim: Projects can cover any topic. Stipends are $6,588 for 12-week projects.
  • National Institutes of Health: Projects should be focused on molecular, mechanistic, applied, and translational biomedical research. Stipends are $6,588 for 3-month projects.
  • USDA Fellowships: Projects should be focused on livestock reproduction, health, or disease research. Stipends are $6,588 for 12-week projects.

If students are not awarded funding through these program sources, but mentors can secure funding to support their positions, they are welcome to participate in the summer program.

Students must certify that they understand this is a full-time commitment (40 hours/week) over the summer and that they can devote the required time if they accept an offer. Students must agree to not hold any other employment positions that require more than a few hours per month over the summer.