New MARS Equestrian Veterinary Scholarship Program for Equine Research – Business Solutions for Equine Practitioners

The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), along with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and MARS Equestrian, has launched a new international scholarship program aimed at promoting the health and welfare of the horse while being an unprecedented one Learning experience to provide learning for a budding veterinarian.

Through its interdisciplinary, mentor-based approach, the MARS Equestrian Veterinary Research Scholar program offers offers the unique opportunity to conduct research with internationally recognized experts in equine health and animal welfare while gaining two advanced qualifications: the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior at Penn Vet in the first year, followed by the Master of Research (MRes) program that of the RVC in its sophomore year.

Building on Penn Vet’s MARS Equestrian Early Career Investigator Program launched in November 2020, this new format provides candidates with an exclusive opportunity to refine critical research skills and expand their knowledge of animal welfare while both at the RVC in London, England, as well as at Penn Vet’s on-site Learn New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, USA.

Dr. Kyla Ortved from Penn Vet, Assistant Professor of Large Animal Surgery at the New Bolton Center, will serve as the lead mentor for the program’s embedded research project. As a clinical expert in equine orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, Ortved’s research program aims to better understand the properties of the horse’s joint in order to improve clinical outcomes related to osteoarthritis after injury in horses.

“There are two basic components to a successful career in veterinary medicine: exceptional care and the continuous pursuit of applicable knowledge,” said Ortved. “The multidisciplinary approach of the MARS Equestrian Veterinary Research Scholar program will provide these two fundamental elements through an experiential learning environment that will ultimately culminate in meaningful advances that will have a very real, positive impact on the lives of our equine partners. ”

The selected candidate will also learn from leading experts in animal welfare, including Dr. Tom Parsons of Penn Vet, Professor of Pig Production Medicine, Director of Penn Vet’s Pig Education and Research Program, and a founding member of Penn Vet’s Animal Welfare and Conduct Certification Program. This certificate, in conjunction with the RVC’s MRes program, will balance a pragmatic understanding of health, behavior and wellbeing of multiple species with interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that can be directly used by the program’s research projects.

“I am delighted that, following a generous donation from MARS Equestrian, RVC can support this new transatlantic veterinary graduate initiative,” said Professor Richard Bomphrey, Interim Vice Principal for Research at the Royal Veterinary College. “It strengthens the links between the RVC, the University of Pennsylvania and MARS Equestrian, while also providing an excellent educational and research opportunity. We look forward to welcoming the successful fellow and helping him to make a difference in equine research. ”

“MARS Equestrian is thrilled to support this truly unique and innovative international program that is unlike anything else on offer in veterinary medicine,” said Bridgett McIntosh, PhD, Director at MARS Equestrian. “Our goal is to continue to advance the field to create a better world for horses by engaging and training the next generation of veterinarians.”

The MARS Equestrian Veterinary Research Scholar program is open to interested UK, US and international candidates with a veterinary degree (DVM / VMD / BVSc or equivalent). The selected candidate receives an annual scholarship and tuition fees as well as travel expenses. The program begins in the United States in September 2021, before moving to the United Kingdom in October 2022 and completing in September 2023.

The deadline for submitting applications for consideration is June 30, 2021 or until an acceptable candidate is identified. Applications are to be sent to Dr. To be directed to Kyla Ortved from Penn Vet at

About Penn Vet

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is ranked among the top 10 veterinary schools in the world and is a world leader in veterinary education, research and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school to be developed in partnership with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, which combines human, animal and environmental health.

Penn Vet caters to a diverse animal population at its two sites, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia cares for dogs, cats, and other pets and pets with nearly 35,300 patient visits per year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s Large Animal Hospital, located on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and farm animals. The hospital treats nearly 5,300 patient visits annually, while the field service treats more than 38,000 patients on local farms. In addition, the New Bolton Center campus includes a pig center, functioning dairy and poultry department that provide valuable research for the agricultural industry.

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