The purpose the summer International Research Project is to provide veterinary students with a positive experience in global health research, and encourage them to consider a future career in global health.
|To read about the selection criteria for your International Research Project, see page 17 of the handbook. Download Handbook|
Follow the steps below to plan your project:
Step 1: Plan ahead
Veterinary students who have completed their first or second year of veterinary school are eligible for the international research project (VMP 900). To prepare, you need to plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss any funding opportunities, which start as early as October.
Ideally, you should complete the following steps before October in your first or second year to maximize your chances of securing your research project for the following summer.
Step 2: Think about the type of research you’d like to do
Global health research is a complex, interdisciplinary field that tackles multiple aspects of human and animal health. Research takes many forms, so start to shape your project by deciding what type of work you’d like to do:
- Field work (e.g. sample collection)
- Lab work (e.g. antimicrobial resistance)
- Desk work (e.g. data analysis)
Keep in mind that your research project should focus on a significant global health problem.
Step 3: Choose a location
Global health research takes place all over the world. Think carefully about where you’d like to go, even if it’s just choosing from one of the continents. Choosing a global health problem that impacts low-middle income countries is preferred but not required.
If you have a specific country in mind, take time to consider whether you’d need any language skills (in West Africa, for instance, the dominant language is French, whereas in East Africa, some English is spoken).
You should also check out the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories, which lists the safety level of different countries. For your safety, you will not be allowed to travel to a country with Level 3 or 4 status.
Step 4: Pick a field of global health
Global health can be broadly subdivided into major fields. Depending on the type of work you’d like to do, the country you’d like to work in or the species you’re interested in working with, you can start to solidify your project idea by reading about ongoing research in these areas, and understanding which field of global health you could work in.
Some examples include:
- Antimicrobial resistance
- Food safety (e.g. bacterial pathogens in animal source foods)
- Food security (e.g. the impact of socioeconomic pressures on food availability)
- Infectious diseases
- Livestock livelihoods
Step 5: Find a research mentor
Research projects typically last for months or years. To maximize your research experience, rather than start from scratch, you will likely join an existing research team and participate in an ongoing project. This will allow you to get a taste of global health research and make valuable connections within the global health research community.
To find a research team, search through publications incorporating different aspects of your project idea, including the country, species and global health field. For help with this step, contact Dr. Andy Stringer.
|See page 18 of the handbook to find out more about research mentors. Download Handbook|
Final Step: Contact Dr. Andy Stringer
Once you have a list of 3-4 principal investigators, contact Dr. Andy Stringer, the Director of Global Health Education, who will review your choices with you, discuss funding options and help you contact your list of principal investigators.