DVM seeking PhD

Comparative Medicine NIH Training Grant

Graduate Training Program in Comparative Medicine for Veterinary Scientists

Program Description

The Graduate Training Program in Comparative Medicine for Veterinary Scientists (DVMs seeking a PhD) can provide up to three years of funding to qualified veterinarians seeking PhD training in basic or translational science. The program is supported by an institutional NIH training grant (T32 OD 011000). Training is available in a broad range of scientific areas. The Veterinary Scientists Program is a structured program that aims to provide high quality research training with the goal of helping veterinarians enter research and discovery careers as independent veterinary scientists.


To be eligible for this NIH-supported program, applicants must

  • Be a current first year in the BBS PhD program, and have completed three laboratory rotations.
    • Applications will be received in the Spring semester of the BBS PhD student's first year. NIH trainee appointments start towards the end of the Spring semester of the first year of graduate school.
  • Be US citizens or permanent residents.
  • Possess a recognized veterinary degree.
  • Be in good standing with the Graduate School at the time of Application.
  • Be nominated by an Approved Mentor/Trainer. A list of approved trainers can be found on the Comparative Medicine faculty page. Normally, prospective applicants would rotate through one or more of the approved trainer’s laboratories.

Program Benefits

Trainees receive tuition support, a stipend of $54,840 minimum (rates will be based on the current award fiscal year NIH post doc scale), health benefits, a travel allowance, and a training-related allowance. The dollar value of the benefits varies from year to year. Current information regarding benefits can be obtained by contacting Arla Hourigan (aj96@cornell.edu)

Each full-time postdoctoral NRSA appointed trainee is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period for childcare costs provided by a licensed childcare provider. For households where both parents are eligible full-time predoctoral or postdoctoral NRSA trainees, each parent is eligible to receive $2,500. See NIH website for more information. 

To Apply

Inquiring parties should be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Citizenship (including dual citizenship) or current visa status
  • Undergraduate and veterinary college graduation dates
  • Cumulative grade point average and class rank if known
  • Work experience since graduation with the DVM degree or its equivalent

Applications for the Program require two components

  • A nomination letter provided by an approved faculty trainer in whose laboratory the prospective trainee has rotated. The nomination letter should provide a brief description of the proposed thesis project, a statement of support and willingness to host the trainee, and a description of laboratory-based training activities (mentor meeting schedule, lab meetings, etc.) that will be provided to the trainee.
  • An application from the prospective trainee consisting of:
    • A letter of intent stating reasons for applying for support, career plans and goals, and a description of the proposed thesis project to be undertaken with the nominating faculty trainer.
    • An NIH biosketch or CV.
    • A list of courses taken and grades received during the first fall semester in graduate school.

Faculty trainer nomination letters and student application materials should be submitted to Arla Hourigan, aj96@cornell.edu. 

Applications are reviewed and ranked by the Comparative Medicine Training Program Executive Committee (Drs. Craig Altier, Julia Felippe, John Parker, Colin Parrish, and Bettina Wagner).

Program Administration

Program Director: Dr. John Parker (jsp7@cornell.edu)
Tuition, stipend, and health insurance payments handled by Arla Hourigan (aj96@cornell.edu)
Training related expenses administered by Terri Denman (T32dvmphd@cornell.edu)

An Executive Committee oversees the Program. The Executive Committee makes decisions regarding appointments of faculty trainers and student trainees and monitors trainee progress.

Executive committee members:

External advisors provide the Program Director and Executive Committee with additional feedback on the program.

External Advisors:

  • Dr. Garry Adams, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Andres Vasquez-Torres, UC Denver Anschutz Medical School
  • Dr. Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, Michigan Sate