Undergraduate equine research
The Western College of Veterinary Medicine has a solid track record of administering and operating excellent summer research programs for undergraduate students — and the EHRF undergraduate summer student research program serves as an ideal example of the College's success in this area. Each summer, the Fund selects one first- or second-year veterinary student to work alongside an equine specialist on a horse health research project at WCVM. During the 16-week program, the EHRF summer research student is directly involved in planning and developing a research project, conducting experiments, collecting and summarizing results, then writing and editing a research report.
Besides hands-on research experience, the EHRF-sponsored student has access to other educational activities that are organized for all of WCVM's summer research students: leadership and communications skills workshops, tours of research centres at the University of Saskatchewan and opportunities to meet with veterinarians working in industry, research and the public service.
Many former EHRF summer research students have selected fourth-year clinical rotations in equine health, have applied for equine internships after graduation, or have pursued graduate programs in some aspect of equine health. This long-running program has helped to encourage many WCVM veterinary students to make horse health a part of their careers — whether it's in the fields of private practice, research, industry or academia.
ABOVE: Novaley Tensen (left) and Brie Hamblin work with a mare and foal as part of their undergraduate summer student research experience. Supervised by Dr. Hugh Townsend, the students were involved in an investigation of the immunologic mechanisms associated with the increased susceptibility of individual foals to Rhodococcus equi infection.