New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Program

The NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Program is designed to expose students in their first or second year of veterinary school to all phases of biomedical research. This includes the development of research ideas, the preparation of research proposals, the performance of biomedical research, and the presentation of research results in written and oral formats. Here's what you'll discover in these pages:

The NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Program

  • Below you can learn about the NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Program, its history, and how it works. Then visit the other pages in this section to learn the details.

NIH/BI Research Contacts

Michael Atchison, PhD, Program Co-Director
Phone: 215.898.6428

Yong No, Coordinator
Phone 215-898-3800

University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine
NIH/BI Summer Research Program
3800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6046

Finding a Research Mentor

Faculty and Projects

Departments & Graduate Groups

Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars and Other Research Programs for Veterinary Students

What the Program is About

The NIH/Boehringer Ingelheim Summer Research Program is designed to expose students in their first or second year of veterinary school to all phases of biomedical research. This includes the development of research ideas, the preparation of research proposals, the performance of biomedical research, and the presentation of research results in written and oral formats. Students in the program perform full time biomedical research during the months of June, July, and August, participate in weekly seminars, and present their work in oral, poster, and written presentations. Students also attend the National Boehringer Ingelheim Scholars Symposium. The program provides a rich experience in biomedical research for students and simultaneously exposes them to a wide variety of research topics through seminars. Students also benefit from close association with University faculty.

Who is Eligible?

Any veterinary student who has completed one semester of veterinary school is eligible to apply. Students can be from the University of Pennsylvania, or any other veterinary school.

History of the Program

The Summer Research Program has existed at Penn Vet since 1990. The program is currently funded by Boehringer Ingelheim and by an NIH training grant. Other sources of support include funds from the office of the dean, the four departmental chairs and the Marie Lowe Cancer Center. Since its inception, the program has funded 449 awards to 404 different students to perform biomedical research in the laboratories of 161 different faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania. The historical success rate of gaining acceptance into the program is about 75%. The chart below shows the number of applicants and matriculants in each year.

How Does the Program Work?

Students perform full time research during the months of June, July, and August under the supervision of their faculty mentor. Throughout the summer, students participate in weekly seminars given by faculty and guest speakers (see schedule, below). Students also orally present their own work to other students in the program at the end of the summer. Students attend the annual National Boehringer Ingelheim Scholars Symposium and present a poster of their work at the conference. In September, students prepare a written manuscript of their work in the form of a research paper. The following March, all participating students submit their work to the Penn Veterinary Student Research Day. In prior years, two thirds of the Penn Vet Student Research Day winners have been participants in the Summer Research Program.

In addition to a stipend (currently $6,204 for the summer) students receive course credit for independent study (8 credits for Penn students). Non-Penn Vet students can receive up to an additional $500 for relocation costs and will be offered reasonably priced housing options for the summer. It is anticipated that 20 students will be funded each year.

NIH/BI Summer Research Scholars Schedule 2019-2020
 All meetings are Mondays at 9 am, Hill Pavillion 132, unless otherwise indicated.
 4/16Introductory Meeting (NOTE: 4 pm, Hill Pavillion 132)
 6/3Careers in Pharmaceutical Industry - Drs. Jessica Stehr, Chris DeMaula, Colena Johnson - Merck
 6/10Careers in Academia - Dr. Michael May
Responsible Conduct in Research - Dr. Jenni Punt (NOTE: 10 am)
Poster, Oral, and Written Presentations - Drs. Frank Luca, Michael Atchison
Grants and Grant Writing - Drs. Michael Atchison, Michael May
Careers in Lab Animal Medicine - Dr. Raimon Duran-Struuck
Student Presentations (NOTE: 9-11 am)
7/17Panel Discussion: Career Paths of Alumni. Drs. Todd Strochlic, Stephen Cole, Collen Kane. (NOTE: Wednesday, 4 pm. Food and beverage provided)
7/22Student Presentations (NOTE: 9-11 am)
7/25-28National Veterinary Scholars Symposium hosted by Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, at Worcester State University
 7/29Trip to Philadelphia Science Center
Wrap-up Session
9/9 BBQ party
9/15 Student Research Write-Ups Due
February (2020)
Phi Zeta Abstracts are due.
March (2020)
Phi Zeta Day

National Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Symposium

Each year, veterinary students in formal research programs in the US, Canada, and Europe meet for a National Symposium. These meetings enable students to present their work to others, learn about careers for veterinarian-scientists, and network with their peers and scientists from academia, industry, and government. Past conferences are listed below. The 2018 conference is expected to be hosted by Texas A&M University.

Past National Conferences
Year Location YearLocation
2000 University of Georgia 2012Colorado State University
2001 University of Georgia 2013Michigan State University
2002 Purdue University 2014 Cornell University
2003 Kansas State University 2015UC Davis
2004 Auburn University 2016Ohio State University
2005 University of Georgia 2017NIH
2006 Louisiana State University 2018Texas A&M
2007 University of Pennsylvania and AAVMC at NIH 2019Worcester State University
2008 Michigan State University 2020TBD
2009 North Carolina State University   
2010 University of Georgia   
2011 University of Florida   

Application to the Program

To apply to the program, students interested in performing biomedical research discuss research ideas with faculty. All faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania are eligible to accept a student in the program, thus students are not restricted to those within the School of Veterinary Medicine. The Program Directors, Dr. Michael Atchison and Dr. Michael May, can assist students in identifying faculty with interests compatible with theirs, or students can identify a faculty mentor through information available at the various Penn graduate group web pages, and departmental web pages. The student and faculty mentor fill out an application package and write a short research proposal (approximately 3 pages) which is due February 1 each year. Please make sure to contact possible faculty mentors at least two months prior to the deadline. The research proposal should define the questions being pursued and should explain the experimental approaches to be taken to answer those questions. The advisory committee reviews the applications with respect to academic standing of the student, quality of the research proposal, and training potential of the mentor's laboratory. Students whose applications are funded are notified by late February of their award.