New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Sarah Ciamillo and her horse
Sarah Ciamillo, DVM, the first Early Career Investigator for the MARS Equestrian™ Early Career Investigator program, providing aspiring veterinary researchers with an exceptional, multidimensional mentorship experience guided by a team of leading Penn Vet researchers and animal health experts from MARS Equestrian™ and the WALTHAM™ Equine Studies Group.

MARS Equestrian™ Veterinary Research Scholar 2024 – 2026

A Unique Two-center Training Opportunity

New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Royal Veterinary College (UK) in collaboration with MARS Equestrian™ is seeking a motivated, enthusiastic candidate interested in pursuing training in equine research and welfare. The program is open to US and international candidates holding a veterinary degree (DVM/VMD/BVSc or equivalent).

The overarching goal of this program is to improve the health and welfare of the horse by providing mentorship and training to a veterinary investigator interested in developing their equine knowledge and research skills.

  • The MARS Equestrian™ Veterinary Research Scholarship provides a unique research-training platform for a veterinarian who is interested in improving equine health and welfare.
  • New Bolton Center at Penn Vet and the Royal Veterinary College are centers of excellence at the forefront of animal health and together with MARS Equestrian™, will continue to drive the field forward in creating a better world for horses by engaging and training the next generation of veterinarians.
  • This unique two-year program will provide research and animal welfare training within the supportive environments of two dedicated research and clinical centers.

The aims of this program will be achieved in part by the candidate completing a research project and the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior program at New Bolton Center during year one, followed by completion of a second research project and the Master of Research (MRes) program at the Royal Veterinary College in year two. There is an annual stipend that runs throughout the entire length of the program.

Program Objectives

  • Cultivate a broad understanding of equine research

    Cultivate a broad understanding of equine research through engagement with different researchers at New Bolton Center and RVC. The investigator will develop skills in both basic bench top research and clinical research throughout the program.

  • Develop specific research skills

    Develop specific research skills including appropriate literature searching and review; data collection and organization; abstract preparation and submission; oral presentation of research findings; and manuscript preparation. The investigator will also be introduced to statistical analysis and familiarized with grantsmanship and funding mechanisms.

  • Execute research projects

    Execute research projects during year 1 (New Bolton Center) and year 2 (RVC), the findings from which ideally will be submitted for abstract presentation at a national meeting and submitted as a complete manuscript.

  • Complete the Graduate Certificate in AWB

    Complete the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior at PennVet during the first year of the program.

  • Complete Master’s of Research

    Complete Master’s of Research at the Royal Veterinary College during the second year of the program.

Program Timeline
September 3, 2024 - September 1, 2025
  • Research scholar will spend the first year at New Bolton Center focused on developing research skills under the mentorship of Dr. Ortved
  • Research scholar will complete the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior at PennVet
October 1, 2025 - September 30, 2026        
  • The Research scholar will spend second year at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) focused on completing a Masters of Research within a selected research group

Applying to this Program

  • Application Deadline: March 15,2024
  • Application Submission: Please submit your CV and letter of intent to Dr. Kyla Ortved at
  • Interviews: Interviews will be conducted via Zoom and the successful candidate will be notified in May 2024.


  • For questions regarding the program or application submission, please contact Dr. Kyla Ortved.
  • For questions regarding the RVC Master’s of Research Program, please contact Dr. Claire Thornton at