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Penn Vet New Bolton Center, Royal Veterinary College Launch New MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Veterinary Scholarship Program for Equine Research

By: Hannah Kleckner Date: Jun 24, 2021

[PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, USA] - The University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) – together with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and MARS EQUESTRIAN™ – has launched a new, international scholarship program aimed at advancing the health and welfare of the horse while providing an unparalleled learning experience for one aspiring veterinary investigator.

Through its interdisciplinary, mentorship-based approach, the MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar program offers the unique opportunity to conduct research alongside internationally-renowned experts in equine health and veterinary welfare while pursuing two advanced credentials: the Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior at Penn Vet during year one, followed by the Master of Research (MRes) program at the RVC in year two. 

Building upon Penn Vet’s MARS EQUESTRIAN Early Career Investigator Program launched in November of 2020, this new format offers the candidate an exclusive opportunity to refine critical research skills and expand animal welfare knowledge while learning on location at both the RVC in London, England and Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States.

Dr. Kyla Ortved, New Bolton Center
Dr. Kyla Ortved

Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved, assistant professor of large animal surgery at New Bolton Center, will serve as the primary mentor for the program’s embedded research project. A clinical expert in equine orthopedic surgery and sports medicine, Ortved’s research program seeks to better understand attributes of the equine joint in order to improve clinical outcomes associated with osteoarthritis following injury in horses.

“There are two fundamental components to a successful career in the veterinary medicine field: exceptional mentorship and the continuous pursuit of applicable knowledge,” said Ortved. “The multidisciplinary approach of the MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar program is set to provide both of these cardinal elements through an experiential learning environment that will ultimately culminate in delivering meaningful advancements that will have a very real, positive impact on the lives our equine partners.”

Dr. Tom Parsons, Penn Vet New Bolton Center
Dr. Thomas Parsons

The selected candidate will also learn from leading experts in animal welfare including Penn Vet’s Dr. Tom Parsons, professor of swine production medicine, director of Penn Vet’s Swine Teaching & Research program and one of the founding members of Penn Vet’s Animal Welfare and Behavior Certificate program. This certificate, coupled with the RVC’s MRes program, will balance pragmatic understandings of multi-species health, behavior, and well-being with interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that can be directly deployed through the program’s research projects.

“I am delighted that the RVC is able to support this new transatlantic initiative for veterinary graduates following a generous donation from MARS EQUESTRIAN,” said Professor Richard Bomphrey, Interim Vice Principal for Research at the Royal Veterinary College. “It strengthens the ties between the RVC, the University of Pennsylvania and MARS EQUESTRIAN while providing an outstanding training and research opportunity. We look forward to welcoming the successful scholar and helping them to make an impact in equine research."

“MARS EQUESTRIAN is thrilled to support this truly unique and innovative international program unlike anything else offered in veterinary medicine training,” said Bridgett McIntosh, PhD, Director at MARS Equestrian. “Our goal is to continue to drive the field forward in creating a better world for horses by engaging and training the next generation of veterinarians.”

The MARS EQUESTRIAN Veterinary Research Scholar program is open to interested UK, US and international candidates holding a veterinary degree (DVM/VMD/BVSc or equivalent). The chosen candidate will receive an annual stipend and tuition as well as travel expenses. The programme will commence in September 2021 in the United States before moving to the UK in October 2022 until its conclusion in September 2023.

The deadline to submit applications for consideration is June 30, 2021 or until an acceptable candidate is identified. Applications should be sent to the Penn Vet’s Dr. Kyla Ortved at kortved@vet.upenn.edu

About the Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London. It was the first in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC.

  • The RVC is the top veterinary school in the world according to the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2021.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research led institution with 79% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.
  • http://www.rvc.ac.uk

About MARS EQUESTRIAN™

MARS EQUESTRIAN™ Sponsorship, funded by Mars, Incorporated is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, MARS EQUESTRIAN is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines, to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, the MARS EQUESTRIAN Brand is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them. For more information please visit www.marsequestrian.com and join us @marsequestrian.