Supplemental PhD Funding

Introduction and Background
The greatest need for veterinary pathologists is for those with both residency training leading to ACVP (or equivalent) specialty board certification and research training culminating in the PhD degree.  This requires an average of 7-8 years post-DVM training, typically including ≥3 years of residency training in either anatomic or clinical pathology and ≥4 years of PhD graduate research.  Funding for the latter is most often NIH-based (e.g., National Research Service Awards, RO1 grants or T32 training grants) and is usually limited to 3 years of support.  In most cases this does not provide adequate time for completion of the PhD, thus leaving graduate students and their faculty mentors with the difficult task of piecing together funding for one or more additional years to complete the dissertation research.  At the same time, biopharmaceutical companies frequently have research interests which overlap with those of PhD candidates in academic training programs.  By making these two groups aware of each others research interests and needs there is the potential for mutually beneficial and valuable collaborative interactions.

Objectives/Rationale
The purpose of this program is to facilitate supplemental funding from industry for at least one additional year of funding for post-DVM pathology PhD graduate students to complete their dissertation research by matching the research interests and needs of industry, graduate students and their faculty mentors.

Operational Procedures

  1. Interested industrial sponsors and North American training institutions complete the attached form describing specifics of the PhD graduate research they are interested to fund or for which they are requesting funding, respectively.
  2. Subject to review/approval by the Coalition, all information received from industrial sponsors and training institutions is posted on the Coalition web site under “Career Advancement Opportunities” for a period of 3 months.
  3. All North American training institutions or industrial companies by automatically notified by email once the information is posted.   
  4. When matching research interests are discovered based on posted information; (a) industrial companies that have offered funding receive applications from training institutions per instructions included in their postings, or (b) industrial companies, whether or not they have offered funding, contact training institutions that have posted requests for funding.
  5. Thereafter, the Coalition has no further role, but remains available to facilitate interactions between the industry sponsor, training institution and PhD candidate as needed, and tracks results of requests for, and offers of, funding.
  6. All interviews, finances and requirements related to workman’s compensation, intellectual property, etc, remain the responsibility, and are arranged to the mutual satisfaction of the industry sponsor, the training institution and the PhD candidate.
  7. All costs associated with the PhD graduate research funding will be as mutually agreed upon by all parties.
  8. All participating training institutions and industrial companies will be identified in Coalition publicity materials as sponsoring organizations.  Funding will be designated as “The <name of company> Research Fellowship.”
  9. This service will be provided free of charge for the first listing from each sponsor that has supported the Coalition and each training institution.  Thereafter, all industrial companies and training institutions will pay the Coalition a $250 fee/listing.

Advantages of Participants

  • Industry
    • Advanced PhD graduate student contributing to research directly related to the company’s R&D objectives
    • Lower investment as compared to funds required for longer term training positions
    • More cost effective to use this Coalition service as compared to time/effort of in-house staff to implement similar arrangement
    • Quick and simple access to a more than 40 training institutions
    • Opportunity for close evaluation and recruitment of future veterinary pathologists
  • Training institutions
    • Supplemental funding to allow PhD candidates to complete their dissertation research
    • Increased visibility within industry and opportunity for subsequent collaborative research
  • PhD Graduate Students
    • Network support for communication with a wide variety of industrial companies
    • Additional time to successfully complete dissertation research
    • Less stress about funding for completion of dissertation project
    • Opportunity for exposure to industrial environment and future employment