New Fellowship Program Partners Nonprofit, Industry and Academia to Provide Solution for Critical Shortage of Animal Health Scientists

Denver/August 31, 2009 — Private practice isn’t for everyone, but for graduating veterinary students facing an average of $120,000 in debt, it often is the only logical choice. A new program—the Pfizer Animal Health–Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) Veterinary Fellowship for Advanced Study—gives current practitioners necessary financial support while they pursue a veterinary research career. The program commits a minimum of nearly $1.7 million over four years toward a solution to the growing need for trained veterinary scientists.



"Many practicing veterinarians may wish to become veterinary scientists but can’t continue their educational journey due to financial constraints, such as high student debt," said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, director, global alliances for Pfizer Animal Health. "The Pfizer Animal Health–MAF fellowships help these professionals pursue a new career path and provide a unique solution to the critical need for more veterinary scientists."

The recipients of the fellowships are practicing veterinarians returning for a PhD. Each will receive $60,000 per year for four years—provided equally by MAF, Pfizer Animal Health and the student’s academic institution—for living expenses and tuition while pursuing advanced veterinary study. Upon receiving their degree, graduates must commit to staying in animal health research for at least four years, where they will help fill a much needed gap in the veterinary medical field.

"New discoveries in animal health—which also may improve human health—will not occur without new scientists seeking solutions," said Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, president/CEO of MAF. "By providing students with a living wage while they pursue advanced scientific training, this fellowship program opens the door to new careers for veterinary professionals and helps ensure the future of veterinary medical advances."