AVS and VDS Announce Inaugural AVS EMS Grants Winners

Following the launch of the inaugural Association of Veterinary Students (AVS) Extra Mural Studies (EMS) Grants sponsored by VDS Training in October 2018, the AVS and VDS Training are proud to announce the winners. Applications were received from students, from across the vet schools of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Students were looking to fund a variety of placements, from large animal placements to specialist small mammal placements and everything in between!

The awards will provide £200 a year to five deserving students, chosen by a committee of AVS and VDS Training committee members. The awards aim to bridge the financial gap, allowing students to complete EMS placements that they would otherwise not be able to. An AVS/British Veterinary Association (BVA) survey in 2016 found that the average expenditure for a two-week large animal placement was £152; three of the award winners, Jordan Egan and Molly Garbutt from the RVC and Eleanor Robertson from Liverpool University, are using the award to fund a placement at either farm or equine veterinary practices.

The award will also help students to see practice in an area of veterinary medicine which they are passionate about: Jamie Enright (RVC) will use the award to further his interest in veterinary dentistry at Eastcott Referrals and Stephanie Gowing (Liverpool) will complete a placement at VetsNow concentrating on Emergency and Critical Care Medicine. The awards will be presented by AVS and VDS Training at the AVS National Congress 2019, to be held at the beginning of February at the Royal Veterinary College.

The awards were announced after the AVS/BVA Survey found that cost was the biggest limitation for vet students whilst completing their 26 weeks of compulsory clinical EMS.

David Charles, AVS President, said: “Supporting students on EMS has been the theme of my presidential year and we’re thrilled to have had so many strong applications for the AVS EMS Grants. The winning applicants had all clearly thought about the benefits of the placement they were applying for funding for, set strong objectives and identified how the placement could further their veterinary education and complement their university teaching. I look forward to meeting the five recipients at our congress to award them their grants, and to seeing the grants continue to support more students in future years.”

Carolyne Crowe, VDS Training Consultant, said, “VDS Training are delighted to be supporting and enabling veterinary students to gain access to otherwise unaffordable EMS placements. Such placements can help and empower undergraduates along their career pathway, and provide valuable experience and insight into their future career. We look forward to following their progress."

 VDS Training have committed to fund the first two years of the grants, as a pilot scheme, and AVS have promised to review the offering based on demand after two years.

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' I am so grateful to be awarded an AVS EMS Grant as it has allowed me to undertake a placement that has enabled me to, not only work with expert equine clinicians, but also take the opportunity to develop my research skills. I am passionate about the social importance of animal health and welfare and have loved building experience which will complement future endeavours. In particular I am fascinated by the intricate social and financial roles of working equids, and how the welfare of these animals can be protected.'
Eleanor Robertson (Liverpool)

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Receiving this grant enables me to return to a placement I really enjoyed, and I believe this experience will be a really positive one in my desired career as a large animal vet
Molly Garbutt (RVC)





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Thank you to AVS and VDS Training for selecting me as a grant recipient this year. The support will allow me to attend a world-class, UK-based referral hospital, and will help cover the associated accommodation costs and travel expenses whilst on EMS. With this financial assistance, I now have the opportunity to develop and enhance my skills in a unique and highly specialised area of veterinary medicine, which I am both very excited and thoroughly grateful for. 
Jamie Enright (RVC)


The Association of Veterinary Students (UK & Ireland) is the representative body for veterinary students at the 9 vet schools in the UK & Ireland. AVS has over 5,500 members, approximately 97% of vet students in the UK & Ireland and represent the views of our members at all levels. AVS work closely with numerous organisations including the British Veterinary Association, Veterinary Schools Council and the RCVS to support veterinary students. Further information can be found at www.avsukireland.co.uk  or by emailing David Charles, AVS President, avspresident@gmail.com.

 VDS Training is a trading style of VDS Training Services Limited. VDS Training Services Limited is registered in England and Wales no. 10727838. Registered Office 4 Haig Court, Parkgate Industrial estate, Knutsford, WA16 8XZ.

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