Increase the Number of Veterinarians Serving as Principal Investigators
Each awardee institution should take full advantage of their T32 award by utilizing all of the trainee positions for which they receive funding (between 4 and 6 trainee positions per year). In addition, if the current T32 program becomes maximally utilized, NIH should consider increasing funding to this program to accommodate additional awardee institutions. The T32 award requirement that all individuals complete one year of clinical training is creating unnecessary barriers for veterinary graduates wanting to enter training programs immediately after graduation. This requirement should be removed from T32 granting stipulations. Research institutions and schools of veterinary medicine should also encourage postgraduate veterinary trainees to apply for NRSA:Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) awards and K awards and should actively provide the support necessary for young veterinary researchers to compete successfully for these awards. Veterinary schools should also seek to strengthen their dual-degree (DVM-PhD) programs through the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) mechanism.