Three veterinary students have been awarded MSD Animal Health Connect Bursary 2016 honours.

connect winners
From left: Sophie Milligan, Laura Hubbard, Michelle Townley and Olivia Saunders at the 2016 MSD Animal Health Connect Awards.

Laura Hubbard from the University of Nottingham took top honours, with Olivia Saunders of The University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and Sophie Milligan from the University of Bristol taking second and third places, respectively.

Cash awards

Ms Hubbard was awarded the Connect Trophy and £3,000 for her second-year research project, which investigated heavy metal and bacterial contamination in a range of fish species. Ms Saunders, meanwhile, received £2,000 for her project, which analysed multiple brain morphometric features in dogs to isolate key driving factors for syringomyelia.

Finally, Ms Milligan was awarded £1,000 for her final-year project, which evaluated veterinary surgeon perspectives of the clinical manifestations of Leptospira infection in dogs.

Better understanding

The MSD Animal Health Connect Bursaries are designed to give veterinary students the opportunity to undertake their own research projects and provide a better understanding of the work carried out by MSD’s research and development facilities in the UK.

Six £1,000 bursaries were awarded to students from the UK’s veterinary schools, with the recipients presenting their research findings to a panel of judges at MSD’s UK headquarters in Milton Keynes.

MSD veterinary advisor Michelle Townley said: “We were stunned by the breadth of projects covered by this year’s bursary recipients and by the level of detail to which each student completed his or her respective research projects.

“The knowledge and enthusiasm shown by all six of this year’s Connect students made it difficult to select the top three candidates, but the Connect judges felt Laura, Olivia and Sophie were all worthy winners.”

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