2024 WSAVA Michael J. Day Scholarship applications now open


The scholarship is awarded to a veterinary student interested in companion animal infectious disease, clinical vaccinology, or immunology.



The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) announced that the application period for its 2024 Michael J. Day Scholarship for veterinary students is now open. The scholarship awards financial assistance toward a research project into either small animal infectious disease, clinical vaccinology, or immunology.

“The WSAVA Michael J. Day Scholarship is important as it affords the selected scholar with the opportunity to hone their research skills, while pursuing a topic of interest relating to immunology, vaccinology, or infectious diseases. Its significance, however, extends beyond aiding students as the research conducted by the scholars benefits the whole global veterinary community. We thank MSD Animal Health, the long-term committed partner of the WSAVA Vaccination Committee, for continuing to support this scholarship in honor of our greatly missed friend and colleague, Michael,” Mary Marcondes DVM, Msc, PhD, chair of the WSAVA Vaccination Committee (formerly known as the Vaccination Guidelines Group), said in an organizational release.1

According to the release, the scholarship recognizes Michael J. Day BSc, BVMS(Hons), PhD, DSc, Dr(hc), DiplECVP, FASM, FRCPath, FRCVS, and his contributions to companion animal immunology and vaccinology during his time as chair of the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines Group from 2009 until March 2020.1 The scholarship was announced in 2022 and awarded to Scholar Somnath Aryal, BVSc & AH, who was studying the prevalence of canine tick-borne disease within the dog population of Nepal, one of the first initiative surveys of diseases at the species level.

“The findings of my research project shed new light on the prevalence and molecular characteristics of canine tick-borne diseases in Nepal where they pose significant health risks to both dogs and humans. This knowledge is crucial for the implementation of effective prevention and control strategies and is now available to veterinarians across Nepal,” Aryal explained in the release.1

Prospective student applicants will need to identify a principal supervisor prior to submitting their application and prospective principal supervisors need to find a suitable student before they can apply as well. The applications submitted should include the aims, hypothesis, and objectives of the proposed research and offer details of budget requirements, expected outcomes, and methods of research.

The following criteria are also required for candidacy2:

  • Applications must be submitted in English
  • Curricula vitae of student applicant and prospective principal supervisor
  • A 500-word maximum summary of the project with the significance of the expected results in the context of current knowledge
  • A timeline for the research project
  • A reference of good standing from the Dean or Head of the candidate’s veterinary school
  • The ability to travel internationally (valid passport and any necessary visas) and be available to commit to a minimum of 8-12 weeks of research activity in the host institution.

“MSD Animal Health recognizes the importance of enabling veterinary students to undertake research projects. Not only is it a valuable educational experience but it adds to our body of knowledge in small animal infectious disease, clinical vaccinology, and immunology. That is why we’re proud to support this scholarship, which was developed in memory of Professor Michael J Day, a leader known for his commitment to both education and research in this field,” David Sutton, global technical director, Companion Animal Vaccines, said in the release.1

The application deadline is July 31, 2024, and the winning scholar will be notified by the end of October 2024. The scholar's research project is expected to be performed between January and September 2025 and they must submit a 1500-word report on their findings within 3 months of completion. They will also be invited to present or publish their findings in English, as an abstract or poster, during the WSAVA World Congress, but not obligated to.1,2


  1. Applications Open for the 2024 WSAVA Michael J. Day Scholarship. News release. World Small Animal Veterinary Association. May 2, 2024.
  2. Michael J. Day Scholarship. World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Accessed May 7, 2024. https://wsava.org/resources/michael-j-day-scholarship/
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