The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Dick Vet Student Success at Inaugural Veterinary Evidence Student Awards

Students from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have taken first and third place in the first Veterinary Evidence Student Awards, achieving publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal.


Molly receiving her 1st prize at RCVS Day
Molly Vasanthakumar receiving her prize at RCVS Day

Students from the Dick Vet were able to explore concepts and ideas that inspired them, as they took part in the inaugural Veterinary Evidence Student Awards. Coming through a competitive field, first prize went to fifth-year student year Molly Vasanthakumar, while third prize went to first-year Dick Vet Student Jacqueline Tong.

Practical Sustainability

Molly used the opportunity to explore an issue which would be of practical use to the profession, and relevant to both Veterinary Surgeons and Nurses. She used the opportunity to look at the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes, finding that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site infections when compared to reusable woven drapes, based on her assessment of the available literature.

Having had a long term interest in sustainability within the veterinary profession, Molly said:

“I wanted to write something that had a practical application and in a broader sense encouraged those within the profession to consider the ecosystem when making clinical decisions.

“I feel very privileged to have won the competition and am very grateful for all the support I received from my university lecturers and the editors. I am already thinking of future knowledge summaries on waste reduction within the veterinary profession, an incredibly important and topical issue.”

Molly received her award at RCVS day and the paper has been published in the Veterinary Evidence journal.

Probiotic analysis

First year student Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong looked at the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea.

She said of the contest “This experience makes me recognise the importance of evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) to the veterinary community; it connects scientific research to everyday practice. It was a great opportunity to engage in EBVM early in my veterinary career, and start learning how to critically appraise the current evidence.” 

Jacquline’s Knowledge Summary has been accepted for future publication in Veterinary Evidence.

Student Engagement in EBVM

These new awards were launched to engage veterinary students in evidence-based veterinary medicine and to recognise high-quality research from undergraduates. The two successful students from Edinburgh show the strong research underpinning of the degree at the Dick Vet.  

The two Edinburgh students were assisted by Rob Kelly, Amy Jennings and Louise Buckley, who were their supervisors.

RCVS Knowledge’s Executive Director, Chris Gush, highlighted the role students can play in expanding the profession’s evidence base:

“EBVM and its application into practice starts as part of the undergraduate degree, and we are delighted to encourage and champion student involvement.

“This new initiative from our journal taps into the student body’s potential to help grow the evidence base, whilst preparing the next generation of veterinary professionals for when they graduate.”

The awards have proven a success and have already opened for submissions to the 2020 awards. They are open to all undergraduates studying veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing or bioveterinary science and equivalent.



Read Molly Vasanthakumar’s paper in Veterinary Evidence

RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence  

Veterinary Evidence Student Awards 2020


About the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.

The School comprises:

We represent the largest concentration of animal science related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.