Veterinary Services

Practice and Academia Linked Study (PALS) Network

The PALS Network is a Practice-based Research Network, designed to act as an interface between practice and academia.

To draw on the relative clinical and academic strengths of 1st opinion practice and the R(D)SVS to develop a synergistic approach to the promotion, support and dissemination of the results of high quality research within the practice setting, with a view to improving the evidence base for clinical veterinary practice.

The PALS mission statement

Who are the PALS network members?

The PALS network is a group of 1st opinion practices, linked with the Dick Vet, and affiliated in their mission to address the network aims.

What are the benefits to me and my practice?

The PALS Network will act as a forum to discuss the clinical needs of 1st opinion practitioners and identify and prioritise important research questions relating to these needs. The link with academia will provide members with access to experienced investigators in the fields of clinical and basic scientific research, while enhancing the research skills of the network members. PALS network research findings will be kept relevant to everyday practice and disseminated and translated to all members. Finally, the professional development and educational needs of the members will be supported by the PALS network, via the establishment of strong links and communication with the R(D)SVS.

What role would I or my practice have in the PALS Network?

Through their experience and insight, the invaluable role of PALS Network practice members is to contribute towards the identification and framing of research questions, the answers to which have real potential in improving the practice of primary animal care. Furthermore, through their constant exposure to a rich source of clinical data for studying populations of patients within a “real world” setting, the contribution of these members will be integral to enhancing the robustness of the studies and maintaining the relevance of the findings to a typical first opinion veterinary practice setting.

How can I learn more about the PALS Network?

If you have further questions relating to the PALS Network, please direct these to Scott Pirie (

How can I sign up to the PALS Network?

Please inform Scott Pirie via e-mail ( of the practice’s intention to sign up. Once you have done so, you will be asked to complete a short on-line questionnaire enquiring about the demographics of the practice.

Once the practice has signed up, what next?

Once the practice has signed up, it will be added to the list of current members. You will be included in all correspondence relating to the activities of the PALS Network, either directly via e-mail or through the School website, either to provide information or to canvass opinion on proposed studies. It is also hoped that representatives of Network member practices will be able to meet together twice per year to discuss Network activities and/or for educational meetings.

Is there an online forum?

A closed Facebook group has been set up for network members to hold discussions and share ideas. If you would like to join this group, please e-mail Scott Pirie ( who will e-mail you an invitation.

Scott Pirie

Contact details