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Content archived on 2024-06-16

ECVP/ESVP Summer School in Veterinary Pathology

Final Activity Report Summary - ECESVP SUMMER SCHOOL (ECVP/ESVP Summer School in Veterinary Pathology)

This Marie Curie project represents a series of up-to-date, highest standard research training courses for early stage researchers (veterinary pathologists in training) who aim at a career in veterinary pathology research in academic, diagnostic and research institutes and/or the pharmaceutical industry.

The project provided funding towards the organisation of four consecutive 11-day training courses and for the attendance of 70 eligible researchers at each event. The events have been well publicised throughout the professional community, via the websites of the ECVP and the European Society of Veterinary Pathology (ESVP), during the annual international conferences of the ESVP and via email lists of trainees that have been established within the last few years. They attracted young researchers from a variable background, with regard to their experience, their work place and their country of origin (EU, candidate, new member and associated states, less favoured regions, Eastern European countries, third countries) which was accounted for in the composition and format of the programme. A thoroughly coherent approach was taken. The organisation lay in the hands of the ECVP/ESVP Education Committee in collaboration with local organisers from veterinary schools in Italy, Finland and Spain. A coherent format and coherent selection of topics and combination of training methods was ensured. The complete training programme allowed cover of all essential topics and was organised as 4-year cycles that incorporated bi-annual Mock Exams for appropriate assessment of training achievements.

The research training was aimed at veterinarians interested in a research career in the field of veterinary pathology, where a severe shortage of trained individuals has been identified in the last few years. The project has created a hub that helps to increase the number of highly trained researchers that have the skills essential for veterinary pathologists in biomedical research in the 21st century.

This was achieved in several ways:
The training was delivered in a sheltered environment that allowed for extensive networking among trainees and with the lecturers.
It combined high-class theoretical lectures and practical training sessions providing significant hands-on experience.
In combination with the option for continuous self-assessment and the provision of training in the critical appraisal of scientific data this ensured a major (inter)active learning experience in an international group of experts and trainees.
As an additional benefit for both trainees and senior scientists the events proved to be small, but very effective job markets, since the former could find positions that allow their career progression, while the latter were able to find suitable candidates for open positions.

The European College of Veterinary Pathologists (ECVP), the body providing the globally accredited European postgraduate qualification via examination (DiplECVP), has seen an immediate effect of the Summer Schools. Candidate numbers of the annual ECVP Certifying examination are increasing, and there is a wider distribution of candidates throughout Europe whilst previously only a limited number of candidates and mainly from a few dedicated training institutions, embarked on the examination. This is mainly due to the fact that trainees have gained more self-confidence and obtained the tools to successfully prepare for the examination, while being part of an active training network that developed among the participants of the Summer Schools. At this stage, in order to keep the impetus, it is essential that the ECVP/ESVP continue to organise the events and to provide these at very low costs for participants. This is essential also to allow attendees from Eastern European countries to obtain DiplECVP status and subsequently foster research and applied veterinary pathology in their countries.