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HBLB Senior Equine Clinical Scholarship in Equine Imaging & Sports Medicine


   Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences

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  Dr D Archer  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board. The Scholar will receive a specialist training in Equine diagnostic imaging and sports medicine at the University of Liverpool (UoL). The UoL has been an ECVDI approved training centre since 2007 and has three ECVDI diplomates based within the Small Animal Teaching Hospital (SATH). The Scholar will also concurrently complete a part-time Masters of Philosophy degree (MPhil).

Clinical training programme

The Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital (PLEH) has an excellent reputation for equine clinical work and teaching, and has an international reputation for equine musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal and endocrine research. The hospital has an annual caseload of approximately 1,600 horses per year and has a large multidisciplinary team of Diploma holders and RCVS recognised specialists in equine surgery, internal medicine, veterinary anaesthesia and equine sports medicine and rehabilitation together with 5 residents (3 surgery, 2 internal medicine), 5 interns and an ACPAT Cat A physiotherapist. Over the 4 year programme the Scholar will undertake 52 weeks of research training and 132 weeks of equine imaging and sports medicine training. A total of 6 weeks holiday per year. There will be a 1 in 6 OOH rota for the PLEH as part of the resident team, supported by a team of 5 interns / nurses including full night cover. Funding for research, CPD and travel is provided within the annual expenses set by HBLB. The Scholar will be fully involved in the investigation and treatment of cases to the busy equine referral hospital during normal working hours and out-of-hours (OOH). The Scholar will predominantly undertake rotations in Equine Orthopaedics / Sports Medicine and Imaging and rotate through on the imaging service of the SATH (24 weeks total) and equine soft- tissue and medicine services. The Scholar will also be exposed to first opinion cases provided by the UoL Equine Practice and will undertake external (UoL and at other approved institutions) rotations with prior ECVDI approval. The Scholar will be involved in the daily small group teaching of fourth and final year veterinary undergraduates during clinical rotations and will be expected to produce a minimum of three peer-reviewed publications during their training programme.

MPhil degree project

Measuring local strain distributions though the equine SDFT as a novel, non-invasive marker of tendon function and healing. Injury of the Superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) is common in Thoroughbred (Tb) racehorses. Tendonitis of the SDFT is difficult to treat and re-injury is frequent, resulting in failure to return to training and racing. There are a lack of diagnostic tools to accurately measure tendon function and health making it difficult to monitor tendon healing and response to rehabilitation in SDFT tendonitis, and readiness to resume race training when normal tendon function has returned. In this project, a novel, non-invasive, ultrasound imaging technique will be utilised to measure local strain distributions through the SDFT, so called ‘slip-elastography’. In the first part of the project, the Scholar will characterise SDFT function in normal Tb horses of different ages. They will then undertake a longitudinal study of Tb racehorses with acute SDFT to determine how measures of tendon function vary at the time of acute injury and during tendon healing.

In collaboration with Queen Mary University of London. The Scholar will join an existing research team involving number of leading researchers across a variety of disciplines in the field of tendon research. This research project will provide the Scholar with access to cutting edge technology, appropriate practical training, supervision, support with data analysis and interpretation, exposure to equine and comparative aspects of tendon research and a broad range of generic research skills. During this time the Scholar will be supported by the University of Liverpool Doctoral college, which provides additional support for postgraduate students including writing, research and presentation skills. The Scholar will be expected to attend and present at relevant journal clubs and research seminars run by the research department. Presenting results of their study at departmental and institute seminars and at relevant national and international meetings / conferences enabling them to develop their oral presentation and knowledge exchange skills. Preparation of publications arising from the study and writing their MPhil degree thesis will further provide the Scholar with skills in scientific writing. 

Applicants must be a veterinary graduate with a degree recognised by the RCVS, have at least 2 years’ post-qualification experience and wish to pursue an equine-oriented career on completion of the Scholarship. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed a suitable 1 year rotating internship e.g. equine hospital internship programme and have evidence of a genuine interest in equine imaging and sports medicine. 

For application enquires please contact Alison Bennell ([Email Address Removed])

To apply: please send a copy of your curriculum vitae and a cover letter explaining your suitability for the scholarship and your reasons for applying to Professor Debra Archer ([Email Address Removed]) by Monday 26th September 2022. 


Funding Notes

The scholar will receive a tax free stipend of £27,000
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