Vet nurses take top Veterinary Evidence Student Award

RCVS Knowledge

Three veterinary nursing students have won first prize in RCVS Knowledge’s Veterinary Evidence Student Awards 2020.

The winners were the first veterinary nursing students to place in the awards, which were launched by RCVS Knowledge last year to recognise and support students’ engagement with evidence-based veterinary medicine (EBVM) and its application into practice.

The winning Knowledge Summary was written by Carla Husband, Abbie McMillan and Lauren Sweeney, all studying veterinary nursing at the University of Bristol. The team highlighted the paucity of evidence regarding the impact of educational interventions on hand hygiene compliance in small animal environments, a highly relevant topic during the COVID-19 pandemic, and called for more research to be carried out to support hand hygiene compliance in the veterinary professions.

Carla said: “I feel so proud of myself and my co-authors for winning this competition. We worked very hard on making this Knowledge Summary the best it could be and can’t believe our hard work has paid off. I also feel very proud to represent the vet nursing profession and to come out of university with a published paper. To any vet nursing or vet students out there who are thinking of submitting to Veterinary Evidence, I say go for it! The more evidence we can contribute to our knowledge base, the better our profession can become.”

Lauren said, “It was really exciting as a Student Veterinary Nurse to be able to submit our work into this competition. I truly believe that the Veterinary Science evidence base should be continually built upon and I am so glad this competition allowed our Knowledge Summary to do so! 

“This competition has allowed our work to be peer-reviewed and our findings heard. I recommend this experience to all students as it has emphasised that all members of the veterinary community should be contributing to evidence-based medicine!”

The team’s win underscores that an evidence-based approach can be embedded by all veterinary professionals.

Second place went to Laura Pratley, University of Liverpool vet student, whose paper asked: “In horses with osteoarthritis, is mesenchymal stem cell therapy more effective at managing lameness than intra-articular corticosteroids?”

Laura said, “I became interested in research and EBVM in the latter years of vet school and was worried I’d missed opportunities to get involved with research/studentships. So when I saw the Veterinary Evidence Student Awards, I really wanted to get involved and have found the whole process really rewarding!”

Lesca Sofyan, a Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Sydney in Australia, took third place, for her paper investigating whether Meloxicam is superior to Carprofen for reducing discomfort in dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis. This is the first time an international submission has been recognised in the awards.

Lesca said: “I entered the Veterinary Evidence Student Awards when I wanted to share my results on my research. Patients and clients deserve to be provided the top standard of care, and Veterinary Evidence allows me to do so quickly, as I can always analyse the available evidence behind my decision and choices.”

The Veterinary Evidence Student Awards recognise the capability of undergraduate students to produce high-quality research, with all submissions subjected to the journal’s usual standards and peer-review process. The submissions for this year’s awards were of a high standard, with all deemed suitable for publication in RCVS Knowledge’s open access, peer-reviewed journal.

Peter Cockroft, Editor-in-chief of Veterinary Evidence, said, “I would like to thank all the students who submitted Knowledge Summaries for consideration in this year’s competition. Knowledge Summaries provide an important resource to bridge the gap between research and practice and we are grateful for the student body’s input in helping grow the evidence base.

“I would like to congratulate the award winners on their outstanding achievements. We hope the student authors who have either won or been accepted for publication will feel encouraged to continue to practise EBVM in their future careers.”

This will be Peter’s final year of involvement with the awards, as he is stepping down from his role as Editor-in-chief later this month after three years.

Chris Gush, RCVS Knowledge’s Executive Director, congratulated the winners, saying, “We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s awards, who have provided a valuable contribution to the evidence base. The recognition of veterinary nursing, veterinary surgeon and international entries this year clearly demonstrates that EBVM can be practised effectively by all veterinary professionals.

“We make all our evidence-based resources and research available for free to students as well as qualified professionals, so that they can continue to draw on the latest evidence in their practice throughout their professional lives. We would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners, and wish our applicants great success in the future.”

The winning paper is available to read on the Veterinary Evidence website at: The second and third place papers, along with the other submissions, will be published at a later date. The awards will be presented at the RCVS Day Honours and Awards virtual event in September.

The Veterinary Evidence Student Awards 2021 are now open to submissions. All undergraduates studying veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing, veterinary bioscience or bioveterinary science are eligible to apply.

Further information is available on the RCVS Knowledge website:

Please follow and like us:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.