Dr. Gordon Theilen Resident Research Grant


OVERVIEW: The Veterinary Cancer Society (VCS) created the VCS-Dr. Gordon Theilen Resident Research Grant in 2016.  This program provides grant opportunities for residents participating in AVMA-approved training programs with a goal of funding hypothesis driven, prospective studies that take approximately one year to complete.  Over the past five years, a total of 18 grants totaling $320,673 have been given to our member residents with recipients representing a wide variety of veterinary schools across the United States and Canada.  When these projects are completed, the grant recipient presents his or her research at a VCS Annual Conference.


  • Any resident participating in an AVMA-approved training program is eligible to apply.
  • Either clinical or basic research projects in the field of veterinary or comparative oncology are eligible for consideration.
  • Resident must be a current member of the Veterinary Cancer Society and remain so for the duration of the trial.


  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of VCS members with expertise in clinical and basic veterinary oncology research.
  • Specific criteria used in consideration of proposals will include:
    • Potential of the study to enhance existing scientific knowledge in the field of veterinary and/or comparative oncology
    • Relevance of the proposal to existing scientific knowledge
    • Feasibility of the study, including: likelihood of success in achieving study objectives and obtaining publishable results; appropriateness of study design; realistic time frame for completion (e.g., institutional case load for clinical proposals)
    • Adequacy of facility space/infrastructure/equipment, prior research productivity
    • Adequacy of Animal Involvement Justification (Protection/Safety)


A complete application in the form of a single pdf file must be submitted to our online proposal system (link below).

Document format:

  • Proposals should be written on 8.5 × 11 inch paper with a minimum of 3⁄4 inch margins
  • Single-spaced using no smaller than an 11-point Times New Roman font
  • Page limits for each section must be strictly observed
  • The order of the written proposal should follow the outline described below, including use of the outline numbering and headings
  • If any of the sections are not applicable, indicate this with “N/A”
  • Figures, tables and graphics must be included in the “Study Proposal” page limit. Addenda and extra information beyond the page limit will not be reviewed
  • Failure to adhere to these guidelines will result in disqualification

Proposal structure and limits:

  • Cover page (1-page max): Title of proposed study; name, affiliation (academic/practice entity), email, and postal mailing address of the resident, resident advisor, all investigators; name of the agency to which the grant would be payable; amount requested; signature of the resident, Resident Advisor and appropriate grant administrator(s).
  • Study Proposal (5-page limit inclusive of sections #1, 2, and 3, outlined below.  Follow limits in parentheses for each item.)
    1. Summary (1-page max): To include:
      • Title
      • Hypothesis/Objective(s)
      • Relevance statement (description of problem and need for the research being proposed)
    2. Research Strategy (3 pages max): To include:
      • Background and significance
      • Preliminary data (if applicable)
      • Experimental design and methods
      • Analysis (statistical methods, sample size justification if applicable)
      • Expected results
      • Resources and timeline for completion
    3. Budget and Justification (1-page max): Allowable items:
      • Personnel –salary for resident and advisor are not allowable. Technician, data management individuals may be allowable
      • Equipment – purchase of major equipment is not allowable.
      • Supplies
      • Patient care costs (if applicable)
      • Other expenses
      • Indirect costs: Because VCS is a not-for-profit organization, indirect/overhead/F&A are never provided.
    4. References (1-page maximum): Pertinent related literature references
    5. Biographical sketch (2 pages each maximum): NIH style biosketch of Resident, Resident-advisor and any co-investigators
    6. Client consent form (2 pages maximum, contact VCS if an exception must be considered due to institutional policy) if applicable: Copy of proposed client consent form.  For guidance on relevant elements of consent, please click HERE to see the Elements of consent (from the US Department of Health and Human Services).
    7. Resident Advisor statement (1-page): The residency advisor must sign off on the project in the form of letter stating:
      • A willingness to ensure completion of the project in the 1-year time-frame
      • A commitment to have the completed project presented (by the resident) as either an oral or poster presentation at a VCS meeting within 3 years of project funding.
      • A commitment to provide annual progress reports until results are presented at the VCS meeting.

    Animal Involvement:  The study should be approved by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and documentation of this approval (or pending approval) must be provided in the event the funding is awarded.  A copy of the client consent form should be appended to the application.  If there is no IACUC at the institution or practice, informed owner consent alone will be reviewed.  If the proposed research does not involve live animals, this should be evident in the grant submission and thus IACUC is unnecessary.

    2022-23 TIMELINE:

    • Application announcement: July 11, 2022
    • Deadline for receipt of applications: September 9, 2022 at 11:59 pm (Central)
    • Award announcements: November 2023
    • Funding to be distributed no later than January 15, 2023
    • Projects must be completed within a 1-year time period

All residents who submit a grant application to the link below will receive an email confirming the receipt of the application.  If the resident DOES NOT receive an email stating that the grant application has been received, assume that it was not.  We recommend that you CALL VCS at 573-823-8809 before the application deadline to confirm receipt of the application.