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College of Veterinary Medicine

Available North American PRRS Symposium Travel Awards

Application Deadline for both: September 7, 2018benfield-logo

The David A. Benfield Student Travel Fellowship

David A. Benfield received his BS and MS degrees from Purdue University and a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He has a distinguished 25 years in research related to viral diseases of food animals.  In 1990, he was the co-discoverer of the cause of “mystery swine disease” or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).  He has remained a role model and mentor to many of those who are currently in the PRRS field. He is a member of the American Society for Virology, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, and Honorary Diplomat of the College of Veterinary Microbiologists, American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  Currently, he is an Associate Vice President of Agricultural Administration and Director of the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Wooster Campus a part of The Ohio State University and a Professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  It is his generous donation that initiated this fellowship program.  It is his hope that these fellowships provide students with the experience of attending the PRRS Symposium to present their work on PRRS.  This Travel Fellowship is possible through generous donations from Dr. David Benfield and others.


Bob MorrisonDr. Bob Morrison Travel Scholarship
Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health

The Dr. Bob Morrison Travel Scholarship, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is given in memory of Dr. Bob Morrison, who was a professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the University of Minnesota. 

Dr. Morrison graduated with a BS in 1974 followed by a DVM in 1979; both from the University of Saskatchewan.  In 1984, he received his PhD from the University of Minnesota.  The title of his dissertation was, “An epidemiological investigation into enzootic pneumonia of swine.” In 1994, Dr. Morrison went on to receive his MBA from the University of Minnesota. 

His research focused on the control of PRRS and other diseases on the farm. He translated science into practical solutions. Dr. Morrison was part of the team that discovered PRRSV and, more recently, was the creator of the Swine Health Monitoring Program, an industry-wide effort designed to help the industry prevent the next “PRRSV”.  Between 2008 and 2013, he directed the extension efforts for the PRRS Coordinated Agricultural Project (PRRS CAP).  

As a leader, he demonstrated the feasibility of designing, developing, implementing, and managing regional elimination projects.  His efforts resulted in the recognition that PRRS elimination is feasible and should be a stated goal for the swine industry.  Perhaps his greatest strength was his unique ability to convince farmers to share data and information to the benefit of the entire swine production community. 

In addition to educating producers on disease control methods, he was a good friend and mentor to many in the PRRS research and outreach communities.  Everyone was affected by his enthusiasm and passion.  

This Travel Scholarship, organized by Dr. Reid Philips and Dr. Jens Kjaer, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, will provide travel support for future scientists who wish to follow in his footsteps. 

The David A. Benfield Student Travel Fellowship is directed at supporting students and postdocs who attend the PRRS symposium. Applicants must be undergraduate students, graduate students or post-doctoral fellows and must submit an abstract and present original research findings at the NA-PRRSS in Chicago.

Application Guidelines: 

Both the David A. Benfield Student Travel Fellowship and the Bob Morrison Memorial Travel Scholarship awards are directed at supporting students and postdocs who attend the PRRS symposium. Applicants must be undergraduate students, graduate students or post-doctoral fellows and must submit an abstract and present original research findings at the NA-PRRSS in Chicago.

Up to $1,000 will be made available to support travel and/or accommodations related to the meeting. Recipients will be recognized at the symposium and listed in the proceedings and on the Symposium website.

The application packet must include:

  • A maximum three page curriculum vitae with contact information (email, phone number, mailing address)
  • A maximum one page description of research interests including short and long term career goals
  • A copy of the abstract submitted to the NA-PRRS Symposium.

Application materials should be sent electronically as a single pdf file to:

Bob Rowland at NAPRRS@vet.k-state.edu

Receipt of applications will be verified via email by Francine Rowland, Coordinator and Proceedings Editor. Review of applications by the Travel Fellowship/Scholarship committee will begin September 10, 2018.  Travel Fellowship/Scholarship recipients should be notified by email by the end of the day, Monday, October 1, 2018.  

Important Instructions:

  • Carefully follow the Application Guidelines listed above to avoid delays with processing your application. 
  • All Travel Fellowship/Scholarship recipients are expected to stay at the conference hotel in order to be reimbursed for any hotel room expenses.  This benefits the Symposium.  We suggest you make your hotel reservation early to ensure you receive the discounted conference rate:  https://www.vet.k-state.edu/na-prrs/hotel-travel.html.
  • All Travel Fellowship/Scholarship recipients are expected to be pre-registered for the Symposium before the ONLINE Pre-registration deadline of November 16, 2018. 

Selection Committee Chair:  Joan Lunney, ARS 

Contact Francine Rowland at frowland@vet.k-state.edu with questions or clarifications.