Career Development

Training Programs and Contacts

Every North American Veterinary School has one faculty member who serves as the ASLAP Student Liaison. If you are a veterinary student interested in a career in laboratory animal medicine, your student liaison can provide you with career information, give you a tour of their facilities, and tell you about ASLAP student memberships.

Click here to see list of liaisons

To send a message to all liaisons click here

Want to join a local student chapter, visit the student chapter section for more information.

Several research facilities offer summer programs, externships, clinical rotations, or other educational experiences for veterinary students interested in laboratory animal medicine.

A number of institutions offer Postdoctoral Training Programs intended to help candidates prepare for careers in Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Scholarship Opportunity

  • The Julie Queler Grant aims to help students by providing a $1000 scholarship to one student per academic year to assist with the costs of attending a college or university.

    Scholarship Amount: $1000
    Essay Question: How have you used technology, and/or social media platforms, to seek help or guidance from others?

    Submission Deadline: August 1, 2020

    Eligibility Requirements:

    • High school senior that has been accepted into a college or university
    • Current full-time student at a college or university.
  • Charles River Short Course scholarship opportunity. Applications must be received by April 15 and winners will be notified no later than May 8.  The Short Course takes place in Carlsbad, CA June 22-24.

    If you are currently a first or second year resident in an ACLAM-recognized training program or a veterinarian or veterinary technician with less than 5 years’ experience and working full-time in a research animal facility, please consider applying for a scholarship for the Charles River Short Course.

    AVMA Resources for Healthcare professional burnout, depression and suicide prevention

The AVMA has worked together with partners, including  the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and released in partnership with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE), to develop a new free resource to support veterinary professionals and their workplaces to recover after a suicide loss. This includes best practices for responses of key leaders in the immediate aftermath of a suicide, strategies for helping the workplace community grieve and cope, and information on how to safely pay tribute to the employee while reducing the risk of suicide contagion amongst vulnerable community members. For access to the guide, please visit:

Instructions for Applicants to Laboratory Animal/Comparative Medicine Training Programs Participating in the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program (VIRMP)

Applicant selection for laboratory animal/comparative medicine training programs  will be managed using the matching program administered by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians (AAVC). Applicants must submit their applications and have required materials uploaded to the VIRMP site by the following time schedule:

September 1, 2022

Program Entry. Institutions begin entering program information.

October 1, 2022

Search Programs. Initial list of completed programs available. Additional programs will be shown as completed by the institution.

October 14, 2022

End of program entry. Last day for institutions to enter program information.

November 1, 2022

Applicants able to register. Applicants will be able to register, apply to programs and enter their rank order list.

December 12, 2022

January 9, 2023
9:00 p.m. EST

Lab Animal Medicine Applications due. Four weeks prior to application deadlines for other programs.

Application deadline.
 Last date for applicant to complete Application Packet online and apply to programs. Transcripts and Letters of Reference due to the VIRMP.

February 17, 2023
9:00 p.m. EST

Applicant rank order lists due/End of withdrawal period. Last date for applicant rank order lists to be submitted. Last date for applicants to withdraw from the VIRMP.

February 22, 2023
11:59 p.m. EST

Program rank order lists due/End program withdrawal period. Last date for institution rank order list to be submitted. Last date for institutions to withdraw programs.

March 6, 2023
8:00 a.m. EST

Match Results Date. Results will be posted to the VIRMP website. Institutions may print matched lists, unmatched applicants list and open positions list. Matched applicants may access matched program information. Unmatched applicants may search open positions.

March 20, 2023

Open Positions List Available to the Public. The open positions list will be available without an account.

Details on the matching process are described in detail on the VIRMP site and in the Application Process and Instructions for Applicants to Laboratory Animal/Comparative Medicine Training Programs . The list of participating training programs can be found here.

*Important Note: The application deadline for laboratory animal/comparative medicine training programs is earlier than other internship and residency programs to ensure sufficient time for programs to schedule interviews with prospective candidates.

The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) provides a certification process for postdoctoral training programs and publishes a list of ACLAM-certified postdoctoral training programs. ACLAM also coordinates a mentoring program for veterinary students and veterinarians interested in entering the laboratory animal field, for laboratory animal practitioners interested in becoming board-certified, and for established laboratory animal practitioners who seek further career development.

The Laboratory Animal Veterinarian's Role

A career in laboratory animal medicine is far from routine. For most, no two days are alike. The primary function of the laboratory animal veterinarian is to provide for the health and well-being of research animals. This is accomplished through a wide variety of activities including the design and implementation of clinical and preventative veterinary medical programs, oversight of animal husbandry programs, participation in institutional animal care and use committees, consulting and training of biomedical researchers and technicians, and other related activities. Additionally, laboratory animal veterinarians may perform independent research and serve as consultants and collaborators to research investigators in a wide range of disciplines. This breadth of functions creates diverse opportunities and challenges unique to this veterinary specialty.

Laboratory animal veterinarians must be prepared to attend to a large variety of species, most of which are not common to traditional veterinary practice. The unique biological qualities, nutritional and environmental requirements, and diseases of these animals provide interesting challenges for their husbandry and clinical management. It is important for good science that the animals used in research investigations be free of unwanted spontaneous disease. The laboratory animal veterinarian is trained to manage such deviations from normal in animal populations and advise researchers regarding implications this may have for research.

In addition to providing veterinary care, specialists in laboratory animal medicine play pivotal roles in other aspects of an institution's animal care and use program. They supervise and train animal care technicians in appropriate animal husbandry, manage and operate research animal facilities, and are involved in the design and renovation of these facilities. Typically, veterinarians will serve as liaison between the institution and regulatory and accrediting organizations. They provide training and guidance to the research staff on humane methods of animal experimentation, including appropriate surgical techniques, animal restraint, and use of anesthetics and analgesics.

Veterinarians in this specialty are sometimes called upon to educate the community. This may be done via classroom presentations, lectures to local and national organizations, and media appearances.

Research in laboratory animal medicine (also referred to as comparative medicine) includes the study of animal diseases, animal models of human disease, computer modeling, procedural and surgical techniques, and animal nutrition. Opportunities for collaboration with researchers in other disciplines also exist and may involve advising on selection, development, and refinement of animal models and animal biomethodology.

Professional Involvement

There are several organizations that provide opportunities to laboratory animal veterinarians for extramural participation in the specialty:

The ASLAP Foundation funds training opportunities for veterinary students in laboratory animal medicine. Your donation will help us recruit the brightest and best of our young colleagues to our specialty.

The American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ASLAP) seeks to promote the dissemination of experiences, ideas, and knowledge among veterinarians engaged in laboratory animal practice and encourages the training of veterinarians in laboratory animal practice at the pre- and post-doctoral levels.

The American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) tests and certifies qualified veterinarians in this specialty. Since its inception, over 400 veterinarians have become board-certified by ACLAM.

The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) is a large organization representing veterinarians, scientists, animal technicians, educators, and the allied trade groups associated with laboratory animal medicine. AALAS improves the care and use of laboratory animals through education and information exchange.

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC International) was created to form a self-regulating means of standardizing humane animal care and use at institutions with animal facilities. Voluntary AAALAC accreditation provides assurance that the standards for appropriate care and use of research animals are met or exceeded, as determined by an objective organization.

The Association of Primate Veterinarians (APV) is an international community of veterinarians working to promote and advance the medicine, management, and humane care of nonhuman primates. APV provides various educational resources including an annual workshop, webinars, and guidelines to improve the health and welfare of nonhuman primates in a variety of settings including scientific research.