All BVetMed veterinary undergraduates at the RVC are required to complete a formal piece of research (named Research Project 2 “RP2”) as part of their route towards gaining a veterinary degree. This project is a Level 7 body of work that is at the level of a master’s project. VetCompass supports students to undertake these RP2 projects at the RVC in two main ways.
- Specific members of the VetCompass epidemiological team directly supervise a number of students each year. These students develop a research question and a good study design, before applying the data extraction processes available within the VetCompass database to answer these questions. Many of these projects result in peer-reviewed publications, with the student involved as a named author. Many students also present their research findings at conferences, such as BSAVA (https://www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass/news/ten-vetcompass-studies-to-be-presented-at-bsava-2021).
- Especially in response to the need for more online research projects following the 2020 pandemic, VetCompass has also responded by developing methods that enable clinical colleagues at the RVC to gain access to pre-prepared anonymised subsets of VetCompass data. These mechanisms are now enabling ever-increasing volumes of teaching staff to supervise VetCompass projects at RP2 level and is greatly widening the scope of these data to contribute meaningfully to veterinary undergraduate learning.
The Kennel Club Charitable Trust had kindly supported VetCompass since 2015. This collaboration has supported the development of the VetCompass online platform for sharing, understanding and interrogating primary-care veterinary clinical data. The funding has also supported several VetCompass RP2s annually on topics related to canine health including:
- Demography and common disorders of specific breeds, such as Chihuahuas, West Highland White Terriers, Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs.
- Prevalence and risk factors for specific disorders in dogs, such as overweight status, hypoadrenocorticism, lipoma, patellar luxation and urinary incontinence.
The full list of VetCompass publications is available: https://www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass/papers-and-data/original-publications