top of page
3ab96404-5387-4059-9f16-40040c438ba5 (12).png


Information for applications

What is the Des Thompson BVBA Veterinary Studies Award?


The British Veterinary Behaviour Association is an affiliate of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and is an educational group open to anyone working in or affiliated with the field of companion animal behaviour. In addition to encouraging relevant education our aim is also to facilitate interaction between everyone working in the behaviour and training sector. Recognising a need to support the study of behaviour by students enrolled for Higher Education qualifications in the veterinary profession, the BVBA Veterinary Studies Award was launched in September 2016.


This award is named in honour of Des Thompson OBE FRCVS, a founding member of BVBA when it was originally established as the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group more than twenty years ago. Des is a third generation retired veterinary surgeon in practice in Earlswood Veterinary Hospital Belfast from 1961 until 2010 with his primary interests being orthopaedics and spinal surgery. Involved with veterinary professional affairs most of his career including Past President of RCVS, BSAVA, SPVS, NIVA and BVBA. He was awarded the OBE for services to the veterinary profession in 1991 and was the first winner of the RCVS Queen’s Medal in 2014. Des is a passionate advocate that all in the veterinary profession should be putting behaviour into their practice; and believes very strongly that the major strength of BVBA is the inclusivity of its multi-disciplinary membership and is open to all those with an interest in companion animal behaviour.


What does the Des Thompson BVBA Veterinary Studies Award include?

Two awards will be presented, a winner* and a runner-up, both will receive:

  • Free membership to BVBA (April 2024 - December 2025)

  • Free access to BVBA webinars throughout the year

  • Free attendance to BVBA Study Day on 20th March 2024 *The award winner will also receive £200*


Who is eligible to apply for this award?

Students registered as studying a Higher Education veterinary medicine or veterinary nursing degree/diploma accredited by the RCVS based at an institution in the UK. Higher Education degrees are defined as those that on completion would enable the student to enter the RCVS register as a veterinary surgeon; and for veterinary nurses, to enter the RCVS Register of Veterinary Nurses.


What is the application process?

Institutions offering Higher Education veterinary courses have been invited to nominate up to three of their students for a chance to receive the award. Institutions may use whatever selection process they prefer to identify the student(s) they would like to nominate. Accompanying the institution’s nomination, the student has a choice of two submissions below; Either;

1. Prepare a personal statement of no more than 1000 words, telling us:

  • Why you are interested in behaviour?

  • How behaviour is relevant to the veterinary professions

  • What receiving this award would mean to you?


2. Write a miniature literature review on a behaviour topic of your choice, of no more than 1000 words. You may use the referencing style of your choice.



Institutions must inform the BVBA of their nomination(s) and submit their student’s personal statement OR miniature literature review by midnight 31st January 2024 to


All nominations will be reviewed by the Des Thompson BVBA Veterinary Studies Award judging panel.


Details of the criteria used for judging are available from your institution’s BVBA Champion and below.


Winners will be announced in February 2024 and invited to attend BVBA Study Day on 20th March 2024.


How do I apply?

You should contact your institution’s BVBA Champion for further information. Additional details of the Des Thompson BVBA Veterinary Studies Award and the judging criteria for nominees’ personal statements and miniature literature reviews are available below.

If you have applied previously, you are still eligible to apply again. We wish you all the best with your application!

bottom of page