Nominations are sought for this year’s International Canine Health Awards, run by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust with substantial cash prizes donated by Vernon and Shirley Hill, founders of Metro Bank. The deadline for submissions has been extended to 28 February 2021, so those wishing to nominate themselves or a colleague have only three weeks left to submit details.
This is the ninth year of the awards which celebrate some of the world’s finest researchers and scientists whose work has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of dogs.
With a prize fund totalling £70,000, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust invites scientists and academics to nominate world-class researchers and clinicians for one of the four awards. Individuals may nominate themselves. The awards will be judged by a renowned international panel drawn from the veterinary profession and scientific research.
The four awards are:
- International Prize in Canine Health – for outstanding contributions in the field of canine health and welfare, with a prize of £40,000 towards future projects. The award will be presented to one individual or a group currently involved in world-class innovation, with more still to contribute.
- Lifetime Achievement Award – with a £10,000 prize, this award will go to a veterinarian or scientist working in a relevant discipline, who has dedicated much of his or her career to advancing the health and welfare of dogs. The award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant lifetime impact that has globally benefitted canine health and welfare.
- UK Student Inspiration Awards – these comprise postgraduate and undergraduate awards, with prizes of £10,000 and £5,000, respectively, to aid future education costs, the development of their careers, or the creation/continuation of a project. The awards will be presented to extraordinary students studying at a British veterinary school who demonstrate the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and research to benefit dogs. Post-graduate applicants must be within five years of receiving their first degree.
- UK Breed Health Coordinator Award – with a £5,000 prize, judges will be looking for individuals from breed clubs or councils associated with The Kennel Club who have demonstrated dedication to supporting health and welfare within their breed. The award will be based on an individual’s understanding of the issues facing the breed and their ability to work and empathise with breeders, what has already been achieved and the potential medium/long term impact for dogs of that breed.
Dr Andrew Higgins, Chairman of the judging panel and trustee of The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which runs the awards, said: "The International Canine Health Awards recognise and commend the commitment shown by researchers, veterinarians, and students dedicated to the improvement of dog health through science. We are also delighted to recognise the amazing work of our UK breed health coordinators who do such a good job supporting health and welfare programmes within breeds.
“We are very grateful for the generous funding from Vernon and Shirley Hill, as well as support from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which enables us to celebrate those who work tirelessly for the health and welfare of man’s best friend.
“We would encourage nominations of individuals you feel have made, are making or will make a significant contribution to the health and welfare of dogs.”
Vernon Hill, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Metro Bank, and whose major gift underwrites the awards, said: "We are extremely proud to support the ninth International Canine Health Awards, to honour the people who are committed to transforming and improving the lives of dogs and humans across the world.
“As a dog owner myself, it’s a subject extremely close to our hearts at Metro Bank, and it’s incredible to see how many people, from so many different countries, dedicate their whole lives to their work, and all for the good of the dogs.”
Last year’s winners were Professor Dr Tosso Leeb, recipient of the International Award, who was recognised for his expertise in veterinary molecular genetics, leading to the formation of a world-class genetics research program in Bern, Switzerland; Professor Dr Urs Giger who won the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work spanning four decades dedicated to the study of clinical haematology in dogs, hereditary diseases and genetic predispositions, and transfusions medicine, the results of which have helped impact testing for The Kennel Club across many breeds; Dr Valeria Bergomi, winner of the Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award, who will use her prize to further expand her outstanding research into canine diabetes, a serious problem in clinical practice; and Dr Sarah Helps, recipient of the Breed Health Coordinator Award, who was acclaimed for her dedication and commitment to improving the health of the Deerhound, a breed she has been involved with for over 40 years. Her passion for the breed has seen her support veterinary research into dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in UK Deerhounds.
Nominations for the 2021 awards can be made via the online application form on The Kennel Club website by 28 February 2021. If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact Andrea Harris at The Kennel Club.