BSAVA 2020 International Scholarship now open!

16 May 2019

Do you want free access to BSAVA Congress from the 2nd – 5th April 2020 in Birmingham?


Does attending next year’s Congress in Birmingham exceed your budget, but you would still like to go? Well, then this might be just right for you:

To improve the understanding and communication of companion animal practitioners in Europe, the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) organises an annual visiting program to allow four members of emerging small animal veterinary organisations which are members of FECAVA, the opportunity to attend BSAVA Congress, which takes place in April in Birmingham, UK.

The invitation includes:

  • free access to the BSAVA Congress 2020,
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation  (Wednesday to Monday) for the duration of congress,
  • free access to evening functions (Reception for overseas delegates, President’s Reception, Party Night) and
  • some expenses to cover travel costs to Birmingham, reimbursed on attendance

for up to four companion animal practitioners.

The visiting delegates will additionally be entitled to a free 1 year BSAVA Overseas E-membership, which gives whole range of membership benefits and discounts for which further details can be found here.


The invitation does not include visa cost or money spent on personal items. A grant agreement document would outline the benefits and obligations to successful applicants.

BSAVA is looking for four companion animal veterinarians (qualified from their primary veterinary qualification between 3 and maximum 7 years), who would otherwise not be able to attend this unique event. Applications can be made as individuals or as a group.

Ideally working in private companion animal practice, applicants must be registered with the relevant governing body in their country similar to the RCVS in the UK.

They need to be able to speak and understand English to a sufficient level to be able to benefit from the lectures. Candidates must be eligible for a UK visa if they come from a country outside the European Union.

Interested parties are invited to send a formless application in 250- 500 words to:

Patricia Colville

describing their professional background and a brief explanation about how their professional work would benefit from a visit to next year’s BSAVA Congress. The application should be accompanied by a letter by the relevant country FECAVA director that confirms that the applicant is a member of the countries association who is a member of FECAVA.

All applications have to be received by 31st July 2019 to be considered by BSAVA’s International Affairs Committee.

The committee’s decision will be final and the selected visitors will be informed before 31st October 2019, to leave enough time to allow for travel and – if necessary – visa arrangements.

The invitees will attend congress as a group of scholars and would be expected to participate all 4 days of congress and in official events and receptions during Congress and meet and inform British colleagues about the life of companion animal veterinarians in their part of Europe.


2018 Scholarship Recipients

“My first thought was just “WOW!”, was the initial reaction of BSAVA International Scholar –  Anna Lukianova – when she arrived at the 2019 Congress in Birmingham. “Lectures, live webcasts, workshops, 7 hours a day in 15 different locations over 4 days – and everything running smoothly and accurately to schedule. That was an amazingly great job”.

Anna had made the long journey from Georgia as one of the four BSAVA International Scholars to be successful with their applications this year for free attendance at the BSAVA Congress. She was joined by Sintija Jonova (Latvia), Tetiana Khramova (Ukraine) and Urša Andromako (Slovenia)

Urša had only become aware of the BSAVA Travel Scholarship offered to European veterinarians relatively late. “When I already thought the opportunity was lost to me, I tried my luck. I was thrilled when I got a positive reply to my application. Half a year later there I was in Birmingham, meeting other scholars from different parts of Europe, with different experiences but one same passion.”

The scholars were welcomed on their arrival by BSAVA Chair of International Affairs, Dr. Krista Arnold, and given guidance on how to get the best from the full schedule over the four days of Congress.  With such a wide range of topic streams there was plenty to keep them occupied. For soft tissue surgeon, Tetiana, the lectures about rational use of antibiotics and prevention of SSI were amongst her favourites. “I actively fight against misuse of antibiotics in Ukraine,” said Tetiana, “now I have new information which I have already added to my presentation about the use of antibiotics in surgery for the  Ukrainian Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress (USAVA).” Now back home in Ukraine, she says the biggest problem with all the information she has gathered is how to select a small part to pass on to her local colleagues at USAVA Congress. As well as access to the BSAVA Library, she is happy that all the lectures were recorded and will soon be available for BSAVA members. “Thank you very much for providing me with a one year BSAVA membership!” she says.

Asked for her favourite lecture series Urša responded: ”I would probably go for ophthalmology, which may be surprising, because it is not one of my primary fields of interest. But lectures were very practical, saying much about ophthalmic problems that I see daily in practice in a simple and understanding way that pulled me in, so that I stayed and listened to almost whole stream.”

Sintija admitted that it had been hard for her to choose which lectures to attend from the wide range on offer. For her the most memorable were the  dermatophytosis casebook, the  approach to anemia, management of IMHA and nutrition in critical care. “I was trying to catch every word and write down in my notepad. I did not see anyone else write so much as I did!” says Sintija. For her the Congress Exhibition was also very exciting. “I spent every free minute I had there and had a chance to get to know a lot of new veterinary products and see new innovative devices available in veterinary medicine to help veterinarians make the diagnosis faster and more precisely. I took so many brochures that my baggage weight exceeded the allowed limit –  but luckily had no problems at the airport!”

But it was not only the content of CPD on offer that impressed the scholars; the professional delivery of the material was also a focus for Anna. “I work with students and was interested to learn more not only about the lectures but also about the ways they were presented: focusing on important nuances, kinds of presentations and methods of interactivity,” said Anna.

Apart from their enthusiasm for the overall content of the Congress all four Scholars reflected the same common spirit that scholars of previous years have expressed. For Tetiana the most unexpected and enjoyable parts were the social events and communication with colleagues. “Nowadays one can easily get any information without leaving one’s chair through books, articles, webinars, recorded lectures and so on. But Congress is not about knowledge only. It’s an incredible atmosphere and the feeling of belonging to the world veterinary community.” Urša also agreed about the social events, describing them as  ”moments when you reset your mind and make it ready for the next day.” For her every evening was different and special with many opportunities to meet interesting and important people from the small animal medicine world.  “People that I have admired from far,” she says, “I now could meet and even talk to! And as I love music and dance, the Beach party on the last day was awesome.”

So for the 2019 Scholars the visit to BSAVA Congress was an event to truly savour and perhaps best summarised in their own words:

The knowledge I acquired at the Congress is certainly most valuable but people I met there are priceless! And I would like to thank all of them! Thanks for the time we spent together, for the jokes, smiles, stories and warmth! Thanks for everything! It was brilliant!” – Anna Lukianova (Georgia)

 “Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful chance to attend this Congress and learn so many new things! I will definitely tell about this wonderful chance to 6th year students so they do not miss their chance to visit one of the world’s  – greatest Congresses!”– Sintija Jonova (Latvia)

“BSAVA was not the first congress I have attended but seeing it through scholar’s eyes was a unique and wonderful experience. I recommend every young vet to try to apply for it.”   –  Urša Andromako (Slovenia)

“This visit had much more influence on me than I could ever imagine. And it really might change my whole life. Thank you, BSAVA” –  Tetiana Khramova ( Ukraine)