With just under four weeks left to submit applications to the RCVS for its 2021 round of Fellowships, the RCVS Fellowship Board is encouraging a more diverse range of veterinary surgeons to come forward to join the learned society.
The deadline for submitting an application to join the Fellowship under one of the three routes to entry – Meritorious Contribution to Clinical Practice, to Knowledge or to the Profession – is 5pm on Monday 15 February 2021 with prospective Fellows needing to submit an application form with supporting evidence.
The Fellowship Board, the body responsible for governing the learned society, is particularly keen to see more female applicants this year as, since the Fellowship was relaunched in 2016, less than one-third of successful applicants to the Fellowship have been women.
Dr Mary Fraser FRCVS, an academic based at the University of Stirling and the RCVS Fellowship Board Member for Projects and Engagement, explains: “We have seen a remarkable uptick in the number of people joining the Fellowship – including women – over the past few years since it was re-developed and re-launched. However, there is still quite a stark imbalance between men and women, both in terms of the current composition of the Fellowship and those who are currently applying.
“While this may, in part, reflect the age and career stage of those who tend to apply to join the Fellowship, the profession has been majority female for some time now and so in order to help the Fellowship to be more representative of, and remain relevant to, the profession at large, we would be really keen on more women applying to join.
“There may be very many brilliant female vets out there from all parts of the profession who are wondering whether they’ve done enough to warrant joining the Fellowship or who may wonder what it entails. I would like to reassure you that if you have done any of the following: played a leadership role within the professions, advanced the public understanding of veterinary work or helped to advance knowledge in a particular subject area by publishing research and papers, then you are certainly eligible to apply.
“If you are thinking about applying but are unsure what it entails or whether you meet the criteria, you are always welcome to contact us on [email protected] for an informal chat and guidance about your application.”
Dr Mandisa Greene, RCVS President, added: “I am really encouraged to see this effort to improve diversity within the Fellowship. It is important this learned body encourages women, and others from backgrounds that may currently be under-represented, to apply so it can begin to reflect more evenly the demographics within our profession and society at large. Increasing diversity in all areas is one of my priorities as President, and I am certain our professions, animal health, welfare and the public we serve will be better for it. “
The full list of requirements for applying for the Fellowship, including the criteria for the three specific routes, can be found at the Fellowship’s dedicated webpage, where you will also find the application form and supporting documentation.
To get an idea about those who are currently members of the Fellowship and their achievements the RCVS also has developed a Fellowship Directory which includes biographical details, areas of specialism/ interest and field of work.