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VMG announces recipients of New Veterinary Management Research Grants

The Veterinary Management Group (VMG) has announced the first recipients of its new Awards for research into veterinary management

30 October 2019, at 10:00am

The Awards aim to promote and support evidence-based management in the veterinary sector with topics selected from this year’s bids including veterinary leadership; gender and entrepreneurship; corporatisation and career pathways.

The three winning recipients, each of whom has been awarded a grant of £1,800, have started their research projects and will report on progress during Summer 2020. They will present their results and recommendations at a new Evidence-Based Practice showcase during VMG-SPVS Congress in January 2021.

The successful Awards are:

Award 1: "An exploratory study into the barriers and enablers to female veterinary surgeons becoming leaders in independent veterinary practice in the UK"

Primary Investigator: Dr Kerrie Hedley BVetMed CertAVP MRCVS, Chief Operating Officer, XLVets UK Ltd; Co-investigator: Jamie Callahan BSc MA EdD PhD, Professor of Leadership and Human Resource Management, Newcastle Business School

Award 2: "New frontiers in veterinary business management: Exploring corporatisation as an entrepreneurial leadership opportunity for female veterinarians"

Primary Investigator: Sarah Baillie BSc BVSc CertCHP MRCVS, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Education, University of Bristol; Co-investigator: Professor Colette Henry BA MBA PhD, Head of Department of Business Studies, Dundalk Institute of Technology (Ireland) Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Tromsø (Norway)

Award 3: "Returning vets to practice"

Primary Investigator: Caroline Clarke BSc MSc PhD Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies, Open University Business School; Co-investigator: David Knights BSc MSc PhD, Distinguished Scholar in Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University Management School, Professor in Business, Oxford Brookes Business School.

The VMG launched its Awards in June 2019 in order to help veterinary leaders embrace the challenges and opportunities faced by the sector and to help them to continue to meet patient needs effectively while remaining profitable in today’s increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

Commenting on receiving a VMG Award, Dr Kerrie Hedley said: “Preliminary research that I undertook for my MBA dissertation revealed some interesting and actionable findings. To have the opportunity to build upon data gathered already, will allow us to increase representation of women in leadership positions to support succession planning and gender equality. Research in the field of human medicine has identified that having clinicians in leadership roles has a positive impact on patient safety, so it is hoped that the veterinary profession will see similar consequences.”

Commenting on their Award, Professor Colette Henry said: “We are grateful to the VMG for recognising the importance of this area. By combining our complementary skill sets – mine in entrepreneurship and business leadership and Professor Sarah Baillie’s in veterinary medicine and practice - we expect our findings to provide a better understanding of the corporatisation process in the UK, and uncover new entrepreneurial leadership opportunities for female veterinarians. Given the current under-representation of women in business leadership roles within the sector, I hope that our research findings can go some way toward addressing this gender imbalance.”

Commenting on their Award, Dr Caroline Clarke said: “Our study is important because it focuses on two interrelated problems – the current shortage of vets, and why people continue to leave the profession after a relatively short period of time. We intend to explore why vets left the profession, and if there are any circumstances under which they would consider returning.

Commenting on this year’s recipients, VMG Vice President Mr Richard Casey said: “The quality of applications we received for our inaugural Awards was very high. From our shortlist, the VMG Board agreed to fund these three because they felt they showed particular merit and had the potential to produce meaningful results. In a year’s time we will have valuable outcomes with real-world application for the veterinary sector, which can be acted upon.”

Applications for the next round of Awards will open in early 2020.