This retrospective, matched case-control study compared the characteristics of veterinary surgeons employed in veterinary research with those who had never held a research post. The cases were randomly selected from graduates of veterinary schools in Great Britain or Ireland who were employed at universities or institutes that conduct research and who played a major role in veterinary research projects during 2001 to 2003. The controls were veterinary surgeons who had not held any post that was primarily a research post since they graduated. The cases and controls were matched by year of graduation and data were obtained for 173 matched sets. Graduates who were significantly (P<0·05) more likely to have a career involving research included male graduates, graduates who had completed a summer studentship, graduates who had completed an internship, residency or houseman’s programme, graduates who held a veterinary diploma, and graduates who had intended to pursue a career in research or academia when they graduated from veterinary school. A career involving research was significantly (P<0·05) more likely to be associated with full-time employment and a lower salary than a career that did not involve research.
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↵Dr Murray’s present address is Division of Companion Animal Studies, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU
↵Professor French’s present address is Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Studies, College of Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand