MSD Animal Health Announces Call for 2020 High Quality Pork Ph.D. Award Submissions

Award to Be Granted in Support of Research in Swine Health, Production and Welfare.

MADISON, N.J., September 24, 2019 – MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, today announced the company has opened submissions for the 2020 High Quality Pork Ph.D. Award, which will grant one recent doctoral graduate the opportunity to present their research at an upcoming MSD Animal Health High Quality Pork meeting to be held in Europe, the Americas and Asia in 2020. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

 “We are pleased to open submissions for the 2020 High Quality Pork Ph.D. Award as part of our commitment to invest in the Science of Healthier Animals,” said Rika Jolie, DVM, Ph.D., MBA, Global Swine Lead, MSD Animal Health. “With increasing global demand for safe and nutritious protein sources, the need for veterinarians and veterinary scientists to identify science based solutions for solving our industry challenges is also increasing.”

“The 2019 High Quality Pork Ph.D. Award is a very rewarding honor and I am excited about the opportunity to travel and share my research with colleagues and peers who are as passionate as I am about veterinary science,” said Cristina Rojo Gimeno, DVM, MSc, Ph.D., a veterinary epidemiologist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Headquarters in Rome, Italy, who received the. award for her thesis on reducing the use of antimicrobials in swine production. “In my thesis, I applied social sciences to understand how to reduce the use of antimicrobials in pig farms in Belgium. Instead of antimicrobials, pig farmers adopted biosecurity measures and more vaccinations. After using these measures, the economic performance of the farms was not harmed. I think it is very relevant that MSD Animal Health has awarded the prize to a thesis that uses social sciences to address the complex problem of antimicrobial resistance,” said Dr. Rojo Gimeno.

Eligible graduates must have completed doctoral (Ph.D.) research for an applied project in either veterinary or animal science with an emphasis on swine and defended their doctoral degree in the past 12 months. Topics of high interest include antibiotic reduction, welfare, precision medicine, smart pig farming and new technologies, infectious diseases such as respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv), porcine circovirus (PCV), Leptospira, Lawsonia, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. Hyo), and reproductive management.

To apply, eligible graduates must submit a 500-word summary of their research project and a concise (max 300 words) letter describing why they deserve the award and a brief curriculum vitae. Applications can be sent to and must be submitted by 31 October 2019. The winner will be notified before the end of 2019.

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About MSD Animal Health

For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals®, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.