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National Phi Zeta Awards Guidelines


About the Awards

The objectives of the Society of Phi Zeta are to recognize and promote scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals. Pursuant to that objective, a National Phi Zeta Award consisting of a plaque and a check for $1000 was established in 1978. Currently, two awards are given: one recognizing an outstanding manuscript submitted for competition in the basic research category, and one recognizing an outstanding manuscript submitted in the clinical / applied research category.  Recognizing that the distinction between basic and clinical (applied) research may not always be clear, the author or nominator should designate the category in which the paper is to compete. The awards committee will use as a guide the NIH definition of clinical research (with the word human being replaced by animal): research which is patient-oriented and thus involves animals [humans] (or tissues of animal [human] origin), but not tissues that cannot be linked to a living animal (e.g., in vitro studies). Clinical research thus would include clinical trials, epidemiologic studies, and studies that focus on the mechanisms of disease, and studies (including clinical trials) that focus on a diagnostic or therapeutic intervention.


Each Phi Zeta chapter may sponsor up to two candidates – one for each of the awards described above. The candidates need not be Phi Zeta members but must be veterinarians involved in a graduate or residency program within the past 2 years. A student in a veterinary-science department from an institution with no Phi Zeta chapter may submit a manuscript to a nearby chapter for consideration. To be considered eligible, the sponsored candidate must be the first author of the selected manuscript, and the manuscript must be accepted for publication, or published, in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. A letter verifying acceptance by the journal must be included with the submission(s). Further selection criteria may be established by the local chapter.

Manuscript Submission*

Each chapter may submit one (1) copy of each of the selected manuscripts to the Secretary (see below) by electronic mail by 5 pm Central, the second Monday in March*. Submission through regular mail is strongly discouraged unless electronic submission is not possible. In such circumstances, 5 copies of the original manuscript must be received by the Secretary (see below) by mail or courier by 5 pm Central, the first Friday in March. Submissions should be made to the Secretary of Phi Zeta for distribution to Awards Committee members.  A completed Manuscript Award Submission Form should accompany the manuscript and, if applicable, a copy of the letter verifying journal acceptance.  The Secretary will send an acknowledgment return email upon receipt of the manuscript. For manuscripts that can not be sent electronically, good quality photocopies of charts, line drawings, or other illustrations may be substituted for original prints.  Original material will not be returned to the candidate unless specifically requested, clearly marked to that effect, and accompanied by a self-addressed, pre-paid mailer. Materials will be returned after selection of the award recipients, which will occur around mid-April. Winning manuscripts will be kept on file by the Secretary.

  • Submit each manuscript with a completed Manuscript Award Nominee form

  • Email submissions to the National Secretary-Treasurer with Subject heading: Phi Zeta MS Award

Award Selection

Recipients of each award will be selected by the rotating National Phi Zeta Awards Committee. The manuscript review process will task 8 chapters per year with reviewing a subset of submitted manuscripts.  Under this process, any one chapter is only responsible for reviewing manuscripts once every 4 years.  Chapter officers will receive a subset of 6-8 of the submitted manuscripts and delegate their review, using a supplied rubric, to 2-4 of their basic science and clinical science faculty.  Reviewers must be Phi Zeta members, either active or honorary, of their local chapter.  Chapter officers and designated reviewers can assign reviews to their senior residents or graduate students, if they wish.  As is the case for faculty reviewers, the resident or graduate student reviewers must be members of their Phi Zeta chapter. The winning manuscripts will be selected on the basis of originality, scientific significance of the work, relevance to veterinary medicine, quality of the study performed, and clarity of the writing, tables and illustrations. If, in the collective judgment of the Awards Committee, none of the submissions in one or both categories meets the Committee’s criteria for excellence in that category, the Committee has the prerogative not to name a winner for that year.

2024 Awards Committee Chapters

University of Minnesota, Kappa Chapter

University of Missouri, Pi Chapter

University of Pennsylvania, Beta Chapter

University of Tennessee, Phi Chapter

University of Wisconsin, Alpha Alpha Chapter
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Chi Chapter

Washington State University, Iota Chapter

Western University of Health Sciences, Alpha Epsilon

Award Presentation

The awards will be presented by the National President of Phi Zeta (or designee) at the sponsoring Phi Zeta chapter’s initiation ceremony, awards banquet, or other appropriate gathering.

The Society of Phi Zeta would like to express its deepest appreciation for the generous donation provided by Purina in support of the 2023 Research Manuscript Awards.

The Society of Phi Zeta would like to express its deepest appreciation for the generous donation provided by Mars Veterinary Health in support of the 2022 Research Manuscript Awards.


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