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Fellowship Board Elections Candidate Information

Please find below the candidate statements for the electable positions on the Fellowship Board.

Fellows are able to vote for one applicant for each position (Chair of the Fellowship Board and Chair of the Credentials Panel for Meritorious Contributions to Clinical Practice) from Monday 10 June. A link to the voting software will be emailed to Fellows in due course. Please contact the Fellowship Team on [email protected] if you have not received your link by 11 June 2024.

Applicants for the Chair of the Fellowship Board

Christianne Glossop

Christianne GlossopThe day I qualified as a vet remains one of the most precious days of my life.  Now in the “third half” of my career, I am blessed with a little more time, and years of varied experience, and am eager to give back what I can to the profession which has challenged, inspired and sustained me. 

My application for Fellowship emphasised the importance of the veterinary voice being heard, valued, and effective wherever it might have a contribution to make – protecting and promoting animal health and welfare, integral to the One Health agenda, and vital to sustainable livestock production.  As Chair of the Board I would do my best to assert the Fellowship’s position as a learned society, the “go to” place for independent advice and comment for the benefit of our profession.

I have a robust track record of setting direction, balancing conflicting views, and achieving objectives on schedule, with finite resources, not only within my government roles, but also as an independent consultant, having held offices within veterinary societies, and in my connection with veterinary schools.  As CVO Wales I was responsible for advising Ministers, development of policy, protecting animal health and welfare, and leading the nation’s animal disease emergency response, against a background of competing pressures.  

I would like to enhance further diversity and inclusion within the Fellowship – one does not have to be old to be learned, and a learned society must stay current to be relevant.  I am also passionate about encouraging and nurturing the next generations of vets, and keen to see further progress for the Fellows of the Future programme, mainstreaming their role within the Fellowship.      

It would be an honour to serve as Chair of the RCVS Fellowship Board.

Niall Connell

Niall ConnellMy veterinary career and route to RCVS Fellowship has been unconventional because of my health. Not long ago, as an elected RCVS Council member, I attended two separate VDS new graduate reunions and was told that I wasn’t what they expected. I regard that as both a compliment and an opportunity.

I always cherish the thrill of being awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. I am honoured to be Board vice-chair and currently interim chair until the election concludes. I humbly seek election to become Fellowship board chair.

I pledge to make every effort to help advance the Fellowship to promote scientific knowledge and discourse within our veterinary and nursing professions as well as in the public arena. By working with the Board and Fellows, I will do my best to assist furthering veterinary standards with encouragement, support and mentoring in the veterinary world, starting with our students. I am keen for the Fellowship to grow, motivating any veterinary surgeons who wish to take their expertise, experience, altruism, and aspirations to the next level, to apply. Even though the FRCVS bar is high, and it should be, I’m also keen that we assist and mentor professionals in mid-career to also apply. Diversity, Inclusion and Equity must be embedded within all aspects of our culture.

This work is all supported by the Fellows on Tour, Fellows of the Future initiatives, Science Advisory Panel and Fellowship assessment panels. I’m also keen to encourage students who may be interested in research careers, to consider research which pushes the envelope to include all aspects of One Health. I’m determined to expand our profile and I have experience of using social media, doing interviews and public speaking. I have been called an inspirational speaker and I’m a disability advocate. Thank you.

Paul Higgs

Paul HiggsI am deeply passionate and optimistic about the future of our veterinary professions, recognising the invaluable contributions each of us makes daily. As the RCVS’s learned society, the Fellowship plays a pivotal role in both celebrating and supporting these contributions. Although now an internal medicine specialist I have a number of years of experience in first opinion companion and production animal practice. Currently, as Chief Veterinary Officer at CVS, I have critical insights into the daily experiences of colleagues caring for all animal species and many associated areas of veterinary practice, whilst also continuing to work clinically myself.

Our professions predominantly operate within primary care practice, and the Fellowship needs greater representation from these colleagues who contribute to the richness of our profession. Diversity within the Fellowship is crucial; we must actively encourage and welcome colleagues with diverse experiences in the “science” but also in the "art" of veterinary medicine.

Fellowship is more than just an accolade; it’s a commitment to being a force for positive change. I am dedicated to ensuring the Fellowship serves as a valuable resource for the college and our profession; driving impactful change and improvement. I believe that cultural transformation lies at the heart of effective improvement and, as Chief Veterinary Officer at CVS, I have prioritised fostering an environment where colleagues feel empowered to share insights and experiences, challenging tradition and driving collective progress.

I believe that by supporting a culture of collaboration, inclusivity, and continuous learning, we can strengthen the Fellowship and better serve the evolving needs of our profession. I may be a new face to many, however, I believe that I have the experience, skills and drive to continue the development of this society for the better of the profession as a whole.

Applicants for the Chair of the Credentials Panel (Meritorious Contributions to Clinical Practice)

Nicky Paull

Nicky PaullI am about to complete my 3rd year as Chair of the Credentials Panel (Meritorious Contributions to Clinical Practice).  It has not been an easy role.  However, as the Board looks to develop the Fellowship further, I believe that my background through general practice and my broad involvement with the wider veterinary profession can be of benefit as the RCVS Fellowship looks to grow a more diverse fellowship. 

My experiences over the past years, particularly in developing veterinary students and supporting veterinary surgeons through their career development, has given me contact with a wide range of members of our profession.  It would be good to see the RCVS Fellowship grow to be something that all vets could aspire to, not just those in academia. 

At the same time, I have huge respect for those who have attained fellowship over the years and see it as key that in making a more diverse fellowship we maintain the importance of the standing of RCVS Fellows in the veterinary community.  Obtaining a fellowship should be seen as a further stepping stone to contributing to the profession.  So many applicants speak of their enthusiasm to using a fellowship in assisting the veterinary profession of the future.  It is beholden to the RCVS Fellowship to make this happen.  Not just a badge or a prize but as something that will continue to contribute to the development of the profession that we are honoured to belong to.

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