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The RCVS International Award

This award was bestowed for the first time in 2017, in order to recognise veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses or laypeople who have worked internationally, from either within or outside the UK.

Denis Novak receiving the 2023 International Award from Melissa Donald

Recipients should have made an outstanding contribution on issues that are in line with the RCVS mission, for example, around raising veterinary standards, veterinary education, improving animal health and welfare, developing leadership, promoting mental health and wellbeing.

Nominees for the award do not need to be MRCVS or RVNs, nor do they necessarily need similar or equivalent status if they live and work outside the UK.

Nominations can be made by MRCVS and RVNs, excluding RCVS Council and VN Council members. The nominations period usually starts in the autumn and closes in December.

Up to two RCVS International Awards can be bestowed each year.

The nomination period for the 2024 RCVS Honours & Awards has now closed.

Successful nominees for RCVS Honours & Awards will be announced in March 2024 and invited to attend Royal College Day in July 2024.  

Previous RCVS International Award recipients

2023: Dr Denis Novak MRCVS, was nominated for his work on improving standards in veterinary education in Serbia, where he works in practice in the capital Belgrade, the Balkans region and other areas of Eastern Europe through his work with the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA), where he is now President. He also founded the Eastern European Regional Veterinary Conference (EERVC), which has helped to bring affordable continuing professional development (CPD) and networking opportunities to veterinary professionals from across the region.

2022: Miranda Luck RVN, was recognised for her international animal welfare consultancy work, focusing on improving conditions for animals in shelters in countries across the world, including contributing to legislation and the development of shelter standards in the United Arab Emirates and South Korea. As an international volunteer she also enjoys being involved in a variety of animal welfare activities such as feline trap-neuter-return projects, street dog population management, and disaster relief operations. 

2022: Professor Holger Volk MRCVS, was recognised for the impact of his veterinary neurology research on society, animal welfare and clinical practice. Most recently this has been seen in the effort against Covid-19 as Professor Volk's research group was the first to publish peer-reviewed evidence that medical scent detection dogs can discriminate samples from Covid-19 infected individuals, from non-infected individuals.

2021: Emeritus Professor Michael Day FRCVS, sadly passed away in May 2020 and was nominated posthumously by Dr Frances Barr FRCVS, a veterinary surgeon who worked with him as a colleague at the University of Bristol and when Professor Day was Chair of the British Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Education Committee. She praised Professor Day as a prolific researcher and writer, focusing on companion animal immune-mediated and infectious diseases. His contributions to the field were acknowledged by many other awards, including the BSAVA Amoroso Award (1999), the RCVS Trust's G Norman Hall medal (2003) and the Pet Plan Charitable Trust Scientific Award (2009).

2020: Not awarded. 

2019: Dr Abdul-Jalil Mohammadzai, Country Director - Mayhew Afghanistan,  for his his exceptional achievements with regards to improving animal health and welfare in one of the most challenging parts of the world – Kabul, Afghanistan. 

2019: Dr Samuel Thevasagayam, Deputy Director for Global Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for his work improving the health of livestock, optimising livestock productivity and enabling economic growth of people who depend on livestock, particularly in the developing world.

2018: Dr Alemayehu Hailemariam, an Ethiopian veterinarian who works for the Brooke equine charity and carries out much of its clinical and education fieldwork in Ethiopia. Please listen to our podcast interview with Alemayehu talking about his work for the Brooke in Ethiopia.

2018: Rachel Wright, who trained as a veterinary nurse in the UK and founded the Tree of Life for Animals (or TOLFA) animal hospital in Rajasthan, India in 2005. Please listen to our podcast interview with Rachel talking about working in the animal charity sector in India.

2017: Christophe Buhot, former President of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, for his contribution to the veterinary profession across the continent and for championing Vet Futures Europe and Vet Futurs France.