International Canine Health Awards, the world’s largest international awards recognising excellence in canine research, health and welfare, are welcoming nominations for the 2023 awards from leading veterinary professionals, scientists, students and researchers.

Organised by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and underwritten by a major gift from the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation, the International Canine Health Awards are one of the largest veterinary awards in the world. Having inspired scientific innovation in canine health for over a decade, 2023 will see a record-breaking year for the awards, with the prize money more than doubled.

Leaders in the field of canine care and medicine who are passionate about improving the health and welfare of man’s best friend now have the opportunity to nominate colleagues, or themselves, for one of five award categories. A winner from each category will be selected by an independent, international panel of eminent judges, renowned for their work in the veterinary and scientific fields. The awards will help to improve the lives of all dogs across the globe.

For 2023, excellence is paramount but the judges will be particularly interested to receive applications where there is a focus on One-Health. The panel will also welcome applications that demonstrate a commitment to advancing canine medicine in developing nations.

All nominations must be submitted before the 31 January 2023 by completing the application forms on The Kennel Club Charitable Trust website, at:

The five awards now open for entries are:

  • International Award in Canine Health – for outstanding contributions in the field of canine health and welfare, with a prize of $100,000 towards future projects. The award will be presented to an individual currently involved in world-class innovation, but with more still to contribute.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – with a $50,000 prize, this award will go to a veterinarian or scientist, who has dedicated much of their career to advancing the health and welfare of dogs. The award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant lifetime impact to benefit canine health and welfare on the world stage.
  • Two Student Inspiration Awards – these comprise Postgraduate and Undergraduate awards, with prize funds of $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, to aid further education costs, the development of their careers, or the creation/continuation of a project. The awards will be presented to extraordinary students studying at a veterinary school who demonstrate the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and research to benefit dogs. Postgraduate applicants must be within five years of receiving their first degree.
  • UK Breed Health Co-ordinator Award – with a £5,000 prize fund, judges will be looking for individuals from UK Kennel Club breed clubs or councils who have demonstrated a dedication to supporting health and welfare within their breed over the previous year. Some of the aspects that will be considered include starting or coordinating a new project or resource for the breed, such as a health website or health survey, and good communication with The Kennel Club and other key stakeholders

Dr Andrew Higgins, chair of the International Canine Health Awards panel and trustee of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which runs the awards, said, “The prestigious International Canine Health awards have been fostering and supporting development in the canine research and veterinary field for over 10 years now, and offers some of the largest veterinary prizes in the world. The wonderful support of the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation continues to make a monumental difference in encouraging scientific knowledge and actively promoting canine health.

“Every year, we get an incredible range of nominations from veterinarians and scientists who explore diverse aspects of dog health and welfare. We are looking for applications from across the world and the judges will be looking for scientific excellence and a proven commitment to improving dog health and welfare.”

Vernon Hill, founder of the Vernon and Shirley Hill Foundation, whose major gift underwrites the awards, said, “Our foundation is pleased to announce the doubling of financial support for these distinguished international awards in 2023, so continuing to improve the lives of our canine companions across the globe. This year we are delighted that the awards wish to highlight how investment in canine health research can also often benefit human health. After all, dogs help humans so much both in terms of our physical and mental wellbeing.

“We are always proud to hear of the impact the prize funds have in helping support and celebrate the inspiring and talented people who are committing their lives to make sure every dog lives their best life.”

Dr Duncan Lascelles, winner of the International Achievement Award, for over 25 years of research into pain recognition, control & management in dogs

The 2022 awards ceremony can be viewed online here; the recipients were:

  • Dr Duncan Lascelles, North Carolina State University, winner of the International Achievement Award, recognising over 25 years of research into pain recognition, control and management in dogs
  • Dr Deborah Knapp, Purdue University Veterinary Faculty in Indiana, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of her studies improving the detection and intervention of bladder cancers
  • Michelle Farrow, from the Royal Veterinary College London, winner of the Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award, making Michelle the first Veterinary Nurse to win the award for her Master by Research degree into dog welfare
  • Sierra Latshaw, from Texas, winner of the Undergraduate Student Inspiration Award while conducting epidemiological research at the Royal Veterinary College London under the VetCompass Programme to understand the incidence, risk factors and clinical management of testicular neoplasia in dogs
  • Dr Laura Hamilton, a veterinary surgeon and clinical director from Scotland, was awarded the Breed Health Co-ordinator Award for improving the health of French Bulldogs by promoting the Respiratory Function Grading Scheme and developing a scoring system for spinal X-rays.

Further information and nomination forms for the 2023 awards can be found on The Kennel Club Charitable Trust website at All nomination forms must be completed and submitted by the 31 January 2023.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact The Kennel Club via the Contact Form linked.




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