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The award is a biennial honor presented to research investigators who demonstrate meritorious advancements in furthering the mission of identifying, characterizing, and treating canine disease and ailments. Asa Mays was a founding Board Member of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
The award is presented in two categories: Basic Science and Clinical/Translational Medicine. The award is named in memory of Robert Kelly who was Treasurer of the AKC Canine Health Foundation for many years.
The President's Award is given each year to a person who "has made an exceptional contribution to advancing canine health." The Chairman of the AKC Canine Health Foundation Board of Directors selects the person who receives this award, and it is presented at an event dedicated to canine health, sometimes the National Parent Club Canine Health Conference, the International Kennel Club Dog Show or the Gala By the Bay.
The annual academic scholarship is awarded to a veterinary student who demonstrates exceptional academic skill and an interest in the health and well-being of all dogs.
The scholarship is awarded through the American Kennel Club Veterinary Scholarship program. Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of academic achievement, participation in canine health-related research, and need. All applicants must be enrolled as full time students at an accredited United States veterinary medical school.
Scholarship application materials are sent to all accredited veterinary schools each January. Each school selects four candidates and returns the completed applications in May. Applications are not accepted from individuals, and interested students should contact the financial aid office at their schools. The scholarship selection committee reviews all the applications and selects recipients in June.