Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health Division has launched the inaugural Bayer Excellence in Communication Award competition to reward veterinary students for strong communication skills and close a perceived communication gap between veterinarians and pet owners.

The competition consists of eight scholarships that will be awarded to veterinary students who display the strongest communication skills during a client interview in a clinical setting.

Junior and senior veterinary students enrolled at one of the eight pilot veterinary colleges may submit a filmed client interview to be judged. One student from each school will be awarded a US$2,500 Bayer Excellence in Communication Award scholarship, as well as a national winner who will be chosen from among the school winners who will receive an additional US$2,500 scholarship.

In addition, the national winner's school will receive complimentary tuition and travel for one faculty member to attend the Bayer Communication Project's "Train the Trainer" development program.

The eight initial winners will be selected by March 1, 2013, and the national winner will be announced by May 1, 2013. Bayer Excellence in Communication Award Pilot Schools include: Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine; Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine; Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences; University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine; University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine; University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine; and Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine.