What is INSPIRE?
The Academy of Medical Science INSPIRE undergraduate scheme aims to inspire medical, dental and veterinary undergraduates to consider careers in research.
The scheme encourages medical schools to design and implement local, innovative approaches to building student interest in research and encouraging student involvement.
1. Research Showcase events
Students from all health professional undergraduate degree backgrounds are invited to submit a research abstract to the King's College London's Clinical and Academic Research Society (CARS) and Dental Research Society's Research Showcase.
For many students this will be their first opportunity to present a research abstract for review by a special judging panel comprising CARS patrons and King's College London health faculty. This an ideal situation for students to receive constructive criticism in an encouraging environment. Keep an eye on our events pages for upcoming Research Showcase events.
Prof Lucy Chappell, Research Professor in Obstetrics at King’s College London, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Government Chief Scientific Advisor joined students for the first virtual research showcase event, titled 'How to get published':
2. Summer studentships
Students can apply to take part in a number of summer studentships to carry out a research project. Studentships are mainly for wet laboratory projects involving the collection of primary experimental data, its analysis and interpretation. It is an invaluable opportunity for experience at the bench in a busy research laboratory, and should be of interest to any student who wishes to develop their scientific career. If you are considering applying for a PhD programme in the future, we would strongly encourage you to apply for a summer studentship. Successful applicants will receive a stipend of £750.
Students interested in the 2022 studentships should download the full guidance for the scheme, and liaise with their supervisor to submit an application form. Examples of projects can be found in the 2021 Project Catalogue. Students will need to submit a personal statement of up to 750 words as part of their application. Please note, completed application forms must be submitted to Alistair.firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 22nd May.
Academics interested in submitting a project for medical or dental undergraduate students to undertake must complete the project form , and submit this to Alistair.email@example.com by 5pm Thursday 28th April.
3. Research opportunities database
A database of research opportunities available for King’s College London students has been established. This allows students to select a research project and connect with our clinical academics to work and develop research skills across a range of activities.
4. Journal clubs
Facilitated and moderated by a senior clinician, students will be able to join focused sessions exploring clinical interventions, followed by an evidence-based discussion of its efficacy and cost effectiveness. The aim of these journal clubs is to provide clarity for students on how to take part in research projects and what to aim for when building an academic CV.
What students have said about INSPIRE
A veterinary student took part in a Beaufort Cottage Equine Trust Summer Studentship which provides funding for undergraduate students to carry out a research project. They said:
[Taking part] can show that research can be fun and exciting and help you to figure out whether this is something you might want to be involved in your future career.
Working on a Summer Studentship on Women’s Health, another student said:
I learnt a huge amount from this project, especially from the various obstacles and failures we encountered as I was able to work with the team to problem-solve and got to see the true ‘nitty-gritty’ aspects of the research field.
What are the benefits of INSPIRE?
By inspiring medical, dental and veterinary undergraduates to consider careers in research, INSPIRE:
- Promotes high quality, collaborative partnerships between members of faculty and students, and between schools and other local/regional/national organisations.
- Strengthens local, regional and national student research networks, sharing experiences and resources.
- Fosters a research culture in all clinicians entering the NHS, not just those with an interest in pursuing a career in academic medicine. Likewise, INSPIRE aims to foster a research culture in dentists and vets across the country.