The ASPIRE programme was rebranded from the name INSPIRE in 2017.

What is ASPIRE?

ASPIRE is an Academy of Medical Sciences/Wellcome Trust-funded programme designed to enable medical students to engage with academic research. This supports the foundation of the student-led research network, vacation bursaries for students wishing to undertake a summer research project at Keele, and enables us to run a Research Day to enable students to discuss, disseminate and develop their research ideas

The ASPIRE programme is led by Prof Divya Chari (ISTM) and Dr Samantha Hider (PCHS), and its initiatives form part of the SoM's drive to evolve the medical research component of the medical curriculum and train the next generation of medical researchers.

The School of Medicine has received generous funding support from the North Staffordshire Medical Institute, the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, and the Faculty's Research Institutes, to support its ASPIRE activities.


What is the Keele Medical Research pathway?

The research pathway is an important part of your undergraduate medical training. Engaging with research will enhance your opportunities both during your time at Keele and going forward into clinical practice.

There are numerous opportunities during your degree to take part in and engage with research during your degree, including:

Student Selected Components, in all five years;

Intercalated Degrees, typically on completion of Year 2 or 4;

Vacation Studentships, typically in Year 2 or 3

Students who have engaged in optional activities may choose to undertake an Academic Foundation Post at the beginning of their years in practice.  

Medical research has always been conducted by doctors, and many world-changing discoveries have been made by clinicians (vaccination, penicillin, insulin for for example).  Engaging with research can:

  • provide you with new career opportunities; would you like to become a clinician-scientist or clinical researcher?
  • enable you to engage with an academic subject in greater depth
  • develop your multidisciplinarity via interaction with research students and researchers, expanding your perspective
  • develop your understanding of basic laboratory science, experimental methodology and research methods
  • enhance your CV via increasing your skill base, publication of papers in peer-reviewed journals and presentation at conferences
  • gain additional qualifications in a medicine-related area, augmenting your CV
  • open doors in competitive specialisms; increase your chances of employment as a medical academic

I'm interested in getting involved in research, what do I do next?

If you're keen to get started, your first step should be to get in touch with researchers engaged with work which interests you. A good place to start is with the research institute websites, which will tell you what research local groups are involved in. We have recently set up a database of research projects. Please get in touch if you're interested but not sure what you'd like to do.

Once you've chosen a project/supervisor or a program for intercalation, your next step is to get funding for your work. More information is available about ICD bursaries and ASPIRE summer studentships.