Research opportunities | ASPIRE

Research at Keele is organised via our Research Institutes, broadly categorising research into clinical studies, basic medical science, physical science/maths, social science and humanities. Medical school staff are members of the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine and Primary Care & Health Sciences, whilst others are involved in Medical Education research.

We encourage all students to take the opportunity to engage with the myriad research areas which they will be exposed to throughout their preclinical and clinical years of undergraduate medical education.

Specific opportunities exist at various stages within your medical degree. Medically-relevant research at Keele include a wide variety of topics, from biotechnology, tissue engineering and analytical biochemistry, to ethics, primary care intervention studies and medical education. Research at Keele is conducted within the Research Institutes. If you're interested in undertaking a research placement, there are specific questions you need to consider:

What is my goal in research engagement?

  • Understanding a specific discipline in more detail
  • Developing a deeper understanding of research
  • Enhancing my CV via acquisition of skills, knowledge and publications

How is this best achieved?

  • Undertaking an additional qualification (intercalation)
  • Working alongside a research group (e.g. summer placement or intercalated degree with a significant research component)

Consider your prior educational background and future ambitions carefully: for instance, a medical student who already holds an undergraduate degree in a scientific discipline will not gain significant enhancement of their CV by intercalating in another scientific discipline. An additional qualification is however extremely valuable for many competitive specialisms.

What are the financial implications?

If you are paying your own fees, intercalating will cost an additional year's fees. Some bursaries are available, and these are awarded according to need. Further information is on the intercalation web pages.

Summer Studentships/Bursaries are available from various agencies to support student vacation projects. These have various eligibility criteria, and applications must typically be made in March–April for summer start dates. Bursaries typically cover living costs and may contribute to project costs. You must apply to these with a specific project and supervisor, although the precise mechanism varies, therefore we recommend that you should start talking to potential supervisors in December to decide on your strategy for external funding applications. A workshop on summer projects will be held in late Semester 1, to help enable interested students to identify potential students/supervisor pairings and funding strategies.

ASPIRE funding is available to students wishing to undertake a summer project at Keele. These typically provide some living expenses and may include some project costs. Please visit the ASPIRE summer studentships page for information about this year's scheme.

Potential supervisors should be contacted by students as early as possible for research projects, to enable them to work with you on developing a feasible research project plan.