Inspiring our students

INSPIRE aims to light the fire of scientific enquiry in those students who might be tempted by an academic career.

The University of Bristol is a research intensive university, ranked by the Research Excellence Framework 2021 among the UK's top research universities. We are committed to enabling our students to become involved in research.

INSPIRE is a national initiative coordinated by the Academy of Medical Sciences and supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Research opportunities

The University of Bristol offers a broad range of activities, opportunities and incentives for students to engage with our research teams.  These research opportunities have been developed through consultation with current students, and with matched funding from the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Life Sciences and the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute.

We also work in close partnership to deliver co-ordinated activities with the INSPIRE schemes in the Universities of Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth.

Academic activity

Inspire is to help encourage medical, dental and veterinary students to take part in research. We’ve had many success stories over the years now, from students presenting at conferences, publishing and going onto enter academic clinical careers.

INSPIRE achieves its goals through:

  • Travel grants - for any medical, dental and vet students to attend conferences/meetings and present their research 
  • Taster days - students can find supervisors for the summer vacationships - for any Year 2 medical, dental and vet students
  • Summer Studentships - funding for students to join a research team and conduct a 4 week research project - for any year 2-4 Bristol medical or dental students and any AGEP-1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 vet students
  • Intercalation prizes - Elizabeth Blackwell Institute prize is for the best intercalation project - for any intercalating students
  • Intercalation consolidation prizes allow students to carry on with their intercalation research projects over the summer
  • Elective research studentship - allows students going on elective to conduct a research project - for any final year medical or dental students
  • Elective prize - the best elective project gets prize money
  • Inspire student journal - an opportunity to edit and peer review student research papers

Showcasing your work

We organise regular INSPIRE Showcases to provide opportunities for students to present their work and to network with researchers at a variety of career stages. We also invite senior clinical academics as keynote speakers to present at these events.

Students also have the opportunity to be involved in the student-led Student Health Sciences Research Journal.  

Clinical Academic Pathway

This could be your first step into Clinical Academic Training.

INSPIRE Intercalators Conference 2018 photograph of people listening to a speaker 2022 National Intercalators’ Conference

Bristol INSPIRE ambassadors organised the Intercalators’ conference in March 2022 to showcase the wide variety of exciting and impactful research carried out by medical, dental and veterinary students from across the UK during their intercalation year. There were 18 oral presentations and 23 posters presented at the conference.

Professor Athimalaipet Ramanan delivered an amazing keynote talk on his journey into clinical research, while Professor Tony Pickering & Dr Anna Gordan gave an inspiring careers talk to budding academic doctors.

It was a great honour and pleasure to lead the team organising the conference. The experience allowed me to grow as a leader and being a part of the team was incredibly fun and rewarding to see the event take shape and run the event with the team. I have learnt a lot about planning and organising events due to partaking in INSPIRE.

Atchchuthan Kanagasabai
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