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 2014 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.  

In 2018 we hosted the National Intercalators' Conference.  Read the blue column on the right to see the full programme and photos from the day.

Clinical Academic Pathway

This could be your first step into Clinical Academic Training


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

The 4th National Intercalators' Conference was hosted by the University of Bristol in the Wills Memorial Building on Saturday 17th November, 2018.  This was a day for undergraduate students from Medical, Veterinary and Dental Schools to listen to and talk with their peers who presented their research projects as oral or moderated posters.  We had talks from 4 senior academics from Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science discussing why they chose an academic pathway and what they wished they'd known as undergraduates.  We also heard from Dr Holly Roy about life as an  Academic Clinical Fellow in Neurosurgery.

Here is the full programme 2018 National Intercalators Conference (PDF, 509kB) and photos of the day 

 2018 National Intercalators Conference (PDF, 509kB)

I have been very lucky and received numerous bursaries from INSPIRE to support my research, which has included working in the USA and Australia, and have been able to present my work at INSPIRE showcases and conferences.

Anna K. Taylor (BSc 2014, MBChB 2017)

Student-led research journal

2016 - Autumn 2016

2017 - Autumn 2017

2020 - Summer 2020

2020 - Autumn 2020 

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