School: School of Medical Sciences, University of Manchester

Connection to the Academy: Received funding from the INSPIRE programme

Year: 2016/17

INSPIRE Lead: Dr Adam Greenstein


  • Hosted conferences for 200+ students, including inaugral conference on undergraduate medical research
  • Diverse range of events promoting medical research careers, including talks series, mock interviews and information evenings

What are the main impacts of INSPIRE?

The INSPIRE scheme has been transformational for the Manchester Medical Research Student Society (MMRSSoc), the only student-led organisation with the central aim of fostering a research culture amongst undergraduate medical and dental students at the University of Manchester. It has enabled us to run events and engage students in local and national research at a level unparalleled in the recent history of the Medical School, as well as helping us to inform students of fundamental academic principles like the clinical relevance of research, core academic skills and topical areas within academic medicine.

Thanks to INSPIRE funding, we have offered structured support to students interested in academic careers in order to facilitate their contribution to research in the future. Our events have included:

  • The Classics series of talks, delivered yearly:
    • ‘An Introduction to Academic Medicine’ - hosted by Professor Tony Freemont, former head of the Manchester Medical School, this guided students through the career options available within the specialty as well as providing key insight and his vision for the future of the field.
    • ‘Intercalation – is it for me?’ - provides guidance on specialist academic pathways and intercalated degrees
  • A range of one-off evening events including:
    • ‘The Zika Virus & Microcephaly: The story so far’
    • ‘The Surgeon Scientist – a life as an academic surgeon’ - hosted in collaboration with Scalpel, the University of Manchester surgical society
  • Academic Foundation Programme event series, including:
    • Information evening – an overview lecture about the academic foundation programme
    • White space questions clinic – an opportunity for students to receive advice and feedback.
    • Mock interviews for 18 students 
  • The May Measurement Month, a month long international project which MMRSSoc was involved with to raise awareness about hypertension.
  • Conferences:
    • We hosted the second MMRSSoc Undergraduate Conference, bringing together over 40 students from a range of disciplines.
    • MMRSSoc was chosen to host the National Student Association of Medical Research Conference 2017 after winning the bid at a previous conference. Attendance was strong at 176 attendees across all undergraduate years with representatives from Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Hull/York, Liverpool, Dundee, Nottingham, Birmingham and Keele.

What are the main learning points to take away from the scheme?

As a result of the funding we have learned to use our resources more creatively by offering a variety of activities to engage interest to ensure maximum impact. We found that regular events/activities must be diverse to maintain the interest of students. Consistently providing this variety of activites helps to promote the importance of research, its relevance to current practice and the exciting opportunities available in academic pathways. MMRSSoc has always provided opportunities for members to voice their opinions but we are now widening the scope and diversity of our reach, creating new platforms for students to express their views and collating extensive feedback from every event.


For full details of the activities implemented by the  University of Manchester, School of Medical Sciences please visit the INSPIRE activities page.

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