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School: University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

Connection to the Academy: Received funding the INSPIRE programme

Year: 2016-17

INSPIRE Lead: Dr Nigel Mongan

The INSPIRE award has enabled us to offer transformative research experiences for our undergraduates, with a particular focus on enabling those from WP backgrounds to experience and consider careers in research. Throughout the last two years, as part of our ‘Meet the experts’ seminar series, we have hosted four veterinary-qualified research leaders of international standing:

  • Rob Franklin, Cambridge.
  • Lucy Davison, Oxford.
  • Tim Skerry, Sheffield.
  • Giovanni Pellegrini, Zurich.

Each evening event was attended by around 50 students and provided them the opportunity to meet with the speakers and hear their career paths and motivations. Additionally, our Research Career event, in which four former PhD students recounted their PhD experiences, providing valuable insights into a research career, was attended by over 100 students. Students found this event extremely valuable, commenting that the event “allowed for a discussion of the various routes into research and the benefits and weaknesses for these.”

What are the main impacts of the INSPIRE programme?

The activities we have implemented have resulted in an unprecedented increase in requests for summer studentships and conference attendance. As a result of this, with INSPIRE funding, three undergraduate students completed laboratory projects in comparative medicine and a further five students were awarded bursaries to present their undergraduate research projects at international conferences.

Together with our undergraduate Next Generation Scientist (NGS) society we hosted a local primary school and enabled the children to isolate DNA from strawberries and related this to genetic health. Further to this, the NGS society organised outreach events with the public and secondary school students. Undergraduate students are effective communicators and outstanding ambassadors for research in public engagement events through their knowledge and enthusiasm.

To summarise, we have increased the recognition of the value or research as illustrated by the number of students attending each event, the number of students undertaking intercalated degrees is the highest since the school was established and we have had the largest number of students involved with public and school outreach/engagement events, all as a result of the INSPIRE programme funding.


For full details of the activities implemented by the University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine and Science please visit the INSPIRE activities page.

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