Events, INSPIRE, News, Research / Volunteering opportunities

News release for INSPIRE journal 

Release date: 25 October 2017 

Title: Student research journal celebrates success  


A research journal created by and for students is going from strength to strength, say its editors, all students from the medical, dental and veterinary schools of Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth. 

The students have pooled their talents to produce the latest issue of the ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’, showcasing original research undertaken in world-class laboratories and clinics, by fellow students. 

The ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’ is a key part of a collaborative project under the national INSPIRE scheme funded by the Wellcome Trust and administered by the Academy of Medical Sciences. The second issue is being launched at the national Intercalators Conference, on 28th October 2017 at the University of Cardiff.  

The INSPIRE scheme aims to encourage student doctors, dentists and vets to consider a career in research, and encourages publication of their work. Since the scheme began in 2013 the southwest INSPIRE partnership has supported more than 90 vacation studentships as well as prize awards. Together with local matched funding, this has enabled students to undertake research projects under the supervision of senior scientists and clinicians.  

The first issue of the journal appeared in 2016, following a competition to appoint seven senior editors to set up the journal as a platform for publication of student project results, as well as to have direct experience of academic peer review. A new team of 10 editors came together to create the latest issue. 

Amy Hough, medical student from the University of Exeter says, “I am pleased to see the journal go from strength to strength under the excellent guidance of this years editorial team. It has been a fantastic opportunity to provide a well deserved platform for the huge breadth of student research across the southwest.”  

‘I am amazed that a year ago I did not know what the INSPIRE project was, and I have since become an editor and author of the INSPIRE Journal. Thank you to my colleagues in the senior editorial team for their guidance, I owe all I have learnt during this process to you! Fingers crossed for Issue 3!’, says medical student Grace Hosking, University of Cardiff. 

”It has been a truly engaging learning experience undertaking the role of senior editor for INSPIRE’s second edition! Reviewing our authors’ hard work, and interacting with colleagues at the four universities whilst being facilitated by the most senior editor of them all, Julie Clayton, have all been highlights of our academic year. INSPIRE has not only inspired us, but empowered us!” says Shashank Chaganty, medical student from Plymouth University School of Medicine and Dentistry. 

“Writing for the INSPIRE journal is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their budding interest in scientific research. We have indeed received an enthusiastic response from students for this second edition and have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the other senior editors across the South West. We are therefore very pleased with the scope of the articles and hope that our readers find this magazine enriching,” says Julia Cheong, medical student at the University of Bristol. 

‘I’m delighted to see the second edition of the journal that has been reviewed, edited and published by the student team from the four Universities. The second edition is a real credit to their hard work and has a great range of articles submitted by medical, dental and veterinary students,‘ says Professor David Parkinson, Inspire lead at the University of Plymouth. 

“The standard of the writing, editing and content in the Journal is very impressive. It gives us confidence in the future to see that our students can not only generate good science, but present and communicate it well,” says Professor Colin Dayan, Inspire lead at the University of Cardiff. 

“It is heartening to see such fantastic work that has been led from start to finish by our students in Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth. We hope that this experience of writing, reviewing, editing and publishing has been enjoyable and will underpin successful clinical academic careers for our students,” says Dr Elizabeth Coulthard, Inspire lead at the University of Bristol. 

“The INSPIRE scheme has been hugely important in providing opportunities for our students to experience research. The collaborative work by students across the four schools to produce such a high quality journal is really encouraging to see,” says Professor Tamsin Ford, Inspire lead at the University of Exeter. 

The latest issue of the journal is available online, with reports on complications from breast implants, the use of protein supplements, managing anxiety in patients, as well as articles on aortic dissection, obesity, killer whales kept in captivity. There are also careers pieces, conference reports, and interviews with leading researchers.  

As well as the student journal and vacation studentships, the Inspire programme supports many other local and regional activities involving partnership between the universities of Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth, including an intercalators’ conference each October at which students can hear about opportunities to study for a science degree, and hear about the experiences of previous intercalating students. 

To download the second issue of the journal for free and to find out more, see the INSPIRE project pages for the following Medical Schools: 

University of Bristol, Leads: Richard Coward, Professor of Renal Medicine, and Dr Elizabeth Coulthard, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Dementia Neurology.  

 University of Cardiff Lead: Colin Dayan, Professor of Clinical Diabetes and Metabolism. 

University of Exeter  Leads: Dr Joanna Tarr, Lecturer, Medical Sciences, and Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Leads: Dr Vehid Salih, Reader in Oral & Dental Health Research, and David Parkinson, Professor of Neuroscience. 

To join the mailing list or submit an article idea, contact the editors of INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Journal email