There are many ways to become involved in research as a medical student:

Taster Days

The best way to get started is through doing a 1 day placement in a research lab of your choice known as a ‘taster day’. This one day experience is fully funded and is the 1st step towards becoming involved in more substantial research.

A taster day is normally conducted in November or December every yearand are very popular with 1st year students.

The range of specialities offering taster days is very broad and not all involve lab work. Find out more about taster days and see example projects here.


Undertaking an intercalated BSc or Masters degree is the best way to indicate interest in medical research whilst also learning skills which are strongly focussed upon during the normal medical curriculum such as essay writing, conducting research, presentation skills and searching the scientific literature.

Whilst intercalation is competitive, the vast array of options available at Cardiff means there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to find something that really interests you.

You may also wish to intercalate externally, and whilst this is more competitive than internal applications, there are much more options available for you to study at other universities.

Undertaking an intercalated degree also confers a substantial boost to Academic Foundation Program (AFP) applications. Some intercalated students manage to get their research published or deliver an oral presentation at a national conference.

Range of available external intercalated degrees: here

3rd years will receive a talk in the 1st term from the intercalated program director and Cardiff MedSoc will hold an intercalation evening where medical students who have intercalated discuss their degree and answer questions.

Summer Projects

After a taster day, many students opt to apply for a summer project (or ‘vacation studentship’) which is 6-8 weeks long. These are fully funded by the school of medicine or Cardiff University.

You can also undertake summer project with the lab you did your taster day in and this would be funded by INSPIRE

It is important to think about doing a summer project over the christmas break as deadlines are usually before the end of February each year.

Find out more about INSPIRE Vacation studentships or Other Summer Projects (Cardiff and Elsewhere)


If you have conducted research during a summer project or previously, you can apply to give an oral presentation or present a poster at a national conference.

Every October we hold out annual CUReS Research Symposium where you can present your research as an oral presentation and/or poster to get valuable feedback from judges which you can use to prepare for submitting work to national conferences.

There are conferences every year for almost every speciality and the school of medicine can aid with the cost of attending conferences.

List of conferences 

How to design a poster

How to give an oral presentation


Now that you have been on the wards and seen the many facets that make up the NHS. Do you have an idea on how to make things better?

CUReS has worked with Cardiff University to ensure that any medical student with an idea for a new medical device, method of working, app or even point of care test gets the opportunity to present to the right people who can put you in contact with industry partners and sources of funding whilst also helping protect your idea.

To find out more: