Student research journal celebrates success

A research journal created by and for students is going from strength to strength, say its editors – including a senior editor from the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. 

Shashank Chaganty is part of a team from the medical, dental and veterinary schools of Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter and Plymouth that works to put together the ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’. 

The journal was set up in 2016 and now, in its second edition, showcases 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 INSPIRE scheme aims to encourage student doctors, dentists and vets to consider a career in research, and encourages publication of their work.

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. 

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. 

Shashank Chaganty said: 

''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.”

Professor David Parkinson, Inspire lead at the University of Plymouth, said: 

“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.”

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 join the mailing list or submit an article idea, contact the editors of INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Journal email inspirestudentjournal@gmail.com