INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal

INSPIRE medical student James Russell, who has also played a role in the new student research journal

The ‘INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal’ is produced by a team of student editors from the four universities. It 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. Since the scheme began in 2013 the southwest INSPIRE partnership has supported more than 70 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.

Following a competition in 2015, a team of seven senior editors came together to set up the journal from scratch in order to provide a platform for publication of student project results, as well as to have direct experience of academic peer review.

The first issue of the journal is available online, and includes reports about stress in neurosurgeons, and development of a laboratory cell culture system for studying the kidney disease cystinuria. There are also interviews with leading academic researchers about their chosen careers and conference reports on topics including human fertility.

INSPIRE Student Health Sciences Research Journal

Featuring reports about anaesthesia without needles, efforts to tackle high numbers of maternal deaths in India, tooth donation and the future of dentistry, and the development of new diagnostic tests for Addison’s disease in dogs.

View the first issue of the journal

James Russell a 4th Year medical student from Plymouth is one of the senior editors:

"I first got involved with INSPIRE when I conducted a summer research project in 2015. Since then, I have had the opportunity to further develop my research skills through participating in the INSPIRE conference and the panel decisions on the 2016 studentships. These experiences have helped to enhance my knowledge and understanding of the research process.

When I heard about the plans to develop an undergraduate journal for INSPIRE, I was keen to get involved so that I could experience what it was like to help run a journal. Taking on the role of senior editor has not only given me this experience, but has also strengthened my understanding of the peer review process and what constitutes as good academic writing. It has also increased my awareness of the range of scientific fields that undergraduates have the opportunity to conduct research in across the South West.

As my ambition is to make research an important focus of my career, I feel that getting involved in INSPIRE has helped me to develop a foundation of skills and knowledge on which I can build upon during my postgraduate years."