Undergraduate initiatives

Developing a Clinical Academic Career

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has worked with with Health Education England (HEE) to create a short informative animated video about research opportunities available as part of the Clinical Academic Career pathway, including the new ICA programme.


  • Find out more about the Integrated Academic Training Programme at Birmingham. 

Intercalated Degrees

As a medical or dental student, you may choose to take a year out from your medical / dental course and study on one of our intercalated Bachelor in Medical Science degree programmes.

Reasons for intercalating

  • To get in depth scientific training in an area already of interest to you and develop practical research and analysis skills within that discipline.
  • To develop and conduct your own research (which may lead to publication)
  • To get an additional qualification of relevance to your future career.
  • To broaden your medical interests into an area outside the undergraduate curriculum or to take your interest to a higher level than can be covered within core curricula.
  • To develop and enhance transferable skills such as writing, project management, presentation skills, argument development and debating skills.
  • To study with students from outside a clinical medicine background (some programmes only)
  • As an intellectual challenge 

Funding for intercalating

A list of funding opportunities to assist with intercalating is detailed on The National Student Association of Medical Research (NSAMR) website http://nsamr.org/resources/intercalated-scholarships/ 

Conference Fund for Clinical Students

This fund has been established to assist undergraduate clinical students (MBChB and BDS) to attend national and international conferences when presenting their own research. Money is available towards registration fees, travel and accommodation.

There will be two closing dates a year Friday 13 March 2015 and Friday 18 September 2015.

Students may submit applications retrospectively if a decision has been made to attend a conference which does not enable application prior to attendance.

Vacation and Elective Scholarships

Vacation and Elective Scholarships offer an early taste of life in research. There are a number of national funding bodies that award both Vacation and Elective Studentships.

Vacation Grants

These schemes give students the chance to work full time on their own research project for a period over their holidays providing undergraduates with a glimpse of life in a research environment. The experience can be very rewarding, enabling students to sample the joys and frustrations of research.

There is a selection of externally funded scholarships available to medical students for vacation research experience.

The Sir Arthur Thomson Charitable Trustis a locally funded scheme for Birmingham students. Up to 4 studentships are awarded each year and each award is for a maximum of 10 weeks. Students  receive £185/week subsistence allowance(if less than 10 weeks payment will be pro-rata for the number of weeks).

Students will be expected to contact a supervisor and submit a joint application. Host supervisors can either be members of the University of Birmingham or from another institution.

The applications will be assessed and awarded by the Clinical Academic Training Operation Group. Preference will be given to research projects with a clearly defined objective, achievable in the time available, and those which give the student scope for thought and initiative. However the criteria by which the grants will be awarded will be flexible to encourage all forms of research.

Students from both the 5 year MBChB and the graduate entry MBChB course will be eligible to apply for the grant.

Applications for the 2015 scheme have now closed.

The application form can be found here

Elective Grants

A comprehensive list of elective grants and prizes can be found at http://www.revise4finals.co.uk/medicine/abroad/funding.php