The Biomedical Science Research Challenges

3 weeks
Course Type
Summer School, Undergraduate

Biomedical Science is at the forefront of cutting-edge research, from defining underpinning mechanisms in disease pathophysiology to finding solutions to our healthcare challenges.

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is home to world-leading experts and this programme gives you privileged access to work alongside these researchers and access research facilities within the college to undertake your own unique research project. Linked to the College’s major research areas, a selected theme will establish a research hypotheses that you will then answer by undertaking your own experiments in the laboratory. With our aims and objectives at hand, you will undertake experiments within the laboratory, generate data, analyse the results then present your findings and ideas by creating a conference-style poster at the final research symposium.

The Biomedical Science Research Challenges is an exciting programme aimed at undergraduate life-science students who have an interest in biomedical science and would like to undertake their own short research project to develop experimental laboratory skills and improve their research expertise. In addition, as modern medicine is evidence based, underpinned by research and breakthroughs in biomedical science research, the programme is equally relevant to training clinical or healthcare professional students, looking to expand their understanding of biomedical research and how basic science translates to clinical settings.  You need to be comfortable working within a laboratory setting and undertaking experiments (however, all protocols will be fully supervised). In addition, you will need to work proficiently as part of a team within the laboratory, analyse data that you obtain, examine results and be prepared to discuss your findings within an academic forum. If you are thinking beyond your current degree and plan to use your science knowledge and technical abilities within research to improve our fundamental understanding of biomedical science, this programme is for you.

Each student will generate their own hypotheses and aims in relation to the scientific question at hand. An array of experiments will then be carried out to enable you to address your objectives.  These experiments will enable you to assess fundamental biomolecular properties, for example, examining possible alterations in gene expression, assessing how biochemical agents could impact cellular metabolism or understanding how cellular protein expression changes in different scenarios. Many experimental procedures could be undertaken, and these will be informed by the biomedical healthcare research topic at hand. You will work individually (alongside your peers) to answer such questions. From the results you obtain, you will need to analyse the data and form conclusions and ideas about your findings – can you accept your hypotheses based on your data? Could your results implicate the need to further research if significant health benefits are observed? You will then present your findings at a conference-style poster session where you will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with fellow students and academics.

A successful research project outcome relies on excellent technical skills within the laboratory, thorough data analysis, insightful interpretation of results, communication, teamwork and dissemination and these skills will be at the heart of the programme. Over the three weeks, you will become fully immersed in biomedical research and experience what it is like to be a researcher within the field.

 Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2022.

Besides the academic activities we had lots of opportunities to travel in the UK and interact with friends… The professors also made so much effort in the classes and made everything so clear and understandable, even in the second language.

Giovanna, Brazil

Why study this course?

This programme provides an immersive experience of biomedical science research, enabling you to take your own research project and obtain novel data and findings. The three-week programme provides a unique insight into the career of a scientist and will enable you to experience the highs-and-lows of research. Even though you will lead your own research experiments, this will be done alongside your peers and as such, provides a friendly and supportive environment to learn and importantly have fun.

To be accepted onto The Biomedical Science Research Challenges programme you must:

  • Have relevant subject background: academic backgrounds in biosciences, bioengineering, public health, pharmaceuticals and medicine will be considered. Students must be able to demonstrate relevant subject background with a translated transcript.
  • Meet the BISS Entry Requirements

This is a three week programme and is equivalent to an accredited undergraduate course (20 UK credits) and is delivered by University faculty who are experts in their field. 

On completion of the Programme in addition to obtaining 20 credits you will have been given a unique opportunity to:

• Research relevant scientific material, applicable to a specific biomedical field
• Analyse and interpret clinical/biomedical data
• Undertake laboratory-based experiments
• Think creatively in group discussions about your research project and ideas
• Work as a part of a dynamic team of like-minded scientists
• Communicate effectively as part of a team
• Translate complex ideas into a comprehensible format for a lay audience
• Co-design and deliver an impactful poster presentation in a conference-like setting

Assessment Methods

This programme is formally assessed at the end of the three weeks with a poster-style presentation.

Please check with your home institution regarding transfer of credits.

All students are expected to attend for a minimum of 90% timetabled activity. All students achieving this level of attendance will receive a certificate of attendance from the University of Birmingham upon successful completion of their course.