The Biomedical Science Global Challenge

3 weeks
Course Type
Summer School, Undergraduate

Biomedical Science is at the forefront of finding solutions to our global healthcare challenges. The College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham is home to world-leading experts, working to provide solutions to these problems. This programme gives you privileged access to some of the researchers, clinicians and educators involved in the quest, providing a unique opportunity to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to develop potential solutions to some of the most indelible medical problems plaguing the globe in the 21st century. Can you be part of the healthcare revolution?

The Biomedical Science Global Challenge is an exciting new programme aimed at undergraduate science students who have an interest in applying developments in science to real life global health challenges. You need to be comfortable working as part of a team, be interested in medical research and willing to use your creativity, working with colleagues to find solutions. If you are thinking beyond your current degree and plan to use science to positively influence global decisions about the future health of humanity, look no further; this programme is for you.

Programme Structure:

Week 1: Research

Week 2: Development

Week 3: Dissemination

You will work in a group of students, along with input from scientists and clinicians with diverse backgrounds; together you will research, design and deliver a unique and novel solution to the problem. To equip you with the tools and know-how, you will work closely with world-leading researchers from within the University of Birmingham's College of Medical and Dental Sciences, gaining unique access to their research data and knowledge, with access to the labs to see the work they are doing first-hand. Professionals in healthcare, research design and clinical studies will assist you in the development of your ideas, helping you to envision how they might be implemented in practice.

You will have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with fellow students, academics, professionals and clinicians, and to 'reality-test' the ideas using role play in order to check whether the solution is functional in the real world. Using online science communication platforms, you will have the chance to connect with external experts to discuss your ideas and to ask questions of researchers around the globe.

A practical and effective solution relies on excellent communication, teamwork and leadership and these skills will be at the heart of the programme. Over the three weeks, you will take part in various supported sessions to build your idea, develop it and turn it into a solution that you will pitch or present to a group of academics and professionals.

Please note that the programme plan is subject to confirmation for BISS 2021.

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?

Our world is under threat from some of the most complex healthcare epidemics ever seen and all of us will likely be touched by them at some point in our lives. Biomedical Science is at the forefront in searching for solutions. The Biomedical Science Global Challenge places you at the heart of one of these global emergencies and your aim is to find a solution.


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To be accepted onto The Biomedical Science Global Challenge 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. The programme is formally assessed. Please check with your home institution regarding the transfer of credits. All students attending our courses will receive a certificate of attendance from the University of Birmingham on successful completion of their course.

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 to gain thorough knowledge and understanding of a public healthcare problem
• Organise and synthesis material from different sources in order to work towards a potential solution
• Engage with other interested parties on social media platforms, inviting comment and developing discussion
• Think creatively in group discussions about a complex healthcare issue
• Test out ideas with professionals with expertise in the field to further refine the result
• Consider significant political, economic, environmental and social conditions in planning ways to overcome adverse global health phenomena
• Communicate effectively as part of a team with the aim of developing a co-ordinated solution
• Translate complex ideas into a comprehensible format for a lay audience
• Co-design and deliver an impactful presentation, aimed at influencing the hearts and minds of listeners

Assessment Methods

In addition to staff-led activities, you will be required to undertake independent and group study, working towards the assessment. The programme is formally assessed at the end of the three weeks with a presentation.

Please check with your home institution regarding transfer of credits.

All students are expected to attend for a minimum of 90% of 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.

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