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Students and researchers in the Centre for Atherothrombosis and Metabolic Disease

Scholarship and Special Interest Programme

Pursue areas of specialised knowledge outside the core curriculum in your Scholarship and Special Interest Programme, and tailor your learning to suit your interests and career aspirations.


Tailor your experience

Our Scholarship and Special Interest Programme (SSIP) gives you the opportunity to concentrate on subjects that particularly interest you, and study them in depth.

Working with our expert tutors and researchers, you will undertake small-scale projects and acquire research skills to help you develop as an independent scholar.

Many of our students have gone on to present their work at national or international conferences as well as publishing their work in high-impact scientific journals.

Your SSIP will also allow you to explore areas that might be related to your career goals or aspirations.

Students and researchers in Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine
Students and researchers in the Academy of Primary Care
Student in the lab in Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine
Elle Morris in a consultation with a GP, parent and child


The SSIP is a student-selected part of the curriculum and is an opportunity to delve further into some of our own interests, related to healthcare and/or research. This includes producing essays, posters and presentations. I took a module on transgender health during my SSIP. This module was extremely useful in learning about how to approach gender-sensitive topics or situations and has influenced the way that I speak with patients.
2021 graduate

Dr Elle Morris

Phase I (Years 1 and 2)

In each year of Phase I, you will choose from a range of projects and will work alongside tutors who are active researchers and world-renowned experts in their fields affiliated to our research groups.

Project themes range from medical humanities, health inequalities and global public health to experimental medicine and biomedicine and evolutionary anatomy.

Phase II (Years 3 and 4)

In Years 3 and 4 you will choose clinically related projects, which focus on a special interest of your choice.

Your project might involve undertaking a research project, assessing or improving the quality of patient care through participation in an audit or improvement project or developing teaching or assessment materials or leadership skills.

You will begin to establish distinctive skills and attributes that will be of value as you shape your future career as a doctor.

Phase III (Year 5)

Your final year SSIP takes the form of your elective.

By Dr Grace Cox, 2021 graduate

What was your SSIP?

“My SSIP looked into the delivery of vaccination advice to patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). People with CLL are immunocompromised and therefore need regular vaccinations to prevent serious infections, however in practice these aren’t always offered. I created a survey that was distributed to healthcare professionals involved in CLL care to see if I could identify any barriers to the delivery of this vaccination guidance.”

Who did you work with?

“Dr David Allsup was my supervisor for this project. We had regular meetings throughout in which he’d offer suggestions and advice. He also helped me to distribute my survey to healthcare professionals at the Queen’s Medical Centre at Castle Hill Hospital.”

What did you enjoy about it?

“It was a great opportunity to delve deeper into CLL and get a better appreciation of the pathophysiology, investigations and treatment. I enjoyed conducting the literature review as it helped me to understand how important vaccinations are in CLL, what evidence is currently out there and also what research still needs to be done.

“The whole project taught me about all the different processes involved in research which I wasn’t aware of before. Also my survey ended up generating some interesting and unexpected results.”

Can you tell us about your presentation at the British Society of Haematology conference?

“Dr Allsup suggested I submit my completed research to the British Society of Haematology for their annual conference. It ended up being accepted as a poster presentation which was great!

“I attended the conference (virtually due to COVID) and was able to see what other haematology research had been conducted over the past year. It was just exciting to be around so many experts and hear them talk so passionately about their chosen subjects.”

What skills have you developed that will help you in your future career as a doctor?

“The project required me to use a range of different skills like critical appraisal of research, poster formatting and presentation skills.

“I now have a much better understanding of the research process which will help me to get involved with further projects in the future. I also would be more likely to attend further conferences as I can now really appreciate the importance of keeping on top of research in providing high quality care.”