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The call for the 2023-24 Student-Staff Partnership Grants is now open!

Read the guidelines below to prepare your application for the next round!
For any questions, get in touch with the Student Experience Team at

*You can also download a PDF version of the 23-24 Application Guidance Notes here.

Find out about the successful projects in the 2022-23 Student-Staff Partnership Grants and the topics they explored. Don't forget, you can hear SSPG teams present their work at the Education Ideas Hub.

What can the SSPGs offer you?

Student-Staff Partnership Grants (SSPGs) harness the creativity of working together to build transformative education with a meaningful and lasting impact on St George’s community.

The Grants provide funding for small collaborative projects led jointly by students and staff that promote St George’s values and enhance education. Below you can find out about our most recent projects, as well as those from previous years, which have included aims such as improving inclusivity e.g. Mind the Gap: A handbook of clinical signs on Black and Brown skin , or broadening communications skills by learning British Sign Language. The Grants also offer medical and healthcare students more opportunities for art- and humanities-related activities.

Guidance and how to apply for a Student-Staff Partnership Grant

SSPGs are supported by the Student Experience Officer and the wider Student Experience team; if you want to have an initial discussion about a potential project please email We’re excited to see how we can shape St George’s together.   

If you have an idea you’d like to develop or if you’d like to join a project, use this form and the Awarding Panel will help you find project partners. Make sure to send it as soon as possible, as the same deadline for submitting project applications will apply. 



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Grant criteria

Projects must:

  • align with the mission and values of St George’s, University of London, and with the Strategic Vision 2030
  • aim to enrich and enhance students’ university experience
  • aim to benefit the majority of students, to be inclusive and open to the diversity of St George’s community
  • be designed by, and directly involve joint working with, both students and staff
  • have a clearly articulated design and plan appropriate to the aims and scope of the project
  • include project evaluation
  • have a defined project output and planned legacy
  • include consideration of and plans for ensuring that project outputs are sustainable
  • be good value for money
  • be shared and disseminated across the St George’s community* and outside the University **

*after being awarded, the team leads will be contacted to arrange suitable dates for presenting work in progress and project findings at the Education Ideas Hub

** teams are encouraged to consider and plan for disseminating their SSPG projects at external events, such as conferences, workshops etc, and include relevant expenses in their budgets; for more info on support offered for presenting at external events, see Conference funding  below.

Projects should not:

  • involve estate or facilities improvement (e.g. refurbishment)
  • relate to Students’ Union (SU) society-specific funding (unless it makes a compelling case for student-staff partnership)

Projects aligning with the following areas relevant to St George’s community would be particularly welcome for the 2023-24 grants:

  • Community and belonging among students and staff
  • Student Voice and student-staff communication (including communication of actions in response to student feedback - closing the loop)
  • Areas of concern as identified by students on Unitu and other student voice platforms (including surveys)
  • Health, welfare, wellbeing
  • Assessment and feedback, organisation and management, and academic support
  • Those that support the Inclusive Education Framework - in supporting equality, diversity and inclusion 
  • Learning environment
  • Postgraduate experience

Grants of up to £1200 will be awarded; if you consider your project will extend beyond this amount, please contact the Student Experience Officer at

Grant conditions

  • The project will require consideration of ethical guidelines and may require ethical review (see Ethical considerations and the ethical review  process below for further detail).
  • A progress report and a final evaluation report will be required by the Panel, highlighting the impact, legacy, and sustainability of the work, and the ways it benefitted from student-staff collaboration.
  • The project team and project information/outputs may feature in University newsletters and website features for internal and external visibility.
  • Project teams will be expected to present at the Education Ideas Hub, and project leads may be invited to report on their progress to the SSPG Awarding Panel
  • All expenditure on an award must be made by 31 July of the academic year in which the project is scheduled to end.  The designated budget-holding staff lead has financial responsibility for the project, ensuring correct use of the budget for the purposes intended, and keeping good records of expenditure. They may also be required to complete a short training in Agresso, St George’s finance system, for recording their expenditure.
Application process
Who can apply?

All members of St George's University of London staff (academic, professional services, research, etc) and enrolled students are eligible to apply for projects; projects should be undertaken before students graduate or complete their course.

Applications are invited from collaborative student-staff groups. The application form requires the name of a designated student lead, a staff lead (who takes responsibility for the budget), and of students and staff in the project team.

How to initiate or join a project?

Projects may arise in different ways, from staff or student originators who find collaborative partners and develop an application, or from collaborative student-staff groupings identifying enhancement needs.

Where a student or staff proponent has a strong project but has not been able to find collaborators to develop it, they can flag this by using  this formand the Awarding Panel will support them in searching for project partners.

Students or staff who are looking for grant partners are advised to contact the Awarding Panel as early as possible, as the same deadline for submitting project applications will apply.

Under certain circumstances, staff can apply without a student lead – please see Project leads  below for guidance.

How to apply for the academic year 2023-24
  • Read all the guidance before applying
  • Download and complete the application form (Word)
  • Send your completed application form to the SSPG Awarding Panel by 16 June 2023 by emailing
Application timeline - 2023-24 round

The selection process may involve 1 or 2 stages

Stage 1:  Approximately three weeks after the deadline date, you will hear of one of the following outcomes:

  • your application is successful, and funds will be awarded (once ethical review is completed if required)
  • your application does not meet the criteria and is rejected
  • your application may be successful with amendments but needs to address areas highlighted by the Panel and be resubmitted for Stage 2 review

Stage 2:  For projects that require amendments only

Approximately two weeks after submitting your amended application and addressing each item raised by the Panel, you will hear of one of the following outcomes:

  • your application is successful, and funds will be awarded (once ethical review is completed if required)
  • your application does not meet the criteria after amendments are completed and is rejected


Start date – end date

Duration (weeks)

Call for applications

18 Apr 23 – 16 June 23

8 weeks

Deadline applications

16 June 23


Stage 1 – Application review and selection by SSPG Panel

17 Jun 23 – 19 Jun 23

3 weeks

Stage 1 Deadline - Selection results and feedback by Panel

26 Jun 23


Stage 1 – Teams amending applications in responses to SSPG Panel feedback

19 Jun 23 – 10 Jul 22

3 weeks

Stage 1 Deadline – Resubmission of amended applications by teams

10 Jul 23


Stage 2 – Review and selection of amended applications by SSPG Panel

10 Jul 23 – 24 Jul 23

2 weeks

Stage 2 Deadline - Selection/final awards by Panel

24 Jul 23


SSPGs carried out*

31 Jul 23 – 31 Aug 24

Approx. 57 weeks

Deadline - expenses end date



Deadline - SSPGs end date



Application requirements and guidance
Ethical considerations and the ethical review process

Once the Panel has approved your project, you will be expected to ensure that ethical implications are considered and addressed.

Funding will be conditional on addressing ethical implications and it is the applicants’ responsibility to review the documents and timelines involved in addressing these when developing their project plan and milestones. The section below offers relevant information and contacts.

As a rule, projects involving work with human participants will require ethical consideration by St George’s Research Ethics Committee.

How should I consider and address ethical implications?

You should consider the activities included in your project and how they may impact on participants (for example, the potential that certain survey questions may be triggering for certain participants, data collection, management, and storage etc).

Review the information and materials provided by St George’s Research Ethics Committee available here: 

Here, you can find templates for the forms requires in the ethical review process:

  • Self-assessment form
  • Study protocol
  • Participant Information Sheet
  • Consent
  • Survey

You can also find useful information about

  • Research data management, storage
  • SGUL accepted - Survey tools
  • SGUL accepted - Interview tools

Once your project is accepted for funding, if your project requires ethical review, you will need to submit your project for the review as soon as possible. If you receive a positive ethical review, you need to inform the Student Experience Officer and then you can begin your project. If you receive a request for amendments in the ethical review, you need to inform the Student Experience Officer and will need to address those requirements before beginning your project.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the ethical implications of my project or the ethical review process for SSPG projects?

If you have any questions or enquiries about the ethical review process as applied to an SSPG project, email and cc the Student Experience team,

Intellectual Property (IP) and Revenue

Teams submitting an SSPG application must be prepared to consider and address relevant issues related to IP and revenue.

For Stage 1, teams are encouraged to review the St George’s Intellectual Property Policy which can be found here. Please note that IP related to the creation of online courses may differ.

If a project is approved with or without amendments, the team must be prepared to receive guidance and address IP issues as relevant to their particular project. The Panel will indicate in the feedback to teams the contact where such guidance must be obtained.

Project leads

As having a call for applications in spring may make it difficult for new starting students to participate, staff can propose a project with a student lead to be confirmed later in the year. If applying in this manner, staff leads are expected to describe in detail the process by which they will recruit student leads and the date by which they expect to have a student lead confirmed (this date should not be later than mid-November, i.e. 20 November 2023). If SSPG funding is awarded to such a project and the student lead is not confirmed by the indicated date, then the SSPG Panel has the right to withdraw funding.

Student payments

Payment to student leads and team members

Student leads and team members should be paid the same rate as the high student ambassador rate (£12.60 per hour for 2023-24) for the time spent on the SSPG. Teams should include the estimated time and payments required for student leads and team members in their budget.

Payment to participants in project activities or tasks

Teams will have responsibility for deciding the incentives to be used for participants in their projects and include these in their itemised budget. If direct payments are used, these should use the same rate as the student ambassador rate (£12.60 per hour for 2023-24). If vouchers are used (e.g. for on campus venues, books etc), the team can decide on the value of the vouchers, as appropriate for the activity or task.

Conference funding

Teams are encouraged to think about and prepare for disseminating their work both within St George’s as well as externally.   Expenses for project dissemination (conferences/workshops/etc) should be included in the itemised budget, specifying the name of the event, date/ period, expected fees and other reasonable expenses (travel, accommodation etc).

It is likely that teams may be ready to disseminate their work after the project has concluded. To support teams, the SSPG scheme offers £400 per team to support dissemination of SSPG projects after project completion (1 September) by 31 July of the following year. If additional funding will be needed, this should be sought via other channels, such as St George’s Conference Fund.

Sustainability of project outputs
Particular attention should be given to the application section on project sustainability. Teams are encouraged to consider and specify resources, timelines, and any other relevant aspects that will affect the sustainability of their project outputs. These may include human and financial resources to ensure updating material on online modules or courses, mechanisms for transferring/applying findings to other courses/cohorts etc. For any questions related to this section, please email the Student Experience Officer at


Discover St George's current SSPG projects

You can hear about  SSPG projects findings and  impact on St George’s community from the team themselves by joining us for the Education Ideas Hub lunchtime series. To find out first about new events sign up for the Education Ideas Hub mailing list .

2022-23 SSPG awarded projects

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A Gamified Tool to Raise Awareness and Encourage Identifying and Reporting Verbal Abuse Among University Students and Faculty

Staff lead: Judit Csere (Professional services, JRES, Enterprise and Innovation Office)

Student lead: Holly Parker (Paramedic Science BSc)

Project team: Jack Stallard  (Paramedic Science BSc)

Verbal abuse when the abuser intends to humiliate, intimidate, and denigrate the victim is detrimental for mental health and dramatically degrades psychological safety, however, it is prevalent in higher education settings and workplaces, including St George`s. A barrier to decreasing verbal abuse in social settings is the lack of awareness of what is classified as verbal abuse, and how to ask for support. Our project proposes the development of a card game that presents concise situational case studies regarding verbal abuse on one side, and shows the definition of that type of abuse on the other side, also signposting users to existing support infrastructure at St George`s. We will collect real-life case studies from students and staff, classify, anonymise and shorten them, and print them to create a playful and attractive card game. The cards will be tested through user focus groups to assess uptake and effectiveness, and classifications will be reviewed by independent mental health professionals. Through this game users will be able to self-reflect and quiz each-other in a social setting increasing awareness of what verbal abuse is, and how to ask for help. We will also plan a highly interactive workshop around using the cards, providing a tool for, equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) related workshops for the student union and professional services. Through this project we aim to increase better awareness about verbal abuse, and increased awareness of already available support services at St George`s. We believe that this project has the potential to improve psychological safety, promote positive workplace culture, and improved EDI at St George`s. If the project is successful at St George`s, next steps to increase impact will include digitalisation and dissemination of the tool in other higher education institutes.

Careers Week 2023

Staff lead: Emma-Marie Fry (Careers Service)

Student lead: Diyana Anthony (Clinical Pharmacology)

Project team: Gemma Garrett (Careers Group), Julie Hendry (Associate Dean Student Outcomes)

The aim of this project is to shape and implement the 2023 St George’s Careers Week to ensure it meets the needs of and engages as many students across the institution as possible. Careers Week is an opportunity to bring together students from across different academic disciplines and year groups to network and learn from each other and support our students in their career and employability development.


Previous Careers Weeks have comprised a mix of activities, from a series of alumni profile videos to alumni panels, employer-led sessions and careers workshops (see: Although we aim to design activities based on student needs, attendance and engagement in the activities has varied. We are therefore keen to design activities to engage and support as many students as possible, by:

  • Scoping and organising activities that will appeal to the broadest cross section of students
  • Researching and delivering these activities at the most convenient time of year for as many students as possible
  • Identifying the most effective communication channels and messaging to engage large numbers of students.


The main output will be the 2023 Careers Week activities. Legacy outputs project will depend on the exact nature of these (to be informed by the scoping stage of this project), but will likely include videos, recordings, online profiles or other resources that can be shared with current students, recent graduates and wider alumni – both to support students and showcase the careers of our alumni. These will be made available via Canvas and the St George’s website.


The project will also provide further insights into the employability needs of our students and effective channels for communicating the full range of careers support we have available. 

Does student and/or staff gender identity influence how reproductive medical education is taught on clinical placement?

Staff lead: Brogan Guest (MPAS)

Student lead: TBC

Project team: Beck Hickman (MPAS), Vasa Gnanapragasam (MPAS), Chandran Louis (MPAS Chief Examiner), Tripti Chakraborty (MPAS Clinical Placement Lead), Ban Haider (Senior Lecturer in Primary Care, MBBS)

Clinical students are often paired with supervisors on clinical placements. These placements are an opportunity to practice skills they are learning in the classroom first-hand and apply their learning. Clinical placement supervisors also provide individual teaching. In the PA programme, PA students are paired with a general practice (GP) clinical supervisor and spend one day per week with them in the first year of the course. In the MBBS programme, in the T-year and F-year students complete a clinical attachment in GP for a 5-week block.  Students are randomly assigned GP supervisors based on location requests.

We hypothesise that the identified genders of students and supervisors may affect the quantity and quality of the teaching in both urology and gynaecology, specifically in intimate examinations. For example, do male-identified students paired with male-identified supervisors learn as much about breast examinations, hormone replacement therapy, and contraception, and practice as many cervical smears as male or female-identified students with female-identified supervisors? 


This project aims to understand the impact that gender of both students and supervisors has (if any) on quantity and quality of urology and gynaecology teaching in clinical placements. If there is a disparity, we aim to quantify how this affects examination scores and confidence with clinical skills in these specialties. Understanding this impact will allow communication of this disparity to GP placements, who may make adjustments to address this. Changes to the curriculum could also be adopted to ensure parity across all students in their knowledge and skills surrounding gynaecologic and urologic specialties, regardless of the gender of their clinical supervisor. 

Enhancing the teaching of sustainable health themes into the MBBS curriculum through student-staff collaboration

Staff lead: Peter Whincup

Student lead:  Will Nash, MBBS

Project team: Miranda Mindlin, (Population Health Research Institute), Umar Chaudhry (Population Health Research Institute),  Judith Ibison (Institute of Biomedical Education), Jonathan De Oliveira, (MBBS), Dhruv Gupta, (MBBS), Julia He (MBBS), Emily Rasmussen-Arda (MBBS), Ananya Sood (MBBS)

The climate and ecosystem crisis is the greatest threat to human health and is increasingly affecting and being affected by health and health systems.   Trainee health professionals need to be informed of the issues and to act to address them in clinical practice.   The World Health Organization promotes environmentally sustainable health systems and encourages health care workers to become agents of change within health systems.   The General Medical Council now advocates education on the principles of sustainable health care.    For the first time in 2022-23, there will be a dedicated teaching session on sustainable health care in the SGUL MBBS curriculum (Year 1 and T years).   However, coverage will remain limited and there are several other topic opportunities to enhance learning about sustainable clinical practice throughout the core curriculum.   A student-staff project group will map the MBBS curriculum to identify key topics with strong relevance to the climate crisis across the curriculum (~8 in total) and collaborate with educators on those topics to co-produce teaching materials for use by students and staff in those sessions to enhance learning in sustainable clinical practice through the MBBS curriculum and disseminate it more widely.  

Teaching and Learning Patient Cohort Handover: Teaching and Learning the Skills and Attitudes required for Successful Shift Handover in the Modern Hospital

Staff lead: Judith Ibison

Student lead: Joy Ferguson, MBBS

Project team: Jackie Driscoll, Jonathan Round, Inny Oninuire(MBBS), Isabel Fernandes (MBBS)

Medical students are taught single patient handovers using tools such as SBAR. However, the reality of their future work entails multi-patient, time-poor handovers of a cohort (ward, department) at the change of shift. These handovers must also navigate complex hierarchies, workplace pressures and their role and responsibility during these handovers will change from rotation to rotation as well as with each training stage. Moreover, shift handover has its own culture which varies between wards and institutions.

SGUL MBBS graduates progressing to the Foundation programme report that they are insecure in shift handover skills despite being involved in handovers in the clinical years (Foundation Doctor survey 2021). Consultants also commonly describe shift handover as poor, even if not able to state what makes a good handover.

There is currently no teaching on cohort handover in MBBS. Furthermore, the literature in this area focuses on single patient handover and is often lacking in robust evaluation leading to a lack of evidence on the best methodology for incorporating such teaching in the curriculum. We hypothesise that much of the learning about handover happens via a hidden curriculum on placement.  The purpose of this SSPG therefore will be to explore the current experiences of handover in SGUL courses among physiotherapy, nursing and medical (we carefully reconsidered the inclusion of paramedic undergraduates, but as they do not handover cohorts of patients (30-80) after providing a period of continuous care (8-12 hours), and to retain the focus of the project we will not include them).We aim to better understand student perception of the nature of clinical patient cohort handovers which would then inform possible routes for improved educational interventions.

Virtual Patient Interviews

Staff lead: Adrian Brown

Student lead: Harpreet Chohan

The VP interviews offer natural language questioning of virtual patients via a Web app. The app gives students the opportunity to practice their interview skills and reinforce their learning from GP attachments.

The project develops and “trains” virtual patients using neural network software

Additional virtual patients will be developed and metrics assessed. The resource may also provide a platform for other educators to use and an opportunity for publication of the results.


2021-22 SSPG awarded projects

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A Holistic Approach To Supporting Gender Equality In STEMM Leadership: The Childcare Initiative

Hear more about this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 16 November 2022

Register here (registration opening soon)

Team leads: Rosie MacLachlan, Tamari-Rose Nyakunengwa

Team: George Hadjiyiannakis, Chantal Salira, Student Parents and Carers Empowered (SPACE) Society 

We propose a student-staff partnership model wherein we can work towards supporting childcare needs for staff and student with childcare responsibilities with the aim of supporting gender equality at George’s and fostering a healthy working environment for all. We identified the need for this when conducting interviews as part of a four-part video series entitled 'International Women's Week 2021'. We spoke with notable students and staff to gain accounts on their experiences as women in leadership and the work they felt still needed to be done both institutionally and socially for gender equality. Through our research, we aim to suggest an approach that couldbe implemented by the University in a way that can be successfully maintained for posterity. We envision establishing a safe, clean space within or proximal to the University building wherein the children of students and staff can be supervised, cared for, and encouraged to play at a more affordable price point and in close proximity. This holistic approach to supporting gender equality will ensure that St. George’s University of London fosters a healthy working environment for all, within which all service users can thrive in their academic and industrial endeavours. Through the success of this project, we simultaneously hope to educate our peers about the importance of incorporating positive actions and attitudes surrounding the advancement of gender equality into their everyday lives. 

Improving Assessment Literacy: Single Best Answer Question writing for students

Hear more about this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 2 November 2022

Register here (registration opening soon)

Team leads: Claire Spiller, Jared Bhaskar

Team: Kevin Hayes, Nicola Buxton

This project builds on the findings of a previous student-staff collaboration (the Education Enhancement project) works to target a desire for greater transparency of faculty assessment practices, student empowerment through assessment literacy and most importantly, fostering trust through a shared understanding of assessment. We propose that by using ‘assessment as learning’, we can improve Single Best Answer (SBA) question assessment literacy to both instill a greater student confidence in these assessments and be empowered to develop peer-led resources including a formative assessment bank.

Humanising narratives and the inclusive curriculum: authentic stories in case and problem-based learning

Hear more about this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 11 May 2022

Register here 

Team leads: Shehla Baig, Yuti Khare, James Sullivan-McHale

Team: Roaa Al-bedaery, Pedro Elston

St George’s medical students encounter patient narratives on a weekly basis in the PBL (problem-based learning) and CBL (case based learning) cases in the clinical science years. In the past, in many cases these narratives were written without consciousness of the attitudes towards inclusion they might evoke. The emotions and attitudes that these stories elicit in students were part of the hidden curriculum. From 2019, we have worked with students to change problematic case narratives, promoting inclusivity throughout the menu of cases, and to extend the reach of the taught curriculum to keep abreast of social change.
We have promoted inclusive narratives more widely by providing learning resources and support for new case writers. The first module of MBBS 5 has been transformed to show narratives that represent the diversity of the patient and healthcare community, including featuring more health professionals from the health care team.
This is  a qualitative study with MBBS 5 Year 1 to see if these narratives are eliciting in students the sense of being part of an inclusive, multi-professional community at the start of their time with us, or whether further work needs to be done regarding our strategy.

Student journeys in relation to assessment: improving guidance and transparency for students

The team presented this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 30 March 2022

Team leads: Hannah Cock, Ellie Corkerry

Team: Kevin Hayes, Katie Perkins, Kajal Patel, Lola Arowoshola, Zhenya (Yevgnia) Nerukh

MBBS Course Director and MBBS5 P year student Ellie will outline how this project aims to improve student assessment literacy and experience as well as support students who have failed  assessments with their decision making  and navigation of their options. The final  product will be based on student  personal experiences and staff expertise  and be presented in written, visual and  interactive formats. Whilst using  examples from medicine, the work will be applicable to any SGUL course to improve understanding about how to support students in relation to failed assessments and guide the academic  staff who advise them. 

Supporting successful study behaviours and the Medical Licensing Assessment

Hear more about this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 19 November 2022

Register here (registration opening soon)

Team leads: Shehla Baig, Naireen Asim, Jonathan De Oliveira, Connor Togher

Team: Roaa Al-bedaery

From 2024, all UK medical students will have to pass the Medical Licensing Assessment (MLA) to graduate. In the US, this has resulted in a parallel curriculum, whereby strategic preparation using commercial resources are favoured over engaging in the intended curriculum, which   focuses more broadly on the professional capabilities of students. Such professional capabilities are the hallmark of the SGUL curriculum, with Final year particularly important for readiness for foundation practice.
SGUL is embarking on an ambitious win-win approach to this, with its own intrinsic curriculum objectives, teaching and learning resources being clearly organised and aligned to the MLA in a curriculum management system, obviating the need for a parallel curriculum. 
We will work with students to understand their assessment preparation behaviours and design the system with this in mind. The project will be qualitative in nature, with some purposive sampling to ensure a diversity of students are represented, and some quantitative work once the system is launched. The legacy for SGUL will be enhanced student trust and engagement in the curriculum, and a successful outcome for our students in the MLA. As a project of national interest, we expect other medical schools will be keenly watching the outcome of our efforts.

Transition to clinical learning: Addressing the ‘hidden curriculum’

Hear more about this project at the Education Ideas Hub session on 23 March 2023

Register here (registration opening soon)

Team leads: Claire Spiller, Anna Curtis

Team: Katherine Taylor

The transition to workplace learning in the clinical environment can be challenging for the healthcare student and involves negotiating environmental, psychological, social and educational shifts. This can have a significant impact on the students’ experience in this environment, and on their ability to learn effectively. Previous work with MBBS students had identified ‘hidden curriculum’ contexts: the language, equipment, people and processes, often assumed as tacit knowledge by those designing teaching, but which presented a barrier to students feeling comfortable in this learning space. The project aims to build on our understanding of common student ‘hidden curriculum’ challenges; and to develop new resources to help to support these challenges for cross-course use.



Previous projects

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An evaluation of students independent online learning and the development of future technology resources

Team leads: Dr. Penelope Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Physiology, Pierre George Kostanteen, MBBS5 Year 2.

Team: Dr. Olga Rodriguez Falcon, Lecturer in Learning Development, CIDE, Arvand Vahedi, MBBS5 Year 2, Sai Selvarajan, Biomedical Science Year 2.

This project investigates students’ independent learning and the types of online resources they engage with. The aim is to review the potential for integrating alternative online resources into Canvas to be accessible by students across St George's.

The team will blend quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys, focus groups and diary studies to address questions about how students study independently of the formally provided/recommended, what online tools/resource they use, as well as staff's perspectives on and recommendations for online resources. Based on study findings, the team will produce a report and create a Canvas module with resources made available for the entire St George's community.


Developing transgender healthcare resources for teaching across all clinical courses

Team leads: Dr John Hammond, Associate Professor, Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Niko Brenner, BSc Physiotherapy Year 3.

Team: Margot Turner, Senior Lecturer in Diversity and Medical Education, Caspian Priest, MBBS4 Year 3, Amelia Fraser-Dale, MBBS5 Year 2.

This project addresses the limitations in teaching trans-specific healthcare by developing improved teaching resources on transgender healthcare and inclusion at SGUL. An interdisciplinary group of students, some of whom are trans themselves, will work to create a range of teaching materials including: trans healthcare information pages for use on CANVAS, interactive learning activities (e.g. quizzes) and videos of trans-specific healthcare scenarios to facilitate PBL (problem-based learning) discussion. The content created will be stored on Canvas for future student cohorts, with the potential to be integrated as part of course curriculum. The overarching aim of the initiative is to improve the access to and quality of healthcare received by transgender individuals by creating a repository of resources and by developing the cultural competence of healthcare students.


Improving access and participation to Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) to students from under-represented backgrounds

Team leads: Angela Kubacki, Head of Clinical Communication, John Ward, MBBS5 F Year

Team: Fiona Cairns, Widening Participation Manager, Naz Hussain, Associate Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment, Dr Laura Byrne, MBBS Admissions Tutor, Sarah Waygood, Senior Lecturer Physiotherapy

Unequal access to medicine to students from lower income backgrounds has been long-highlighted by the Medical Schools Council. The project aims to bring insights to address this issue by focusing on two questions: 1. to what extent do students from lower income backgrounds recognise Medicine as a potential career path? 2. to what extent do applicants from lower income backgrounds have access to resources and information regarding preparing for interviews. The team intend to analyse subgroup differences, develop understanding of applicants' perceptions of access to Medicine and consider the impact of remote MMIs on equality and diversity. The team aims to establish a permanent student-staff working group that will continue the work of improving access to information and resources for all applicants, in particular those from disadvantages backgrounds.


Mental health and well-being module

Team leads: Aileen O’Brien, Dean for Students, Daniya Khalid, BSc Biomedical Science Year 3, Samia Tajbiha, BSc Biomedical Science Year 2

Team: Dr Darren Bell, Psychiatrist, Dr Izzy Mark, Psychiatrist, Lon Teija, Education & Welfare Support Officer

The aim of the project is to create an enrollable module concentrating on mental health and well-being within St George’s, by providing and signposting all George’s students to reliable and organised wellbeing and welfare information. Similar to other tools, such as Careers module or Study+, this module would act as an easily accessible, centralised resource repository. By integating all the resources in one location, the module would raise awareness about available support, simplify students' access to mental health and well-being information and avoid students feeling potentially confused or overwhelmed by the numerous resources made available at St George’s. To achieve this, the team will use Canvas to design and form the module which will be populated with existing materials as well as original ones created by the team. The aim is to create this as a continuously updated repository to be used by the entire student body at St George's.


Minding your language

Team leads: Brogan Guest, Lecturer in Physician Associate Studies, Vicky Roebuck, MPAS Year 1

This project seeks to improve communication between clinical SGUL students and patients who do not speak English as their first language. The study will focus on two main areas: to evaluate the current English as a second language (ESL) teaching materials in St George's clinical programmes and to create and test new resources for improving communication skills. First, the team will analyse existing material and highlight strengths and areas for improvement in each curriculum. Then, in collaboration with the communication skills teams at St George's, the team will design simple, effective teaching materials, including videos and infographics, which will be tested through role playing scenarios of taking clinical history. Students from clinical Programmes will learn from the new teaching materials and will be paired with volunteers from the community who speak English at a basic level. Their interactions will be recorded, and their feedback will be collected and analysed. The analysis findings will be used to improve the teaching materials which will then be distributed to clinical departments within St George's to augment ESL teaching.


Peer tutored communication skills

Team leads: Angela Kubacki, Head of Clinical Communication, Leo Hudson, MBBS4 P Year, Jennifer Collom, MBBS4 P Year

Team: Laura Yalley-Ogunro, Lecturer in Clinical Communication, Hannah Hart, Clinical & Communication Skills Coordinator, The Clinical Communication Team

This project aims to train peer tutors to deliver high quality, relevant and engaging Clinical Communication Skills teaching to medical students. The initiative has been piloted in the 20/21 Autumn term for MBBS 4 Year 1 students and has already received positive student feedback. 

The team will initially recruit P and F year students and open to T   year at a later stage. Peer tutor training will include facilitating learning with simulated patients, giving feedback and effective facilitation skills. The team aim to create an open and friendly programme that is flexible to any necessary change alongside continually developing students as teachers.


Peer assisted study sessions for first year students

Team leads: Dr. Olga Rodriguez Falcon, Lecturer in Learning Development, CIDE, Hauwa Hakimi Muhammad, BSc Biomedical Science Year 2.

Team: Dr Ferran Valderrama, Reader in Cancer Cell Biology.

A collaboration between CIDE's staff, teaching staff and students, this Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) initiative aims to facilitate the coordination of online study groups for the Biomedical Science and Physiotherapy Programmes. Here, Year 2 students will peer-assist Year 1 students. The groups will provide an informal setting for peer-to-peer support where students can discuss their course and interact with their peers' broad and diverse group. The goals are to increase Year 1 students' engagement with their course and create a sense of community among the students, especially during the pandemic. For Year 2 students, who will act as PAL leads, the aims are to support them in enhancing their employability by developing professional facilitation, organization, and teamwork skills.


T year peer mentorship

Team leads: Laura Byrne, MBBS Admissions Tutor, Navandeep Thumber, MBBS4 P Year

Team: Grace Poole, MBBS5 F Year, Naomi Melamed, MBBS4, F Year, Reeja Premjee, MBBS5, Intercalation Year

Each year, a cohort of successful Biomedical Sciences students who have completed their degree join the MBBS course in the third (T) year. This project seeks to aid in the transfer process by providing online peer-based mentorship and communication skills training. To this end, the team will first recruit students in P Year to act as mentors for clinical communication skills and will match them with T Year transfer students. Secondly, the team will create a bank of resources on Canvas, in particular videos of simulated clinical skills focusing on history taking. This bank will be available to all clinical MBBS students to aid with improving confidence in taking patient histories, and preparing for OSCEs.

The team aims to embed the clinical transfer mentorship program into the MBBS course to ensure continuous quality improvement through annual evaluation and feedback.


The best of the old and the best of the new: the postgraduate experience of problem-based-learning during COVID-19

Team leads: Dr. David Gillott, co-head Physiology, senior lecturer, Josephina Price, MBBS4 Year 1

Team: Karima Zitouni, PBL facilitator, Ibrahim Basar, MBBS4 Year 1, Sophie Ridge, MBBS4 Year 1, Tessa Rosendahl, MBBS4 Year 1, Ioannis Nikolaou, MBBS4 Year 1, Henry Stone, MBBS4 Year 1, Sophia Ehsani, MBBS4 Year 1, Megan Wright, MBBS4 Year 1.

The project will explore the different perspectives of St George’s students who have used problem-based-learning (PBL) in two completely different settings. Using a standardised end-of-module-feedback form launched at the introduction of PBL at St George’s, first-years’ opinions, who have had PBL wholly online over Microsoft Teams during the pandemic will be directly compared to previous first-years taught on-site and in-person at the University. Drawing themes out that appear in student comments in the forms, as well as comparing students’ ranked scores of different aspects of PBL, the project plans to carry out focus-groups of first-year MBBS4 students to delve deeper into the student perspective. This project has the capacity to be broadened to other cohorts, relevant to the improvement of small-group learning application at St George’s University as well as other educational institutes.


The effect of remote study on motivation, engagement, and productivity on students

Team leads: Julie Hendry, Course Director Therapeutic Radiography, Corneliu Cazacu, BSc Therapeutic Radiography Year 2.

Team: Benita Thomas, BSc Therapeutic Radiography Year 2, Charlotte Lam, BSc Therapeutic Radiography Year 1.

During a global pandemic, online learning has been essential to continuing education and training while ensuring safety for teachers and students. This project aims to analyse how student engagement has been affected by online teaching, whether it can be improved, and what, if any, changes could be implemented for future needs. The study will explore the main themes of the effects of online learning by conducting focus groups and interviews with volunteer students from all three years of the Therapeutic Radiography undergraduate Programme.  The team aims to highlight how the advantages of online learning could be cultivated in new approaches. The goal is to enable students and staff to improve remote studying, offering a more caring and compassionate curriculum for students who would benefit from remote learning, such as those caring for a family member, mature students having children or students with a poorer financial situation needing more time off the campus to work. This project complements the Online Education Framework survey conducted by St George's by providing more qualitative data and insight into the lived experiences of students.


The Green Initiative

Team leads: Prof. Peter Whincup, Director of the SGUL Population Health Research Institute, co-chair of the SGUL Environmental Working Group, Yahia El-Tanani, MBBS5 Year 2, Grace Leyland, MBBS5 Year 2

This is a project aimed to improve the sustainability of St George's. The team will gather St George's community's opinions on what eco-friendly changes should be implemented at the university with a secondary aim to set up an Eco Society. At the same time, the team will take the first steps towards transforming St George's into a more environmentally-friendly campus through actions to replace existing coffee cups with biodegradable alternative and plastic straws in the SU bar with paper ones. 

The team hope that the project's legacy will inspire future sustainability initiatives, through the Eco Society that will be established, through university-led strategies, and through other student-staff partnerships.


Them vs us: rectifying cultural imbalance through communication skills teaching at St George’s

Team leads: Angela Kubacki, Head of Clinical Communication, James Sullivan-McHale, MBBS5 Year 2

Team: Aditya Dhiran, MBBS5 Year 2, Nathan McNamara, MBBS5 Year 2, Hussein Abu Rabia, MBBS5 Year 2

This is a pilot study with the aim of enhancing educational output with a specific focus on the role of religion and faith. We will be running workshops that will aim to teach a number of other MBBS5 2nd year students about two religions each and this will be supplemented by pre-workshop and post-workshop questionnaires. The questionnaires will consist of clinical scenarios which will require short written answers as well as a series of true/false questions which we will repeat after the workshop. We will compare the two sets of data and we will draw our conclusions and findings from them. The aim of this project is to enhance the understanding of religion and faith for the students.  We hope this will help them deal better with clinical scenarios in the future, but also promote a degree of inter-faith understanding between the students themselves. We also hope that the feedback we receive will allow us to gain an understanding of what teaching methods work best and how productive the content itself is. This will allow us to develop our project for any future iterations, we will reflect and discuss our methodology and our findings in our final report.


Understanding student perceptions of the digital student voice platform Unitu

Team leads: Jeff Saddington-Wiltshire, Student Engagement Officer, Sarah Jones, VP Education and Welfare.

Team: Ify Osefoh, BSc Biomedical Science, Year 3, Lola Arowoshola, MBBS5 P Year, Maye Jabi, MBBS5 P Year, Ogor Babundo, MBBS5 T Year, SU General Secretary), Sam Mountain, BSc Paramedic Science Year 1.

This project aims to understand student’s perceptions of the student voice platform Unitu, launched at St George’s in February 2020. Since it launched, 63% of St George’s students have activated their accounts, producing over 1,000 posts, 160,000 views and 8,000 comments, and Unitu has been St George’s platform of choice to have their voices heard regarding academic and student experience issues. The team will study students' perceptions through a combination of qualitative and qualitative methods, such as surveys and focus groups. The analysis of the resulting data will be complemented by Unitu analytical data to produce an internal report. The aim is to produce recommendations to enhance the functionality of Unitu and to develop tools for evaluating the effectiveness of student engagement and student voice tools. The team aim to also share the research externally in conferences or academic journals to open up dialogue with colleagues across the sector.

Improving inclusivity in clinical skills teaching: Recognition of clinical signs on black and brown skin

Team leads: Peter Tamony, Margot Turner, Malone Mukwende

This project aims to address and rectify the white skin bias prevalent in teaching clinical examinations and procedural skills. By default, nearly all the descriptions of clinical signs are for Caucasian patients. In addition to this, pictures of clinical signs found in textbooks and recommended resources are also mainly of white skin patients. As a result, BAME students may feel “othered” and all students may be ill prepared for addressing the needs of a diverse patient group.

Find out more: Mind the Gap: A handbook of clinical signs in Black and Brown Skin

Evaluation of MBBS Career Profiling Project

Team leads: Emma Metters, Arabella Watkin.

This project enhances careers resources by producing and evaluating video profiles of doctors and healthcare professionals in different specialities and at different stages in their careers.

Students and staff broadening communication skills by learning British Sign Language together: A pilot project

Team leads: Mary Jane Cole, Oluchi Zelic

This project seeks to improve the understanding of BSL among SGUL student and staff in order to enhance inclusion and communication with students in our cohorts who are deaf.

George’s Talks Mental Health (GTMH)

Team leads: Jane Cronin-Davis, Hamzah Niaz

With this project, the aim is to increase awareness about the various resources and services that can offer help and support students dealing with mental health issues.

Read the project report produced by the team (PDF).

The Art of Pathology: the co-creation of an art exhibition inspired by the Pathology Museum collection

Team leads: Carol Shiels, Olga Ihirwe.

A recent survey of St George’s students has demonstrated that there is an interest in providing more opportunities for art and humanities-based activities (Health Humanities Intercalated BSc survey 2018). In this project, the aim is to give students and staff this opportunity by holding a series of art and creativity workshops in the Museum to co-create a collection of artworks inspired by the Pathology Museum collection. The project promotes inclusivity by encouraging participation from students and staff, regardless of their perceived art abilities or medical knowledge, through peer-support and instructor-facilitated workshops.

The Proud Teachers initiative

Team leads: Jane Cronin-Davis, Anna Searle.

The Proud Teachers initiative aims to help students from all clinical courses identify clinicians who are willing to teach in busy, unfamiliar clinical environments. By funding the creation of Identification Card Reels with an identifiable symbol on them, students would be able to identify at a glance clinical staff who are interested in facilitating student teaching & development.

MBBS Career Profiling Project - Creating video and online resources profiling doctors' career insights for MBBS students

Team leads: Emma Metters, Arabella Watkins.

The project aims to produce video profiles of doctors in different specialities and at different stages of their careers. The videos are accompanied with resources around teh speciality to create a 'go to' guide to specialities and aims to assist students in exploring career paths and opportunities.

The Use of Office 365 Teams and tools to support collaboration and enhance students' learning

Team leads: Fiona Graham

The project investigates how online collaboration using Microsoft Teams can support group projects by using 'Microsoft Teams learning hub' to hold team meetings, share files, give opinions or delegate tasks from within one single online space.

Reviewing leadership teaching for SGUL undergraduates

Team leads: Judith Ibison, Corey Briffa.

This project proposes to map curricula for leadership across courses, with the aim of identifying good practice, which may be shared between Course teams.


Empowering Black Students

Team leads: Margot Turner, Adrian Crawford.

The project aims to address the BME attainment gap through a series of events that create a welcoming environment for Black staff and students and showcase that work of Black students. The event include a Black History Month Exhibition, a Mentorship Evening Event, and a Diversity Conference.



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