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About Student-Staff Partnership Grants 

The Student-Staff Partnership Grant (SSPG) scheme is intended to support projects led jointly by students and staff that make a positive impact on education across St George’s.  It is aligned with the St George’s Inclusive Education Framework 

Collaborations across more than one academic programme or area of the University are encouraged, and all initiatives should demonstrate relevance or applicability beyond the local context in which they may be developed.  

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

Grants of up to £1200 are awarded to be used within a single financial year (1st August to 31 July). They should be used to pay student partners for their work as well for other costs.  

All awarded projects are expected to present their work in progress and project outputs at an Education Ideas Hub event. Details of previous SSPG projects can be found on the Education Ideas Hub page.   

We have conducted a question and answer session on the Student-Staff Partnership Grant 2024-2025. To delve deeper into the details discussed during the session, please refer to  SSPG23-24 Q&A.pptx and the recording. Should you have any further questions or require assistance, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 

Find key information for applying for a 2024-2025 Student-Staff Partnership Project by clicking the items below.

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General information
Selection process
  • For projects in 2024-2025, the awarding panel aims to award up to ten grants
  • The awarding panel will look at the extent to which each application:  
    • aligns with one or more objectives of the St George’s Inclusive Education Framework
    • articulates the need for the project, the planned output(s), and how there will be a sustainable legacy for the institution
    • demonstrates a project design that involves joint working between students and staff to achieve the planned outputs
    • demonstrates a project design that is well thought out, anticipates potential challenges, and is realistic within the timescale.
  • Awarding panel decisions are expected to be communicated in the week beginning 24 June 2024
  • Members of the 2024-25 grant Awarding Panel are to be confirmed.
Grant conditions
  • Projects should not: 
    • involve estate or facilities improvement (e.g. refurbishment)  
    • relate to Students’ Union (SU) society-specific funding (unless there is a compelling case for student-staff partnership).
  • 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).
  • The designated staff lead holds the budget and has financial responsibility for the project, ensuring correct use of the budget for the purposes intended, and keeping good records of expenditure.
  • A progress report and a final evaluation report will be required by the Panel. Both should include details of the financial expenditure.
  • 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.  
Judging panel for SSPGs 2024-2025
  • Sally Mitchell – Head of Centre for Innovation and Development in Education (Chair)
  • Jane Cronin-Davis – Dean for Students
  • Sue David – Associate Director for Information Services (Library)
  • Michael Downes – Head of Learning Technology Services
  • Robert Nagaj – MBBS Deputy Course Director
  • David Ross – Lecturer in Inclusive Education
  • Olga Rodriquez-Falcon – Lecturer in Higher Education and Learning Development
  • Gavin Taylor – Head of Student Services
  • Ferran Valderrama – Reader in Cancer Cell Biology, and Associate Dean for International Student Mobility

Guidance for making an application

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Forming a team

Please note: 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).

If funding is awarded to such a project and the student lead is not confirmed by this date, then funding may be withdrawn.  

Ethical considerations and the ethical review process

When you make your application you are asked to consider the ethical implications of your project. You should review the information and materials provided by St George’s Research Ethics Committee and complete the self-assessment form, available on the Ethical review process page.

When developing our project plan you should consider how you will address any ethical implications, and you should build this into your timeline.  

If your project requires ethical review, you will need to get this process underway as soon possible after your project is accepted for funding.  Please keep the Student Partnership Officer informed about progress with the ethical review of your project by emailing

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

Intellectual Property (IP) and Revenue

When you make your application you are asked to consider whether there are any intellectual property (IP) or revenue dimensions to your project. You should review the intellectual property information and note any issues on the application form. Please note that intellectual property related to the creation of online courses may differ.

Payments to student Lead

Student lead of an SSPG team should be paid the same rate as the high Student Ambassador rate (£13.92 per hour for 2024-25) for the time spent on the SSPG. Applications should include the estimated time and payments required in the requested budget.

Incentives to participants in project activities or tasks

Teams will have responsibility for deciding any 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 basic student ambassador rate (£13.15 per hour for 2024-25). 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. 

Other costs

 Please specify other anticipated costs. For example, you may wish to plan for disseminating their work within St George’s and can apply for funds to support this.  

External dissemination

Please note that as the key intention of SSPGs is to create outputs that have a lasting legacy for St George’s, funds are rarely allocated for dissemination at external conferences during the period of the SSPG itself. However, the SSPG scheme offers up to £400 per team to support the dissemination of SSPG projects after project completion and before 31 July of the following year. If additional funding will be needed, this can be sought via other channels, such as St George’s Conference Fund. 

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 .

2023-24 SSPG awarded projects

Learn about some of the Student-Staff Partnership Grants awarded projects from 2023 to 2024 by clicking the items below.

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Image Bank of Communication resources

Staff Lead: Joanne Morrison

Student Lead: Halia Shah; Nisha Gurung

Project Team: Luke Woodham, Angela Kubacki, Brogan Guest, Mari Siddall Jones

This project hopes to create a ‘one stop’ resource bank for medical staff to be able to easily access when they prepare to communicate with a patient with communication difficulties.  Within the teaching on communication and intellectual disabilities students have access to some resources and different organisations have created a variety of resources.  However, licensing is not clear for all resources and there is not one storage location that is easily accessible. A former student of St. George’s, currently practising in a UK hospital,  made contact to request access to visual resources for use with patients as and when required.   Her staff colleagues expressed difficulties in accessing resources.  The team also aware that many existing communication aids have been created for children, and therefore some may not be ethical, relevant or respectful for using with adults.   The purpose of this project is twofold.  Firstly to create an image bank storage for medical students and staff to easily access visual communication aids as required.  These are existing resources, identified by students and staff as useful in practice.  Secondly, the project will address ‘images of need’ – resources staff and students identify as a communication aid they would like to have but does not already exist.  It is proposed that students could help create and develop ‘images of need’.  Two such requirements have already been identified for using with adults with communication needs:

  1. Visual pain scale (that does not depict faces of emotion)  
  2. Visuals to accompany communication rules e.g., “Say if you don’t understand.”

While the focus of this project is for people with neuro-disabilities (intellectual, autism, ADHD), the image bank resources can also be of use for patients affected by other conditions, e.g. brain injury, stroke and dementia.

Outputs of this project include:  

  1. Image bank
  2. Online booklet with guidance on communicating with people with ID.  
Championing Academic Integrity: All On Board!

Staff Lead: Angela Kubacki

Student Lead: Charles Abracia; Abhay Lutchman-Deelah; Connor Holmes; Sneka Suthaharan

Project Team:  Ioana Enany, Baba Sheba

Promoting, protecting and preserving academic integrity is the responsibility of every member of the St George’s community.  We must consider how we can share this responsibility across faculty, staff and students and aim to cultivate a campus-wide culture committed to trust, honesty and academic integrity.  With the launch of our new procedure for Academic Integrity and our guidance on ethical use of AI in assessment (ChatGPT), this project wants to give students genuine responsibility in a collaborative effort with faculty members to foster and maintain this commitment.  

Our proposal is to establish and maintain a community of Student Academic Integrity Champions (SAICs), to work with our staff in SC&C and CTiE to promote academic integrity to their peers and play an integral role in the dissemination and communication of core academic integrity messages through student-created, innovative videos and infographics for Canvas, our webpages and social media.  We want to get all staff and students on board with our new procedures and guidance.  
The deliverables of this project are ) a community of SAICs who are recognised for their knowledge and understanding of our academic integrity procedures and 2)  a series of inclusive and accessible student voice videos and an online workshop(s) to promote academic integrity and support the clear dissemination of our academic integrity policies and procedures at St George’s to all staff and students.  

An exploration of student and staff perceptions of effective lectures to enable quality learning

Staff Lead: Julie Hendry

Student Lead: Amin Haybatollahi

Project Team: Anthony Albert, Faiza Choudbury, Ben Corbridge, Tyler Klewin, Mansimran Matharu

Most teaching sessions at high education institutions are delivered through lectures, where a subject expert teaches course content in a large group setting. However, student feedback at SGUL indicates that lecture quality is often variable, significantly impacting learning and experience. The aim of this student-staff project is to explore what makes an effective lecture from student and staff perspectives. Alongside addressing practical solutions to increase lecture quality, this study explore student and staff perceptions of the personal values and attributes individual lecturers bring to sessions to enable and enhance effective learning and teaching. 

 We intend to survey all SGUL students, and staff involved in teaching. Specific data from a mixed method questionnaire (qualitative and quantitative questions) will be further explored through a focus group with participant volunteers. Participants selected will reflect the full range of students within SGUL as much as possible. This method will allow a richness of exploration of key areas revealed from the questionnaire. 

 Findings will be disseminated to all students, staff, and courses, and presented at internal educational events and national and international conferences. We envisage that project legacy will be a better understanding of what makes an effective lecture, generation of a toolkit to better train and support staff, and empowering students with a framework to critic and feedback lecture quality to improve their learning and experience.  

Primary Care Grand Rounds

Staff Lead: Katie Scott 

Student Lead: Priya Chakraborty 

Project Team: Judith Ibison, Rida Khan 

The project aims to develop and deliver an online educational primary care grand round programme for all healthcare students at St George’s University, and to offer the programme externally to students from other London medical and healthcare schools. The main objective of the programme is to inspire interest in primary care careers and provide insight into the variety of careers and academic careers in primary care. The programme enhances the academic offering for students, providing them with additional knowledge and expertise in clinical primary care, and academic skills including research, quality improvement and presentation skills.  

Although students may have the opportunity to attend secondary care grand rounds, there is currently no offering of a primary care grand round for students to attend at St George’s University. We are also not aware of this being offered within other London medical schools. We hope this programme will contribute positively to the educational experience offered to students, particularly those with an interest in primary care who currently have limited opportunities to learn about academic primary care.

Endometriosis Awareness Project

Staff Lead: David Gillott 

Student Lead: Millie Shannon 

Project Team: Holly Hayden 

Endometriosis is one of the most common gynaecological conditions in the UK, affecting approximately 1 in 10 people assigned female at birth. This condition can be debilitating and made even harder to deal with due to the stigma and lack of awareness surrounding it.  Our project aims to equip the St George’s community with knowledge surrounding the condition to allow current and future healthcare professionals to recognise and treat the disease in a more efficient and holistic way. In addition to this we hope that it will empower those who may be affected to reach out for support and allow an open dialogue for key issues in women’s health to be created.  

 We will produce a series of videos and social media posts for Endometriosis Awareness Month which is March 2024 that will educate about endometriosis and menstruation but also share real life experiences of what living with this chronic disease is like as well as clinicians’ experiences of treating it. We will be interviewing focus groups to inform the contents of these videos. All resources produced will be available to be viewed at any time after they are published on social media, various university outputs, a purpose-built website and CANVAS.  A short MOOC will be produced for educational purposes. 

Uncovering Coloniality in Work Placements

Staff Lead: Thushari Welikala 

Student Lead: Khushi Gupta  

Project Team: Beck Hickman, Rekka Kandasamy, Philippa Guppy, Katie Pavoni, Anthony Albert, Yasmeen Malik, Cynthia Simon, Brogan Guest. 

Healthcare students in UK higher education come from diverse social-cultural backgrounds and can identify themselves differently based on their sexuality, gender identity, age etc. As evidenced by research, students identifying as ‘different’ are treated differently within universities <1> and SGUL student feedback indicates that discrimination and multiple types of ‘isms’ impact negatively on their learning experience.   

Stories of discrimination within work placements are widely shared within St George’s but coloniality, the root cause of discriminatory practices, has seldom (or never) been examined. This study intends to explore how coloniality within work placements affect students’ learning experience within and across six programmes/courses at St George’s.  

Identifying coloniality embedded in work placements through methodologies that are aimed at ‘measuring’ students’ experience will be difficult since coloniality is felt and lived by individual students in very subtle ways. Therefore, this study will use creative enquiry <2> (the exploration of lived experience through the arts) to uncover coloniality that is embedded within work placements.    

Findings will be disseminated to all SGUL programmes and presented at internal and external educational events and conferences. Legacy will include decolonising student’s experience within work placements and beyond by developing a number of resources (creative work) and a framework for decolonising learning (199).  

<1> Nassr Namaa,b, Paul MacPhersonb,c, Margaret Sampsondand Hugh J. McMillan, ‘Medical Students’perception of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender(LGBT) Discrimination in Their Learning Environment and Their Self-Reportedcomfort Level for Caring for LGBT Patients: A Survey Study.MEDICAL EDUCATION ONLINE, 2017VOL. 22, 1368850.Nassr Namaa,b, Paul MacPhersonb,c, Margaret Sampsondand Hugh J. McMillan’, n.d.

 <2> ‘Montuori, A. (2006). The Quest for a New Education: From Oppositional Identities to Creative Inquiry. ReVision, 28(3), 4–20.’, n.d.  

George’s peer support programme (George’s PSP)

Staff Lead: Jane Cronin-Davis 

Student Lead: Farah Ahmed  

Project Team: Julia Hutchinson, Gavin Taylor, Katie Pavoni 

Student mental health is nationally recognised as a concern across the university sector.  A student staff survey project by Hamzah Niaz and Jane Cronin-Davis (2020) investigated the mental health of students and services they accessed. The results of the project identified approximately 50% students who completed the survey reported a mental health problem, with anxiety and depression being most prevalent. 28% of the respondents accessed services related to their mental health at SGUL, university counselling being the most frequently cited service.  

 Although student did access services within the University. Many of those who participated in the were reluctant for fear of what might happen in relation to their programme, e.g., possible fitness to practice concerns. Respondents indicated that they preferred speaking to other students as this seemed less formal and easier, more impartial, and less judgemental.    

The university counselling service is extremely important; however, some students could benefit from peer mental health support from other students. This has been successful in other universities e.g., Warwick.  A feasibility study by Osborn et al (2022), although not specifically targeted at mental health demonstrated how a peer support model addressed unmet needs of students at a London University. 

Redesigning assessments in the wake of generative AI to ensure they are valid and varied

Staff Lead: Kate Everett-Korn 

Student Lead: Jason Tan 

The primary aim of this project is to redesign at least one specific assessment for two reasons:• The current assessment could be adequately accomplished through use of generative AI. This is not desirable for this assessment but is unlikely to be detectable.• The current assessment is an essay as are many other assessments on this specific course; I wish to introduce variety to allow students to develop and demonstrate different skills.Based on anecdotal evidence and feedback from staff and students, our students are sometimes subjected to excessive assessment, with a tendency to heavily rely on conventional essay-style assessments. I wish to develop an assessment that is more pertinent, contemporary and engaging for the students, whilst still effectively evaluating their knowledge and comprehension. This endeavour will not only contribute to the broader strategic initiatives being pursued at an institutional level regarding assessment but also serve as a potential pilot programme. 

The secondary aim of this project is to allow for general “brain-storming” to generate ideas for a varied suite of assessment types which could be introduced over time across various courses. We will disseminate this to other staff via fora such as Programmes Forum and Education Hub. 

 2022-23 SSPG awarded projects

Learn about some of the Student-Staff Partnership Grants awarded projects from 2022 to 2023 by clicking the items below.

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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

Learn about some of the Student-Staff Partnership Grants awarded projects from 2021 to 2022 by clicking the items below.

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

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

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

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

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’

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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