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Opening soon: the 2021-22 Student-Staff Partnership Grants!

The call for applications for the 2021-22 Student-Staff Partnership Grants will open on 1 October and close on 14 November 2021. Read the guidelines below and get your application ready!

Find out here about the successful projects in the 2020-21 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! Check out upcoming events here.

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 (link here), 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.

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 in our lunchtime series, Education Ideas Hub. To find out first about new events, sign up for the Education Ideas Hub mailing list.


2020-21 SSPG awarded projects

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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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 SGUL. 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


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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


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


... and past projects

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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.

Click here to read the project report produced by the team.

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 & 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.


Find out more about how to apply

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 its strategic plan for education and students
  • aim to enrich and enhance students’ university experience
  • benefit the majority of students and be open to, and inclusive of, all students at St George’s
  • be designed by, and directly involve joint working with, both students and staff
  • have a defined methodology appropriate to the aims and scope of the project
  • have a defined project outcome and planned legacy 
  • be good value for money
  • include project evaluation
  • be shared and disseminated across the St George’s community *

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

 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 2021-22 grants:

  • Assessment and feedback, organisation and management, and academic support
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusivity 
  • Strengthening and fostering belonging to the university community of staff and students 
  • Student-staff communication, including communication of actions in response to student feedback (closing the loop)
  • 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 ethical review (see Application process section for further detail).
  • A progress report and a final evaluation report will be required by the Panel, highlighting the impact and legacy of the work, and the ways it benefitted from student-staff collaboration.
  • The project team and project information/outcomes may feature in 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 Student Experience Action Group.
  • All expenditure on an award must be made by 31 July of the year in which the project is scheduled to end, and good records of expenditure must be kept.
  • 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 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.

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.*

Please note that projects benefiting all, or most, students will be given the highest priority.

*Exceptionally, where a student or staff originator has a strong project but has not been able to find collaborators to develop it, they can flag this by using this form and the Awarding Panel will help them find project partners. Students or staff who are looking for grant partners are advised to contact the Awarding Panel (via the form) as early as possible, as the same deadline for submitting project applications will apply. 

How to apply for the academic year 2021-22 
  • Read all the guidance above before applying
  • Download and complete an application form (Word)
  • Send your completed application form to the awarding panel at by the deadline of 14 November 2021

When will I hear about my application?

The selection process involves 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)
  • 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: 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)
  • your application does not meet the criteria and is rejected
Ethical review process

What is it?

Once the Panel has approved your project with or without amendments, you will be expected to submit it for ethical review. Funding will be offered only if the ethical review is positive. It is the applicants’ responsibility to review the documents and timelines involved in the ethical review process when developing their project plan and milestones. The section below offers relevant information and contacts.

St George`s Research Ethics Committee (SGREC) helps St George’s researchers consider and prepare for ethical issues that their research might raise. The main way Research Ethics Committees do this is by reviewing a researcher’s ethics application for their project.

Research Ethics Committee approval of an ethics application is usually a requirement in order to conduct the research project with human participants or animals.

The Health Research Authority`s decision tool ( helps you decide whether or not your study is research as defined by the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research.

More information on Research ethics review in St George’s on the website:  

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

When do I have to submit my project to the ethical review process?

In the first instance, you need to consider the ethical implications of your project by using the resources mentioned above. The SSPG application form includes a section asking you to include any ethical considerations you find relevant for your project.

If your project is moved to Stage 2, you are expected to contact St George`s Research Ethics Committee (SGREC) before you submit your amended application to discuss your project and establish the documentation and the time you will need to provide for the ethical review. You should include in your Stage 2 amended application the requirements (documents and processes) and time implications for the ethical review process (as discussed with the Research Ethics Committee). 

Once your project is accepted for funding, you will need to submit your project for ethical 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.

If you have any questions or enquiries about the ethical review process, email



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