ACP Student Research Fund

The Association of Clinical Pathologists is keen to encourage undergraduates to undertake some research within laboratory medicine, to raise the profile of laboratory medicine within the minds of undergraduates and to aid in recruitment of young graduates. Increasingly Medical Schools are integrating elective student projects into the curriculum and these may be in laboratory medicine, often with a small research or audit project. These can require small amounts of funding for reagents, minor consumables or even, on occasion, staff overtime such as the cutting of histological sections for the student to perform immunohistochemistry.

Laboratory medicine includes disciplines such as clinical chemistry, histopathology, haematology, immunology, microbiology, virology etc.

The ACP Student Research Fund is open to applications from undergraduate students (sponsored by ACP members if possible). 

Applications for an ACP Student Research Fund Award can be submitted at any time during the year.   Applications are considered four times each year, and the decision will be communicated by email as follows:

Submission Deadline             Date decision communicated to applicant by

1st January 2015                     31st January 2015

1st March 2015                        31st March 2015

1st May 2015                            30th June 2015

1st October 2015                     31st October 2015

Applications may be referred to one of the four quarterly council meetings for final consideration.

Students can apply for:

  • Funding of a small project which is educational in nature to cover living expenses (up to £150 per week for a maximum of six weeks) and other costs associated with the project. The total payable to any one student undertaking such a project in any one year is £1,000. The association will not fund the purchase of undergraduate textbooks or books that would normally be available in a pathology department and will not fund university library costs.

  • Financial sponsorship to help support living expenses during their extra undergraduate year while undertaking a BSc / BMedSci (£5,000 maximum). The ACP will approve funding for projects based on the educational content. The ACP cannot review other aspects, which are the responsibility of the supervisor.

  • Funding of up to £1,000 for the cost of consumables, incurred whilst undertaking an intercalated degree whether or not the student is funded by the ACP, provided the student's supervisor confirms in writing that the host department is not receiving support e.g. bench fees from the medical school or university that the student attends.

Applicants should complete the relevant application form, including a brief statement of not more than 400 words outlining their interest in pathology and laboratory medicine, and include a full CV. Applications should include details of the work to be undertaken as part of the project or during the BSc and be supported in writing by the project supervisor, or by the Head of Department in which the student will be placed.

The Education Secretary of the Association will determine how the ACP Student Research Fund is to be allocated, if necessary in consultation with the Speciality Chairman or occasionally by referral to the Education Committee.

The applicant is required to declare any other grants awarded or under consideration for this course or project. In order to obtain a spread of the Awards they will not normally be awarded to a student from the same medical school in successive years although this should not deter applicants who are aware that such an award was made. For a BSc / BMedSci the amount awarded will be available to the student from the start of the academic year. For small project grants the money will only be available if the project as approved is undertaken.  Should the work to be undertaken change after the project has been approved, the applicant must contact the Education Secretary with details of the revised project as soon as possible.

Successful applicants will be required to submit an article for publication in ACP news on completion of their project or Degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

Against what criteria are applications judged?

All applications for funding are considered on their own merits.   While not an exhaustive list, assessors consider:

  • Timeliness of the submission in relation to the start of the project;
  • Whether or not the proposed work relates to pathology;
  • The educational value of the proposed project;
  • Whether or not the proposed method has been adequately explained;
  • Whether or not the proposed method is likely to succeed;
  • Whether or not funding has been awarded to students from the same institution in the last two years.

All applications are first scrutinised by the Education Secretary, who in the first instance will either reject, approve or refer the application.   Applications that are referred are considered by the Education Committee and/or ACP Council before a final decision is made.

The ACP is eager to support appropriate applications.  Common reasons why applications are rejected include:

  • The application is not related to pathology;
  • The application is incomplete;
  • The project work is already successfully underway/has been completed without funding from the ACP;
  • The work is already funded by another body;
  • The funds for that year have been exhausted.

Can I apply for funding for more than one project?

In general, no.   An individual student who has already received funding for one project/degree will only be considered for further funding in exceptional circumstances.

Can I apply for funding for part of a BSc/BMedSci project?

Yes.   Applicants may apply for funding for either a small project (up to 6 weeks in length) or for all or part of an intercalated degree.   Where an application is made to fund only part of an intercalated degree the applicant must specify:

  • How this work fits into the entire degree;
  • What funding (if any) has already been awarded to support any part of the degree.

Applications for funding for only part of an intercalated BSc/BMedSci will be considered as applications for funding for small project work.

Can I apply for funding for work that is underway?

Applicants are encouraged to apply for funding before the start of their project/degree.   Applications for funding to support work that has already started will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, and the applicant should indicate why funding is being requested after the start of the project.

Can I apply for funding for work that has been completed?

No.   Funding will not be awarded for projects retrospectively.

Can I apply for funding for bench fees and consumables?

Yes.  The ACP will happily consider applications for bench fees and consumables.   Applicants should note that the maximum amount that will be awarded for the combination of accommodation, subsistence, travel, bench fees and consumables is as follows:

  • Small projects:                     £1,000
  • Intercalated degrees:          £5,000 (of which no more than £1,000 for bench fees and                 consumables)

Can I apply for funding for equipment?

No.  The ACP will not provide funding for non-consumable equipment (including textbooks).

How much funding is available?

The ACP has a fund of £15,000 per annum to support students engaged in research-based activities.  Applications are considered on a first-come, first served basis according to their individual merits.

I have a question that is not covered here.  Who should I contact.

All enquiries should be directed to Mrs Rachel Eustace at the Association of Clinical Pathologists in the first instance, either by email (Rachel@pathologists.org.uk) or by telephone during normal office hours (01273 775700).

Is all laboratory-based work eligible for funding?

No.  While much pathology-based research is conducted in a laboratory, not all research conducted in a laboratory is related to pathology.   Only those projects that are related to pathology (as opposed to physiology, neuroscience, pharmacology etc.) will be considered.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to indicate how their proposed work relates to the field of pathology.

Is non-laboratory work eligible for funding?

Sometimes!   Not all pathology-based research is undertaken in laboratories or at a microscope.  Research projects exploring pathology education, for example, are eligible for consideration.  All applicants are strongly encouraged to indicate how their proposed work related to the field of pathology.

When can I expect to receive a decision?

Applications can be submitted at any time of the year but are considered four times a year, to coincide with the dates of ACP Council meetings.    The application deadlines are as follows.

Submission Deadline               Date decision communicated to applicant by

1st January 2015                      31st January 2015

1st March 2015                          31st March 2015

1st May 2015                              30th June 2015

1st October 2015                        31st  October 2015

Please return completed application forms by post to:

The ACP Education Secretary
Association of Clinical Pathologists
189 Dyke Road, Hove  BN3 1TL

Tel:  01273 775700

and also by email to:  rachel@pathologists.org.uk                     

                                  

Click for application form