We are very excited to announce that recruitment for our very popular annual King’s Health Partners (KHP) Summer School 2021 is now open. The week-long programme is designed to provide insights into careers within clinical research, and aims to widen participation and access to higher education. Organised by our NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ BRC,  the Summer School now its 8th year, is open to students who attend schools in our local communities in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham. Applications are now open to Year 11 students.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to deliver this year’s Summer School online with a mixture of live, interactive lessons, pre-recorded videos and group work.  With cancellation of GCSE examinations this year due to the pandemic, we will be supporting our local schools by running the Summer School during the time when students would usually be sitting their GSCE exams.

As always, we have an exciting programme of practical scientific and clinical research scenarios to cover translational research – ‘from bench to bedside’. The move to an online format has also allowed us to double the number of places to 40.

This year’s School will be opened by our Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG). The YPAG will talk about their experience of the KHP Summer School and how young people can get involved in our research.

There will also be talks and activities organised by our partners including:

At the end of the week, participants will work with our Utopia Now! team and be given time to prepare a group presentation on their hopes and fears for the future of science. This work can be shared with friends, family and teachers via a public website.

Dates: Monday 5 July – Friday 9 July 2021
Venues: All classes will be held via Microsoft Teams with some pre-recorded videos available on our YouTube channel. Materials will be sent out in advance by post and/or email.
Cost: The school is completely free to schools and students.

Eligibility criteria

Students must be:

  • in year 11 for the academic year 2021
  • attending a school in Southwark, Lambeth or Lewisham.
  • able to provide a reference from a teacher
  • able to provide permission from a parent or guardian
  • have access to Microsoft Teams.
2020 Summer School participant Bella and her brother taking part in a mock clinical trial at home

How to apply

Students must apply using the online application form. The form requires basic contact information and then asks two extended questions (with a maximum of 250 and 500 words). Answers to these questions will be used to assess candidates and candidates are advised to take their time in answering these questions. The review panel will be looking for answers that demonstrate candidate potential and interest in clinical research. Although candidates should check that answers are understandable, reviewers will be more interested in content of answers than style.

Please note there is no way of saving answers on the form, so students are advised to write out answers to essay questions in a programme such as Microsoft Word and then copy and paste answers when happy.

Candidates are also asked to submit the name and email address of a teacher at their school who can provide a statement of support for them. A parent or guardian must also give permission for the student to attend and agree to the online safety policies and agreements we have in place to protect children and young people online.

Closing date:
The closing date for applications from students is Monday 21 June.
Successful applicants will be informed by Friday 25 June.

Guidance on questions
Below are some things to think about when answering the longer questions. The review panel will be examining applications based on candidate potential rather than ability to address all points in this guidance. The word limits are maximum word limits and answers will be judged on content rather than length. However, we expect that applicants would answer questions fully and believe it is unlikely that candidates will be able to convey their full potential in answers of fewer than half of the maximum word limit for the question.

Question – Why do you want to take part in this summer school? (maximum 500 words)
Guidance – Remember that this Summer School is focused around the different ways in which clinical research can be conducted. Why are you interested in research? Is it something you are considering as a career? What areas are you interested in? How do you think participation in this summer school would help you achieve your goals?

Question – Give an example of a piece of research in the news that you have found interesting and explain why. (maximum 250 words)
Guidance – Candidates do not have to give an answer related to health or biomedical research. We are interested in the candidate’s general interest in research. Did you find the methods used interesting, or maybe you were surprised by the result?

If you have any questions about the application process or would like further details on the Summer School, please contact Claire O’Neill.