Science in Medicine School Teams Prize 2024- Inspiring the scientists of tomorrow

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The National Heart and Lung Institute, the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial College London offers the 4th Annual “Science in Medicine School Teams Prize” to engage sixth-form school students with science in medicine.

Submission deadline Monday 1st July, 5 pm.

The aims are to encourage students to:

  • stretch beyond the school curriculum, think outside the bubble of traditional biomedical fields, and learn about the excitement of research.
  • consider how trends in science and engineering will impact on health and medicine in the future.
  • understand the importance of a multidisciplinary approach and teamwork to effective research and development for improvements in public and individual health.
  • forward think realistically by realising the importance of affordability, availability and acceptability in translating inventions towards a reduction in inequality-related poor health outcomes.
  • appreciate the importance of effective communication in rolling out scientific developments, with an emphasis on art and design.

Any educational organisation in the UK with sixth-form students may participate and collaborations within the UK or between a UK organisation and an equivalent organisation outside the UK are welcome. This year there are five separate team contests. Schools can have one team, or be part of one collaborating team, in each contest and may need to conduct an internal selection process. Each team should have no more than six members and should be made up of members with varied interests to demonstrate a multidisciplinary approach. Examples of possible student scientific interests include biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, maths, computing, data science, social science, and economics. Judges will be looking for communication skills and a team member(s) with art or design interests is recommended.

For collaborations, a team might have three members at one UK school and three members at another UK school, or three members at one UK school and three members at a school outside the UK. However, the mix is flexible, and it does not have to be three: three. In the case of a UK-Overseas collaboration, the UK-based organisation must lead and will receive and distribute any prize money.

  • Prizes for each contest are £3000 – 1st, £2000 – 2nd and £1000 – 3rd and are intended for supporting science-related activities in the winning schools.
  • Shortlisted teams will be offered the opportunity for online mentoring sessions with an academic.
  • Prize-winners may be invited to submit blogs on their submissions.
  • All team members will receive certificates of participation.
The five contests
  • The British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Prize. This year submissions can focus on any topic relevant to cardiovascular health. Suggestions include interfaces with other systems (e.g. nervous, immune, respiratory, and endocrine systems), nutrition, the application of artificial intelligence, and telemedicine. This prize is supported by the NIHR Imperial BRC Cardiovascular Theme and the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial College London.
  • The Lung Prize. Submissions can focus on any aspect of the prevention or treatment of respiratory disease. This prize is supported by the National Heart and Lung Institute and the NIHR Imperial BRC Respiratory Theme
  • The Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK Prize. Teams should provide a novel vision of how to promote the health and well-being of individuals with scleroderma. Possible topics to focus on include early diagnosis, disease monitoring, drug treatment and non-pharmacological measures. Teams may gain ideas from visiting the Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK  website. This prize is supported by the Immunology Theme of the Imperial NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and sponsored by Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK.
  • The Vasculitis UK prize. The challenge is to provide a novel vision of how science can improve the health and well-being of patients with vasculitis. The focus can be on a particular subtype of vasculitis or on vasculitis in general. There is no fixed topic, but suggestions include: helping earlier diagnosis; providing effective disease monitoring; managing the problem of physical and mental fatigue; reducing infections and/or improving patient response to vaccines whilst on drugs that suppress the immune system. Teams should research the disease using reliable sources. Help understanding the patient’s perspective can be gained by visiting Vasculitis UK. This prize is supported by the NIHR Imperial BRC Immunology Theme and sponsored by Vasculitis UK.
  • The Global Health Prize – Teams are invited to submit a vision of how health science and technology can protect the health of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and/or refugees in the weeks and months following a major natural or human-made disaster.  Teams are advised to focus on a specific aspect of communicable or non-communicable disease relevant to the type of disaster chosen. Proposed solutions can be at the level of the individual or seek to address wider determinants (such as water, sanitation, and hygiene). Teams may benefit from viewing the websites of appropriate aid organisations for ideas. This prize is supported by the Imperial College School of Public Health.
  • Teams should submit an ePoster demonstrating an innovative idea(s), a striking ePoster design and original illustrations.
  • The poster should focus on a particular topic rather than the disease area in general.
  • Teams can choose whether to address a local, national, or global issue.
  • Teams are free to choose the design of the poster but are advised to describe clearly what problem is addressed, the anticipated innovation(s), and steps along the way to implementation.
  • The judges will be looking for evidence that the vision considers affordability, availability, and acceptability in translating science and/or engineering towards improved health.
  • Teams are advised to indicate how each member contributed to the poster so that teamwork can be scored.
  • The poster should be pitched to communicate to non-experts, for example, fellow sixth-form students.
  • The ePoster should be submitted in Landscape format as a pdf file via the link provided.
  • The size of the ePoster should be suitable for a print-out size as an A0 (not larger than 84 cm (height) and 118 cm (width))
  • The online submission portal is below. Please submit two versions of the posters, one with and one without identification of the educational organisation.
  • Submission must be done via a teacher based in a UK School.
  • The submitted version without the identification of the educational organisation will be scored by the short-listing panel.
  • Judges will evaluate each of the following domains:
    • Definition and importance of the problem
    • Scientific and technological approach
    • Novelty and vision
    • Feasibility
    • Insight into testing efficacy
    • Affordability and availability
    • Social acceptability
    • Poster design
    • Original illustrations
    • Evidence of teamwork
  • The top-scoring teams in each of the five contests will move on to the finals event.
Finals Event
  • For each prize, the top-scoring teams from the short-listing will be invited to present their posters at an online finals event, to be held in late September – early October.
  • Short-listed teams will be asked to give a PowerPoint presentation lasting seven minutes, which will be followed by three minutes of Q&A. Judges will score the same domains as used for the short-listing.


Full details on registration and other relevant information can be found here- Science in Medicine School Teams Prize 2024