Medical Research Scotland Academy returns to engage with pupils from 47 schools across the country

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Medical Research Scotland, Scotland’s largest independent medical research charity, has ignited young people’s passion for science, education and careers with the return of its Medical Research Scotland Academy, linking secondary school pupils with industry experts.

For 2024, the Medical Research Scotland Academy reached 1,400 pupils from 47 secondary schools spanning from Aberdeen, across the Central Belt to the Scottish Borders. This free to access program successfully engaged S4, S5 and S6 pupils with a keen interest in STEM subjects. The innovative academy was delivered virtually allowing sessions to be utilised within the usual teaching schedules.

Throughout the online academy, pupils from schools across Scotland participated eagerly in live-streamed interactive lessons every Friday morning for the month of March. These sessions - directly broadcasted to science classrooms - allowed students to learn from the comfort of their familiar learning environments. Led by scientists, industry leaders, and PhD students, whose research is funded by Medical Research Scotland, students were treated to a series of inspiring and insightful presentations.

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This year, the academy introduced “Live from the Lab”, a new route which allowed pupils to look inside loa PhD researcher’s working environment and the interesting research they too could be conducting post-secondary school.

Medical Research Scotland Academy 2024.Medical Research Scotland Academy 2024.
Medical Research Scotland Academy 2024.

Kilgraston School in Perth is one of the many schools that have seen the benefits of these online sessions. Through the weekly series, pupils had the unique opportunity to delve into topics including: How medical research can change the world, The power of data in research, Making medicines and The future in medical research. These sessions were presented by esteemed scientists from leading Scottish universities including the Universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews, Edinburgh and Strathclyde as well as organisations including Generation Scotland and Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility.

Gerry Young, Director of Science at Kilgraston School, said:“It has been great to see the return of the Medical Research Scotland Academy for 2024. The online webinars have had a huge impact on our pupils that have shown a keen interested in STEM related subjects and a medical path post-secondary school. Throughout this virtual academy, our students have gained a priceless understanding of medical research by interacting with top experts in the field, enhancing their understanding of scientific principles.

"Experiencing real-world medical research has sparked a passion for science in our students. We appreciate this invaluable opportunity, which has empowered them to pursue careers in the medical research field."

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Professor Heather Wallace, Chair of Medical Research Scotland, said: "As Chair of Medical Research Scotland, I'm proud of Scotland's legacy in producing top-tier research scientists helping to drive global health breakthroughs. The 2024 Medical Research Scotland Academy continues our mission, fostering connections between aspiring medical professionals and esteemed academics. Witnessing the enthusiasm among students from schools across the country reaffirms the academy's value.”

Medical Research Scotland 2024.Medical Research Scotland 2024.
Medical Research Scotland 2024.

Medical Research Scotland is dedicated to advancing health in Scotland and beyond through the support of cutting-edge research aimed at enhancing the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.

To join us in our mission, please visit our website at medicalresearchscotland.org.uk and explore ways to contribute.

If you would like to view this year’s Medical Research Scotland academy webinars, please visit our YouTube channel here.

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