Dystonia Society Essay Prize

Prizes, Bursaries and Other Funding

Entering for prizes and awards is not only about the financial benefits but also about the boost that these give to your portfolios and future prospects. As you know many Deaneries operate a system of ranking short-listed candidates for interview according to a scoring system and additional points have been given to students with awards and prizes.

We would encourage you to apply for these which we hope will be useful to you in the furtherance of your careers.

The Student Council asked whether we could provide any support for students applying for such prizes. We certainly can give some mentorship without compromising the work as being your own. If you'd like such support, please email Kirsty Hartley (k.hartley@keele.ac.uk). I will liaise with Kirsty about identifying someone appropriate who would be happy to help.

Best wishes and Good Luck!

Professor Andy Hassell, Head of School

Keele University School of Medicine Annual Prizes

External Annual Prizes

  • The Royal Society of Medicine have a large number of annual prizes, awards and fellowships: www.rsm.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England have an annual scholarship, elective prize and intercalated degree award: www.rcseng.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists have an annual medical student essay prize: www.rcpsych.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Radiologists have four annual undergraduate prizes: www.rcr.ac.uk
  • The Medical Council on Alcohol hold an essay competition each year: www.m-c-a.org.uk/medical_students/Competitions
  • The British Holistic Medical Association hold an annual essay competition for which the David Cobbold Essay Prize is awarded: www.bhma.org/
  • The British Society for Dermatological Surgery have an annual essay prize for medical students: www.bsds.org.uk
  • ASME (the Association for the Study of Medical Education) sponsors the Sir John Ellis Student Prizes available for both standard and intercalated degrees: www.asme.org.uk
  • The Faculty of Public Health award the Cochrane Prize to an undergraduate student each year: www.fphm.org.uk
  • The Royal College of General Practitioners award an annual elective prize: www.rcgp.org.uk
  • The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene award an annual elective prize: www.rstmh.org/
  • The Pain Relief Foundation have an annual medical student essay prize: www.painrelieffoundation.org.uk
  • The British Society for Haematology have an annual medical student essay prize: www.b-s-h.org.uk
  • The Dystonia Society have an annual Jackie Deakin essay competition: www.dystonia.org.uk

Bursaries

Other Funding

General financial advice and information: www.money4medstudents.org.

Year 1

Prize

Criteria

Award

Year 1 Prize

Best performance in the summative assessments

£100

Year 1 Ian Gray Memorial Prize

Best performance in the skills examinations

£100

Year 2

Prize

Criteria

Award

Year 2 Prize

Best performance in the summative assessments

£100

Year 2 SSC Prize

Best overall mark in the SSC

£100

Year 3

Prize

Criteria

Award

Year 3 Prize

Best performance in the summative assessments

£100

Year 3 Donald Kemp Prize

Best performance in the OSCE

£100

Year 3 Mrs Bentley Prize in Primary Care

Essay Competition - 500 words "The patient in my CCS block who has taught me the most"

£100

Year 3 Quantitative Research Methods SSC

Student(s) who achieve the highest mark in the Year 3 Quantitative Research Methods SSC

£100

Wilfrid Kirkham Anatomy Prize

Prize

Criteria

Award

Wilfrid Kirkham Anatomy Prize

Best overall performance in Anatomy (Years 1, 2

or 3)

£100

Year 4

Prize

Criteria

Award

Year 4 Prize

Best performance in the summative assessments

£100

Year 4 Medical Institute Prize

Best performance in the OSCE

£100

Year 4 Chris Wilkins Memorial Prize

Best performance in Families and Children SSC

£100

Year 4 Medical Women's Federation Prize

Best SSC in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

£100

Year 4 Mrs Bentley Prize

Greatest rise in ranking between Year 3 OSCE and Year 4 OSCE

£100

Year 5

Prize

Criteria

Award

Year 5 Nigel Eastwood Memorial Prize

Best overall performance in Year 5

£100

Year 5 Mrs Bentley Prize in Primary Care

"The patient contact in my primary care placement that had the greatest impact on me" - 300 words

£100

Year 5 Elective Prize

Best photo (with accompanying paragraph of text) taken on elective

£50

Arthritis UK Medical Student Prize in Musculoskeletal Medicine

Prize

Criteria

Award

Arthritis UK Medical Student Prize in Musculoskeletal Medicine

Written report (which can be taken from an SSC) in the area of musculoskeletal medicine (rheumatology, orthopaedics, etc.).  Judged by a panel of local clinicians

£250

Keele University Bursaries

For a list of all the Keele University bursaries available please go to Student Funding.

Student Conference Bursary

The Medical School has managed to identify a small grant to help students with the expense of attending conferences. If you wish to apply for this, you must first complete the Leave-Absence Form and forward this to your Teaching Support Administrator. If approved, you must then complete the Application for Financial Assistance Form and send this along with a copy of your authorised Leave-Absence Form to medicine.bursaries@keele.ac.uk. A group will consider these applications every few months. If your application is successful you will not be reimbursed until after the event when you have submitted an Expenses Form with the relevant receipts. For more details please see this Medical Student Conference Bursary Further Information.

The Conference Bursary Group are due to meet to consider applications on the following dates:

  • November 2017
  • February 2018
  • June 2018 

Dr Carol Gray, Chair of Bursary Committee

Yette & Boris Glass Foundation

Applications are invited from Keele undergraduate medical students for awards of up to £1000 towards an intercalated degree or an elective period abroad. For more information go to Yette & Boris Glass Foundation.

NHS Bursaries

For information on the student bursaries available through the NHS, and your eligibility for them, please go to www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk.

External Bursaries

  • The Royal Society of Medicine have a large number of annual prizes, awards and fellowships: www.rsm.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Surgeons of England have an annual scholarship, elective prize and intercalated degree award: www.rcseng.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Physicians London has the Oscar Reginald Lewis Bequest which makes annual awards to students spending their elective period abroad: www.rcplondon.ac.uk
  • The Royal College of Radiologists have undergraduate bursaries for medical students undertaking electives in clinical radiology and clinical oncology: www.rcr.ac.uk
  • Wellbeing Of Women award annual bursaries, part funded by the National Birthday Trust, to medical students whose electives are in Obstetrics, Gynaecology, Neonatology and Midwifery: www.wellbeingofwomen.org.uk
  • Heart Research UK have regional intercalated BSc Scholarships for medical students specialising in heart research: http://heartresearch.org.uk
  • The Wolfson Foundation have annual medical intercalated awards: www.wolfson.org.uk
  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities have the Edward Boyle Memorial Trust medical elective bursaries: www.acu.ac.uk
  • The Institute of Medical Ethics have grants and awards available to support medical student electives and medical student intercalated scholarships on medical ethics: www.instituteofmedicalethics.org
  • Arthritis Research UK has a scheme to offer musculoskeletal student electives: www.arthritisresearchuk.org
  • The Medical Schools Council have Beit Trust medical elective bursaries for students undertaking medical electives in Southern Africa: www.medschools.ac.uk
  • The Faculty of Occupational Medicine have Mobbs Student Electives Fellowships: http://www.fom.ac.uk 
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists have Pathfinder Fellowship awards for students in their penultimate year of study who are interested in pursuing a career in Psychiatry: www.rcpsych.ac.uk

Marlene Cohen has been named the 2012 Grand Prize winner in the international competition for The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology. She is being recognized for her outstanding research contributions into the neural basis of internal mental states.

“We‘ve known for a long time that our internal state, what’s going on inside our heads, affects everything about what we perceive and how we interact with the world,” said Cohen, an assistant professor in the

Marlene Cohen

Department of Neuroscience and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh. “These methods are exciting to me because they allow us to measure the effect of internal states, not only on average over a long period of time, but on the moment-to-moment timescale that they actually affect behavior.”

“Years of work in psychology and neuroscience have shown that paying attention to a location improves our ability to see things at that location,” explained Cohen, “Attention affects the brain as well: On average, paying attention to a location also increases the responses of neurons that encode that part of space.”

The Eppendorf and Science Prize in Neurobiology recognizes outstanding international neurobiological research based on current methods and advances in the field of molecular and cell biology by a young early-career scientist, as described in a 1,000-word essay based on research performed within the last three years. The grand prize winner receives $25,000 from Eppendorf, and the winner’s essay is published in the journal Science.

The winner and the finalists will be recognized at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience on Sunday, 14 October 2012, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In her award-winning essay, “When Attention Wanders,” published in the 5 October issue of Science, Cohen explains that when our minds wander, so too do our perceptual abilities. “As everyone who has ever sat through a long, boring lecture knows, it is impossible to pay attention to one thing for a long time,” explained Cohen. One of the goals of her post-doctoral research with John Maunsell at Harvard Medical School was to figure out how these fluctuations in attention affect our ability to notice subtle changes in a visual scene.

“In order to measure what happens when a subject’s mind wanders, we had to record many neurons at once,” said Cohen. Using new technology to record simultaneously from about 80 neurons all the difference, she added. “Those 80 neurons provided a snapshot of the information available to an animal in a given moment, and allowed us to track the focus of attention over time.”

Cohen and colleagues trained animals to perform a task that measured their ability to detect subtle changes in a visual stimulus. Surprisingly, they found that when the neurons indicated that their attention had wandered from the correct location, their performance was impaired and the effect was huge. “When the animals paid attention to the correct location, they could detect a change about 75% of the time,” said Cohen. “When their attention wandered, they detected the change less than 10% of the time.” The research suggests that strongly focusing on one feature of a scene makes it more difficult to see a very different feature.

“These results are exciting because they give us the ability to use neural recordings to essentially figure out what an animal is thinking at any moment,” concluded Cohen. “John Maunsell and I used this ability to learn some things about attention, including how it is allocated across space and how it affects easy and difficult tasks differently. In my new lab at the University of Pittsburgh, we are starting to use these methods to detect fluctuations in cognitive factors other than attention, to learn how these cognitive states are encoded in different brain areas and communicated across areas, and how changes in those states affect perception.”

“I loved research in general, and I loved learning how the activity of neurons is associated with behavior,” explained Cohen about her first experience with neuroscience as a research assistant in a lab that studies spatial navigation. “As primates, vision is the main way that we find out about the world. Everything we know about the world is encoded in our brains, and it’s a thrill every time I walk in the lab and hear those neurons firing, and know that we’re starting to understand a bit about that neural code.”

Cohen received her Ph.D. from Stanford University studying how interactions between neurons depend on how animals plan to use the sensory information they encode. Her postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School used visual attention as a tool to understand which aspects of a cortical population code are most important. Her group at the University of Pittsburgh uses physiological, behavioral, and computational methods to study what information groups of neurons in visual cortex transmit to downstream areas and how variability in sensory neurons affects perception.

Finalists

Aryn Gittis

Aryn Gittis, for her essay “Striatal Interneurons: Causes or Cures for Movement Disorders?” Gittis is an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, where she studied intrinsic firing mechanisms of vestibular nucleus neurons. In 2008, she became a postdoctoral fellow at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, where she studied inhibitory circuits involved in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Her laboratory uses electrophysiology, optogenetics, and anatomy to study how neural circuits in the basal ganglia control movement in health and disease.

Bertrand Coste

Bertrand Coste, for his essay, “The Cellular Feeling of Pressure.” Coste is a CNRS Research Scientist at the Research Center of Neurobiology-Neurophysiology of Marseilles, France. He received his Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of the Mediterranean Aix-Marseille II. In his doctoral work, he worked on pain sensitivity and investigated the modulation of nociceptive neuron excitability during inflammation. After receiving his Ph.D., he moved to The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where he was a postdoctoral fellow from 2007 to 2012. His work focused on the identification of molecular components involved in the transduction of mechanical forces into biological signals and led to the identification of a new family of ion channels.

About Eppendorf

Eppendorf is a leading life science company that develops and sells instruments, consumables, and services for liquid-, sample-, and cell handling in laboratories worldwide. Its product range includes pipettes and automated pipetting systems, dispensers, centrifuges, mixers, spectrometers, and DNA amplification equipment as well as ultra-low temperature freezers, fermentors, bioreactors, CO2 incubators, shakers, and cell manipulation systems. Associated consumables like pipette tips, test tubes, microtiter plates, and disposable bioreactors complement the instruments for highest quality workflow solutions. Eppendorf products are most broadly used in academic and commercial research laboratories, e.g., in companies from the pharmaceutical and biotechnological as well as the chemical and food industries. They are also aimed at clinical and environmental analysis laboratories, forensics, and at industrial laboratories performing process analysis, production, and quality assurance. Eppendorf was founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 1945 and has about 2600 employees worldwide. The company has subsidiaries in 23 countries and is represented in all other markets by distributors.

Read the full text of finalist essays and learn how to apply for next year’s Eppendorf and Science Prize for Neurobiology.

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