Students research projects
Global Health BSc Students Projects take up 13 weeks of full-time learning (this corresponds to Module 3 – February to May). The Global Health BSc projects provide a unique opportunity for students to develop a strong set of research skills. Projects are an attractive part of the course for many students because they immerse the students in real-life Global Health research context by positioning students within the research teams of what is an active, internationally focused and research-intensive environment.
How do BSc projects work?
We offer a wide range of BSc projects that immerse students in research from around late January through until May of each year – after the taught modules of the course. Some are London-based and focus on primary or secondary analyses of existing datasets. Others involve systematic reviews for public health, with international relevance. We also have projects which involve the use of qualitative methods to address questions in health systems, technology or other relevant fields.
These give students an opportunity to work on a project in collaboration with an overseas institution such as the World Health Organization or Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or conducting fieldwork abroad in a low-to-middle income country (see examples below). Past projects have included students going to ICDDR-B Bangladesh for projects related to climate change and health.
The allocation process
Around November, we publish a list of Global Health BSc projects with research teams at Imperial College London, sometimes involving external collaborators. Students can apply for their top 6 projects and will be allocated on the basis of their application statement for each of the top 3 (or grades during the BSc year in cases where the Module lead cannot discern between candidates). Students are then matched to projects/supervisors aiming to accommodate everyone’s preferences. Students may also design their own project as ‘independent projects’ (this requires planning in the summer prior to commencing the course and approval by the pathway Director). We typically offer around 2-4 projects abroad each year. This opportunity has been paused due to COVID-19 restrictions to travel and insurance. Short statements of interest alone are used in the allocation process. The selection process for international projects is the same as for London-based projects.
Examples of past projects
Minimum target prices for production of direct-acting antivirals and associated diagnostics to combat hepatitis C virus. For her BSc project, our alumnus Nikolien Van de Ven worked with our colleagues at the London Headquarters of Médecins Sans Frontières, calculating the minimum possible costs of DAAs treatment and diagnostic tools – these have the potential to reduce a significant proportion of the burden of disease associated with Hepatitis C globally but continue to be produced at prohibitive rates. The project exposed the feasibility of affordable drug production. Read the full paper.
Ethnic variation in cancer patients' ratings of information provision, communication and overall care. For her BSc project, our alumnus Lorna Trenchard analysed data from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey and her analysis outlined inequalities in cancer care amongst ethnic groups in the way that patients are given information and experience communication. Read the full paper.
Sea-level Rise in Bangladesh. In 2015 Zeina Fakhereddin and Jake Levi conducted fieldwork in coastal Bangladesh relating to their respective projects, “Climate change in Bangladesh: implications for health” and “The wider health impacts of climate change related salinization in littoral Bangladesh: An analysis towards a causal social-health framework”, both of which examined the impact of sea-level rise upon health outcomes in the region. During his project Jake also took some footage of his visit in Bangladesh. Since then, he has been to film school in New York, and edited his documentary about climate change Watch the video.
Can I set up my own BSc project?
Students may set up their own project, but they are required to have an Imperial College London supervisor and the project needs to be approved by course director and lead. Students interested in this need to contact the course coordinator during the summer.
Bangladesh: Dairy farming
Bangladesh: Arable produce
Uganda: Entebbe fisherman using traditional methods
Uganda: Entebbe woman dry curing the fish for food longevity