Published: 5 July 2016

Students gain recognition at Widening Participation awards

EdMed - widening participation award

Medical students at the University have been recognised at the Health Education England (HEE) National Widening Participation in Health Awards.

Hosted by the Institute of Vocational Learning and Workforce Research (IVLWR) and partners, the awards event, which took place in London on 28 June, was a celebration of widening access to education and employment in health and care.

Natalie Ferrari, a researcher at the University’s School of Medicine, was awarded the HEE Research and Evaluation Award. The award recognises those who partake in research and evaluation to increase understanding and provides an evidence base of what does and does not work.

Tackling barriers

Natalie’s project was initiated in July 2015 in response to the Medical Schools Council’s ‘Selecting for Excellence’ (SfE) report, which recommended that the use of contextualised data in admissions should be explored and research commissioned to examine the impact of different weightings of admissions procedures on selection values and widening participation.

Dr Debbi Stanistreet, Senior Lecturer and Faculty Director of Widening Participation, said: “We are extremely proud of Natalie. Her project has raised awareness of where barriers exist for different disadvantaged groups in accessing medical education at Liverpool.

“Her research provides an evidence base upon which changes to the medicine selection process will increase the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Natalie Ferrari - widening participation award

The project supports the use of contextualised data in admissions and identifies appropriate targets for intervention. It also provides a foundation upon which to develop guidelines for best practice in relation to the monitoring and evaluation of widening participation data.

The project is funded by Health Education North West.

Inspiring aspiration

The second award, HEE Widening Participation Health Ambassador/Mentor Award, was given to the University’s EdMed Team. The award recognises individuals and organisations that raise awareness, inspire aspiration and offer access and achievement, enhancing the confidence of groups or individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds in line with the Widening Participation agenda.

EdMed was set up in January 2015 by two medical students in response to the SfE report. One of the key recommendations outlined in the SfE report was the involvement of medical students as ambassadors of widening participation in medicine.

EdMed is an entirely voluntary organisation consisting of over 90 fully-trained medical student ambassadors, an advisory board of clinicians and university academic staff, the full support of the University of Liverpool and its Widening Participation teams. EdMed has been supported by the Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, the BMA, JustTeach and National Education Opportunities Network (NEON).


Dr Stanistreet added: “This is a fantastic accolade for the project. EdMed provides invaluable, accessible support and guidance on all aspects of submitting an application to medical school, as well as raising aspirations and awareness of medicine as a career in students under-represented in medical cohorts.”

For more information about the EdMed project please visit:

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