Skip to main content

06 January 2020

King's team wins award to investigate equality in healthcare education

A team led by Dr Shuangyu Li, Centre for Education and Dr Heidi Lempp, School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences, has won the Autumn 2019 round of the King’s Together Multi and Interdisciplinary seed fund.

The seed fund will investigate disparities in the academic attainment of undergraduate students on Health School programmes.

An imbalance in attainment between White and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students across Health Schools suggests the existence of inequality in healthcare professional education. The project entitled Bridging the Attainment Gap - A Pathway to Equality in Healthcare’ will develop a strategic approach to investigating and addressing disparities among health students across King’s health schools.

The seed fund will help the newly established consortium of King’s Health Schools’ students, patients, professional and academic staff, including external (regulatory bodies) and cross-institution collaborators to explore in depth what the institutional culture, leadership & departmental barriers are that have generated disparities in the academic attainment of undergraduate students on Health School programmes.

Dr Heidi Lempp, Reader in Medical Sociology, School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences

The award of £94,000 will cover the cost of a full-time postdoctoral research assistant, a senior statistician and other research and developmental costs over a period of 12 months.

Speaking of the award, Professor Lempp said: "Most research in Healthcare education is quantitative, including the work carried out at King’s, however the findings do not explain how the attainment gaps have come about for many years within our offered undergraduate courses. It is the aim of the consortium to steer away from the dominance of the ‘deficit model’ but offer new approaches through a coherent research strategy and become leader in research that strengthens the equality and diversity within health education, health workforce and ultimately patient care".

In this story

Heidi  Lempp

Professor of Medical Sociology in Rheumatology and Medical Education

Shuangyu Li

Reader in Clinical Communication and Cultural Competency