Dr Tim Watts, Chief Executive of Pertemps and former High Sheriff of the West Midlands has made a generous donation to Aston Medical School at Aston University in Birmingham.
The funding will establish the ‘Pertemps Medical PhD Prize Scholarship’ to research better health outcomes for the region whilst supporting a PhD student for the duration of their studies.
Dr Watts said: “Few projects are as ground-breaking as the launch of Aston Medical School. Not only is this a huge boost for students from hard to reach communities, but it will also create doctors for the local area, improving health and well-being."
This transformative award was made to Aston graduate Milda Bartkeviciute, who completed her placement year at Aston Medical School. Milda received a 1st class degree in Biomedical Science in July and begins her PhD next month.
"Studying for a Biomedical Science degree and the life-changing opportunity to carry out a placement year at Prof Asif Ahmed’s laboratory at Aston Medical School made me realise I wanted to carry on further with my studies and undertake a PhD," said Milda.
"However, I could never have afforded the fees required to study for a PhD so, to be awarded the Pertemps Medical PhD Scholarship means I can pursue my future career in research, realise my scientific potential and have the opportunity to make a difference to real-world health questions.”
Aston Medical School - launched by Aston University in June 2014 - is recruiting pioneering health professionals in partnership with 10 local NHS hospitals and over 100 GP practices. The School’s vision is to inspire to aspire. A unique characteristic of Aston Medical School is to make medical degrees accessible to students from local state schools.
The medical school has pledged to provide up to 20 funded bursaries per year to enable talented students from the most disadvantaged areas of Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country to study medicine and become doctors. The medical school already runs postgraduate and PhD programmes and plans to take undergraduate medical students in 2018.
The school’s research is shaping young minds to transform health by discovery-led research in Translational Medicine and is working with business to take molecules to market.
Professor Asif Ahmed, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Aston Medical School, explained that the school would have a significant impact on local communities.
“We believe a new medical school at the centre of Birmingham after nearly 200 years will improve health outcomes, create entrepreneurial scientists and support the local economy," he said.
"We’re delighted by the generosity of Pertemps Medical in recognising the unique position of Aston Medical School in promoting medical education as an engine for social mobility and producing world class translational research in vascular complications of diseases affecting women's health."
Aston Medical School opened its doors to postgraduate research students in 2015. The undergraduate MBChB programme is expected to take its first students in 2018. Find out more at www.aston.ac.uk/ams
Dr Tim Watts was recently interviewed as part of the Aston 50 Greats interview series. Read the interview at: www.aston.ac.uk/50
Aston Alumni Scholarships at Aston help students from less well-off backgrounds meet the financial challenges of going to University. To find out more, go to: www.aston.ac.uk/alumni/