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The Midlands Racial Equality in Medicine Network

Project Context & Aims

Concerning defined attainment gaps for BAME graduate students, research suggests that multiple factors accumulate to create inherent disadvantages for ethnic minority students. BAME students’ learning experiences have been observed to have been affected by a lack of trust in the institution, as well as racism and lack of cultural awareness from peers, staff and patients. In 2018, Warwick Medical School created the Attainment Gap Working Group, a collaboration of staff and students, to identify areas that need to be addressed, and has highlighted a need to address limited conversation between institutions about these areas.

The Midlands Racial Equality in Medicine Network aims to build connections between regional medical schools to provide both staff and students with a platform to share upcoming initiatives, disseminate research and create joint ventures related to increasing attainment and graduate outcomes amongst ethnic minority medical students and increasing racial equality in medicine. Positive role modelling and visible commitment toward improving outcomes for ethnic minorities will inspire students and staff alike.

Project Impact

The Network was launched at an inaugural conference held at Warwick Medical School in February 2022. This hybrid event brought together stakeholder institutions annually to demonstrate their commitment to the Network. The network will spearhead the creation of initiatives and research projects to be adopted across our institutions, helping to establish a standard across the Midlands including the University of Warwick (especially within the institution’s EDI department). Furthermore, the event will enable them to develop working relationships, highlight current activities and present research.

Each stakeholder for the MREM Conferences (refer to ‘Learning Outcomes) will be requested to provide a financial contribution towards grants (e.g. the Elevate Grant). These grants will support students in developing research alongside their studies and provide an opportunity for them to present at a local conference.

Learning Outcomes

The Network will be tasked with planning subsequent annual MREM Conferences, with member schools hosting the conference sequentially. Locally, staff and student connections within WIHEA and WMS working groups have a direct line to embed outcomes and standards developed out of the Network into the University of Warwick policy and culture. In addition to this, academic members with research interests aligning with the Network goals will be supported to publish their work and present at national and international conferences.

Project Team

Universities in Collaboration: University of Warwick, University of Leicester, University of Keele.

Dr Olanrewaju Sorinola (Warwick Medical School)

Project Lead

Charlotte Simms (Warwick Medical School)

Project Lead


Kirstie Haywood (Warwick Medical School, Chair Athena Swan Network)

Kate Williams (Department of Health Sciences and Leicester Medical School)

Kiran Bhavra (Leicester Medical School)

Alan Harper (University of Keele, School of Medicine)

Natalia Chilal (University of Keele, School of Medicine)

Student Co-Lead

Ramat Ayoola (Warwick Medical School)