Invitation to take part in a research project!

Project Title: Stakeholder perceptions of the use of contextual information in selection processes by UK medical schools.
(Imperial College ethical approval EERP2223-005)

My name is Kate McCarthy, and I am writing to ask if you would like to take part in some research I am doing as part of my PhD at University College London. As part of this research, I am interested in how current medical school students view the medical school admissions process.

You have been recommended by the School of Medicine Admissions Team as a good person for us to talk to as you have recently been through the medical school application process.

In particular, I am interested in contextual admissions which aim to recognise that academic potential isn’t always reflected by grades. They take into account how other personal circumstances may have affected an applicant’s achievement, such as where an applicant lives or which school they go to.

Taking part in the research would mean that you take part in a focus group with me at your medical school. This would last around one and a half hours. I am trying to find out your views on medical school admissions and contextual admissions and am in no way trying to assess what you know. This information will be used to make recommendations of how admissions processes can be improved, so you may know lots about them, you may not know very much, but either way your views and opinions are valuable to the study. No other medical school staff will be in the room when we conduct the research, and they will not be told anything that is said by you or others taking part in the research. There will be space for up to 8 people in each focus group.

Participation is completely voluntary and after agreeing to take part you can still withdraw from the study up to four weeks after the focus group. You will not be named or identified in any published research.

When: Wed 24 April 2024 around lunch time (TBC)
Refreshments and pizza will be provided during the focus group.

If you are interested in taking part in the research or would like more information, please fill in this very quick form or contact me directly, and we will send you a participant information sheet which has more detail about the research and what taking part involves.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me at or my supervisor Professor Katherine Woolf

Thank you for taking the time to read this invitation,

Participant Information Sheet
Sign up form

Kate McCarthy, Professor Kath Woolf, Dr Anouk Wouters and Dr Kirsty Alexander