Ideas for student projects?

Frances Mortimer's picture

We want to collect together ideas for student projects in sustainable healthcare.  Below are some of the projects previously suggested - does anyone have any other good ideas to add?

Medical school

  • What would a sustainable transport plan for students look like? Consider all the journeys made by students - to placements, to lectures,
  • How sustainable is medical school use of electronics? Should students have i-phones instead of books? What happens to computers when they reach the end of their life? .. Design and implement..
  • What does your average medical student know about health and the environment? Carry out a survey of knowledge and awareness of medical students. What should they know? What are their opportunities for learning? Design and deliver a presentation/ teaching session to a group of healthcare students/healthcare professionals on sustainability and health. Consider key topics..


  • Document a patient journey through treatment, and identify opportunities for more sustainable practice. What potential benefits and threats do these options have for providing patient-centred care?In one clinical area, find out which medical devices are reused or recycled. 
  • Which devices are single use, and what quantity of waste does this amount to in one year? Find out what waste management policy is in place and identify potential improvements. 
  • Estimate the carbon footprint of an operation of your choice. How could greenhouse gas emissions be reduced without compromising the quality of care. Consider pre-operative, peri-operative and post-operative management.    


  • Communicating sustainability issues to increase awareness and concern is crucial in reducing the NHS’ Carbon output. Consider how you can contribute to creating sustainable behaviour among staff, patients and the general public. For example:
  • Run an information day for patients and the general public. Plan how you will target your audience and how you can evaluate the effects of your intervention. How could this be rolled out as part of a more comprehensive programme? (See Carbon Dependency blog for example of Carbon Addict screening clinics.)
  • Design and implement, or initiate implementation of, a promotional campaign to highlight an existing sustainability initiative that staff or patients can benefit from. Often staff, patients and the general public are unaware of what can be (or is already being) done to help. For example:


Student project ideas

Stefi Barna's picture

This could be a nice SSC project activity with a clear skills / practical outcome.

Climate and health checkups clinic

Health professionals write 'prescriptions' on how to cut emissions and improve health; recommending (for example): walking, cycling or using public transport; switching to clean renewable energy e.g. installing solar panels; adopting a plant based diet; or spending time with nature e.g. hiking, community gardening and tree planting projects. All participants and volunteers will be provided with training about the information being shared and skills development on talking with the public.

For more info




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