Student Champion Scheme

The NICE Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme is a national programme set up by NICE. The scheme aims to improve the routine use of evidence-based information by future doctors, nursing and other healthcare professionals.

NICE Evidence Search is an online service provided by NICE that enables access to authoritative clinical and non-clinical evidence and best practice through a web based portal. It gives free simultaneous access to more than 300,000 quality health and social care resources from selected evidence providers. The sources include e-BNF and BNFc, Cochrane Systematic Reviews, Medical Royal Colleges, NICE, SIGN and SCIE.

We work with academic teaching and library staff to recruit Student Champions. These students receive bespoke training and support to enable them to disseminate information about NICE Evidence Search to their fellow undergraduates in structured hands-on learning sessions.

The scheme was formally launched in spring 2011 following a successful pilot involving pharmacy, nursing and medical students.

Between May 2011- March 31 2013 the Student Champion team has carried out and completed training of more than 400 student champions in 30 university schools. These include:

Medical and dentistry

Brighton and Sussex Medical Bristol University Cambridge University
Keele University Lancaster University Leeds University
Leicester University Liverpool University Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry - Plymouth inc. Dentistry students
Peninsula College of Medicines and Dentistry - Plymouth inc. Dentistry students Queen Mary, University of London Southampton University
Swansea University Manchester University Newcastle University


Bradford University Cardiff University Hertfordshire University
Huddersfield University Keele University Liverpool John Moores University
Medway School of Pharmacy Portsmouth University Reading University
Wolverhampton University Queens University - Belfast

Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional

Anglia Ruskin University Bournemouth University Hertfordshire University
Keele University University of the West of England University West London

Benefits for Student Champions

Those who are successful in their applications to be Student Champions will:

  • Receive in depth training on how to use NICE Evidence Search effectively
  • Develop their facilitation skills
  • Upon completion of a final report, receive a certificate of participation signed by Professor David Haslam (Chair of NICE), Sir Andrew Dillon (CEO of NICE), and Alexia Tonnel, Director of Evidence Resources.
  • Be eligible to attend a one day conference to learn more about NICE where they will meet Student Champions from other universities and other disciplines.
  • Be well-placed to engage with NICE at a higher level in their future career.

Listen to Abbigal Howson from the University of Leeds Medical School talking about here experience of being a student champion.

Benefits for students attending Student Champions sessions

Those attending a session facilitated by Student Champions will:

  • Improve their practical searching skills
  • Learn how NICE Evidence Search can help with assignments and support them throughout their training and in their careers
  • Receive a certificate of participation from NICE that can be included their portfolios.

Training structure outline for all universities joining the scheme after April 2012

Student Champions Day 1: NICE Evidence Search training day

This will take place at the participating organisation in a computer training room. Student Champions will be asked to do explore the NICE Evidence Search site in advance and to do some preparatory searches. They will also be asked to complete a pre-survey.

There will be new online resources to support Student Champions throughout the scheme and beyond. They can signpost them to their fellow students.

As well as searching, the initial training day will also cover teaching tips and the practicalities of cascade training.

Student Champions will be normally be required to run their teaching sessions within a month of their training.

Once they have facilitated their sessions, Student Champions will need to complete a short reflective report. They will then receive an official certificate of participation.

Student Champions Day 2: Learning about NICE

All Student Champions will be invited to attend a day of presentations and activities focussed on NICE resources. The day will allow them to network with Student Champions from other institutions and meet a range of staff from NICE including the NICE Chair and other senior staff.

The day will be held at a venue close to the new NICE offices in London. The Student Champions will attend one event. Travel costs to the venue will be met by NICE and lunch will be provided.

What some Student Champions involved in the 2011-2012 scheme said:

"I have gained the knowledge and expertise in using the NICE Evidence Search website and also being able to teach and guide others how to use it and to make the most out of the information available. I have also learned how to refine my searches in order to get the best and most relevant results to come up so that I am not wasting time searching down lists of information. I also gained the brilliant revision tool which is NICE Evidence Search - the care pathways and slide sets are brilliant, so relevant to our course"

"As a student champion I have extensively learned how to use the NICE Evidence Search site and how useful it really can be. I have also gained confidence that I can effectively teach my peers. It can be quite difficult find about some health related topics using Google or Google scholar. Now I know an easier way to find out the information! It also doesn't hurt that a certificate of participation is given out to boost your C.V."

Additional information

NICE Evidence Search Student Champions Scheme - Information for students

To find out more about how the NICE Evidence Search Student Champion Scheme might be implemented at your university please email

This page was last updated: 28 February 2014

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Selected, reliable information for health and social care in one place

Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.