The UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology supports a number of undergraduate educational and training initiatives, within the School of Medicine, including the prestigious SSRA and BHLS research  programs.

Student Summer Research Awards (SSRA)

The SSRA undergraduate (UG) initiative supports and showcases UG research (clinical or basic) conducted in a UCD School of Medicine affiliated laboratory. During the 8-week elective module (5 credit value) students undertake a supervised research project during the Summer trimester.

The SSRA scheme allows UG students to develop their knowledge and understanding of issues and themes relevant to their study of medicine, and the opportunity to potentially contribute to a scientific research output (conference presentation/journal article). At the end of the initiative, students  compete for the SSRA via poster and oral presentations, which are adjudicated and scored by a committee of researchers, clinicians and patient advocates.

Principal investigators in the Charles Institute submit research projects annually to this scheme, and encourage students who have an interest in skin science/disease to apply. An example of an upcoming SSRA 2020 project is ’Can the collapse of the scalp hair follicle pigmentary unit with age (i.e., canities) provide insights into how melanocyte death could be induced in melanoma?’ with Prof. Desmond J Tobin as supervisor. 

SSRA Website:


Biomedical Health Life Sciences (BHLS)

Research Project: BSc Biomed

The research module is a core module of Stage 4 of BSc (hons) in BHLS, where students are required to undertake a 12-week project on a specified topic in biomedical science, preferably with a strong translational focus. Students select from a range of projects by preference, and are each assigned to an academic staff member who acts as project supervisor. The project’s laboratory work is conducted in the Autumn, with work and lab books reviewed weekly by the supervisor. Students write a report and make an oral presentation on completion of the practical component.

Project reports (format: Introduction, Hypothesis, Objectives, Methods, Results, Conclusion and References) and presentation are completed in the following Spring. Students undertake to interact closely with their supervisor to understand the translational research aspects of their projects. 

The Charles Institute offer dermatology and skin science-based projects, including most recently from the Tobin Lab a project entitled  Skin - our 3rd eye: Photo-receptor diversity in human skin and their role in photo-biomodulation of skin function'


If you have an interest in doing a project in the Charles Institute as part of this module, please contact the PI  in our institute you would like to work with or email: 

More information:!W_HU_MENU.P_PUBLISH?p_tag=MODULE&MODULE=PATH40220