Professor Karen Morrison

Professor of Neurology, University of Southampton


“NUNC 2017 was once again a great success, with over 100 medical students from around the country attending.  

The competition was tough; the talks varied and interesting. The exhibits were expertly dissected and displayed, and the organisation slick. My over-riding impression of the day was of the buzz, excitement and enthusiasm generated by so many students interested their subject, keen to meet with others and exchange ideas.  

NUNC is a truly great and unique event. Many congratulations to all the University of Southampton students and staff involved with NUNC – peer involvement with learning and teamwork at its absolute best.”


Professor Zoltan Molnar

Professor of Neurodevelopmental Biology, University of Oxford

"I have been running neuroanatomy practicals at Oxford since 2000; and am familiar with the issues surrounding the practical teaching of neuroanatomy. The facilities at Southampton demonstrate the gold standards of neuroanatomy teaching.

The competition vertically integrates neuroanatomy into the medical curriculum, and allows the continuation of learning after completion of medical training; helping to produce and maintain the highest standards. The prosections and demonstration specimens used for the National Neuroanatomy Competition are of the highest quality. The venue is ideal. I was very impressed by the impeccable organisation, the huge enthusiasm of the student organisers and all participants. 

I was pleased to see that the competition received support from the highest levels from University of Southampton and from The Anatomical Society. I hope this event shall keep growing over the years and I see no reason why Southampton should not contemplate hosting an international competition."

Professor Susan Standring. 

Emeritus Professor of Anatomy, King’s College London.    Editor-in-Chief, Gray’s Anatomy 

"The National Neuroanatomy Competition offers students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, a great opportunity to explore their knowledge of neuroanatomy, meet other ‘neuro’ enthusiasts and hear stimulating lectures, all packed into one busy day.

I attended NUNC in March 2015 and I had a tremendous time. My high spots of the day included the opportunity to examine a collection of excellent brain dissections used in the spotter test, many of them prepared by members of the organising committee, and taking a 3D anatomy tour of the choroidal fissure in an inspiring lecture in the afternoon.  

I am delighted to lend my full support to this very well organised competition and hope that it continues for years to come." 

Professor Sir Graham Teasdale

Co-inventor of the Glasgow Coma Scale

"The event was very well organised, the material very well presented and the questions clearly able to test the limits of anyone's knowledge of neuroanatomy! It was especially pleasing to see that so many students are motivated to fill the gap that has been left by current approaches to undergraduate education. I'm sure their efforts in preparing for the competition will be rewarded in their future careers - irrespective of their place in the rankings. Well done to everyone who contributed to the occasion.

It was my great pleasure to be a guest at the 2014 National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition." 

Professor D. Ceri Davies  

Professor of Anatomy, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London

"THE 2016 NATIONAL UNDERGRADUATE NEUROANATOMY COMPETITION WAS UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST MEDICAL STUDENT ORGANISED  ACADEMIC EVENT THAT I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO ATTEND.  

The enthusiasm of the student and junior doctor organisers set the tone for the event, which was enjoyed by almost 100 competitors, who achieved a very high standard. I was especially pleased to see the extremely high quality and informative dissections prepared by the organisers for used in the 'spotter' part of the competition."

Professor Roxana Carare

Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

"The neuroanatomy competition is a unique and inspiring event for the doctors of tomorrow. 

There are over 1 billion sufferers of neurological disease world-wide, with no efficient cures. In order to design effective therapeutic strategies, medics must understand the exact mechanisms of disease and the identification of the anatomical characteristics of the structures affected.

Working on carefully dissected human brains and state of the art sections of human brains is a privilege for medical education and the University of Southampton is at the forefront of such practice.

In my role of clinical neuroanatomy research group leader and member of the British Neuropathological Academic Committee, I am immensely proud of the exciting, innovative opportunity for medical students hosted by the University of Southampton and led by students, junior doctors and faculty staff."

Mr Marcus Parry

Head of Academic Unit for Medical Education

Faculty of Medicine

University of Southampton

"We are very pleased that the facilities in the Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences (CLAS) have been chosen to host the National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition. It is exciting to be involved in this innovative venture. The enthusiasm and commitment of the NUNC organising committee ensures that this is a wonderful experience for all those who take part in the competition, and the associated activities, every year."

Dr Jennifer Skidmore, Director CLAS 

Testimonials from former competitors

"The specimens were well dissected...this competition is a highly original format...I'm sure it will go from strength to strength." 

"Really good event. Well organised, good facilities/specimens."

"Just wanted to say thank you again to all the organisers for such an interesting and well organised day yesterday."

"Very well organised event, Thank you."

"Very enjoyable day! Thank you"

"...would like to thank you all very much for a wonderful day."

"I really enjoyed the spotter exam, but the clinical exam was slightly more difficult as I am a preclinical student. Although I did put in a lot of time preparing for the competition, I didn’t feel especially confident, so was very surprised when they called my name out!”  - Neha Kallam, St George’s

“I feel I have benefited from winning a prize at the NUNC, in a way that goes beyond it being just another certificate in the portfolio. Participating in the event was actually enormously fun and a great opportunity to meet other medical students with the same interests. Being the winner of a national prize has helped me get involved in other projects, such as audits and research. Having this on my CV has helped prove to clinicians that I am a very capable, motivated student – it is viewed as being prestigious. It has boosted my confidence in approaching potential future collaborators or mentors in the field of neurology” - Joseph Masters, former winner of  NUNC St Georges University London

I thoroughly enjoyed it. For the first time, it felt like my neuroanatomy was really tested, the dissections were like nothing I had seen before. The NUNC was also a level playing field to test myself against other people interested in neuroanatomy. Modern day application processes reward evidence of audit, publication, academic achievement, teaching and leadership. The means of acquiring success in these fields is a product of hard work but also due to opportunities that are not always available to everyone owing to differences between curricula and departments. The NUNC was open to everyone. Winning it opened a few doors for me, I was able to demonstrate neuroanatomy on post-graduate courses and I won places on elective medical school programmesat Yale University and Sick Kids, Toronto. I am looking to apply to neurosurgery training and winning NUNC in 2013 and 2014 will form a key part of my application.  The NUNC is distinctly unique and serves to fill a void for those pursuing neurological careers in the UK." - Milo Hollingsworth, former winner of NUNC, University College London

''Participating in the competition for 2 consecutive years has given me a very positive experience. The things that struck me most about the competition were the very welcoming attitude of the staff and how well organized the competition was. The staff and the friendliness of other fellow competitors really made me feel at ease before the competition. Both the written exam and the spotter were very well explained at the beginning of the competition. I was particularly amazed by the spotter because of the very thoroughly dissected specimens. With the diverse types of neuroanatomy knowledge tested, the competition certainly set a much higher bar than university examination. Regardless of the outcome of the competition, I still gained a lot from the lectures provided by world-class neuroanatomists and surgeons. They not only furthered my interest in neuroanatomy but also gave me a better insight into this specialty. Overall, the competition has created a very challenging but also very friendly environment for me to test and to enrich my knowledge. Each year provided me with an unforgettable experience and I would recommend anyone with a strong interest in anatomy to join the competition. There is always a lot to gain out of the competition than just the prize!!!''

NUNC Attendee

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