Research at the Centre for Medical Education

Research and scholarly activity within CME is organised in four broad research clusters based on research interests within the team

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Research within CME is organised in the following two ways:

  1. We have four research clusters through which we coordinate all research activity
  2. Medical Education Research Methods: Advice, Innovation and Development (MERMAID)

Dr Lisi Gordon is lead for Medical Education Research activity within CME.

Organisation of Research within Centre for Medical Education

Our Research Clusters Model

Research and scholarly activity within CME is organised in four broad research clusters based on research interests within the team. Each cluster has a lead (or co-leads) and activities within each cluster are member-led. PhD, Masters and BMSc students are also affiliated to each cluster. Crosscutting the clusters are strands of activity which lead to potential impact and knowledge products, for example, MERMAID pulls together the research and evaluation methods strand.

Our four clusters of co-ordinated research activity:

  • Creative Pedagogies and Curricula
  • Assessment
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
  • Professional Identity Development

Our crosscutting strands leading to impact and knowledge products:

  • Faculty Development
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Social, Health and Wellbeing
  • Research and Evaluation Methods
Graphic illustrating the CME Research Clusters model, with four clusters of co-ordinated research activity and four crosscutting strands leading to impact and knowledge products.


Medical Education Research Methods: Advice, Innovation and Development originated from the needs expressed by PhD students and others for support in educational research methods. Its aim is to provide the following three workstreams:

  • rolling masterclasses in educational research methods
  • educational research ‘clinics’
  • development of education research methods ‘products’ (such as consultation services)

Currently, MERMAID is focusing on student research support, for example, delivery of a CME Outreach/MERMAID co-branded research methods webinar series.

Creative Pedagogies and Curricula Research Cluster

This research cluster develops research and scholarship relating to pedagogy and curricula. Some areas of research interest within this group includes:

  • responding / adapting to current challenges e.g. decolonising the curriculum, sustainability in the curriculum
  • drawing on and adapting pedagogies from other disciplines to medical education
  • innovative pedagogies
  • developing resilience in systems of education

Assessment Cluster

Lead: Dr Bonnie Lynch

The purpose of the assessment cluster is twofold: to facilitate collaboration on assessment-related research projects and publications that are of interest and value to us at Dundee and to the wider scientific community; and to create a hub for assessment-related research in order to reinforce and publicise the research capabilities and interests of our faculty.

Assessment-related research includes projects related to:

  • psychometrics
  • test design
  • standard setting
  • assessment fairness
  • plagiarism detection and prevention
  • assessment for selection

Examples of current projects

Inter-rater reliability of asynchronous marking of live vs videotaped OSCE encounters

This project investigates outcomes of marking when assessors are engaging in real-time encounters with OSCE examinees vs watching a video replay of examinees' performance.

Multiple Mini-Interview as a predictor of performance in medical school and beyond

This study has two arms: a scoping arm, which uses the UKMED database (a national repository) to determine the quality and quantity of MMI data available across the UK; and an empirical collaborative study with St George's University, to evaluate the predictive power of the Multiple Mini-Interview method used for selection to medical school. Predictors will include both shorter-term measures, such as performance in medical school, and longer-term performance measures such as success in the RCGP exam.

Medical Students’ Perceptions of Indicative Content and How These Relate to Information Sharing before OSCEs

This student-led study investigates medical students' perceptions of the usefulness of receiving indicative content before an OSCE, the extent to which sharing of indicative content constitutes cheating, and views about corralling as a practice to prevent information sharing about the OSCE amongst students.

Diversity Inclusion and Belonging

Co-Leads: Drs Cate Kennedy and Ben Kumwenda

The Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) Research Cluster within CME is a research group that seeks to share the existing and identify potential research projects for development and collaboration. To do this, the cluster conveners work closely with students (BMSc, MMEd, PhD), faculty and external collaborators to identify and seek solutions to the wide range of problems related with diversity, inclusion and belonging in healthcare professions – both locally and internationally.

Broad topics of interest include:

  • diversity, inclusion and career progression in clinical and academic medicine
  • representativeness within the curriculum
  • cultural barriers to participation in medicine
  • faculty development

Examples of current projects include:

  • Building equality in to student research projects: a documentary analysis of the inclusion of equality and diversity issues within BMSc student research
  • Representations of the female body in the undergraduate medical education curriculum
  • Representations of skin in dermatology teaching.
  • Sense of Belongingness on Clinical Placements in MBChB students
  • Cultural barriers to participation in faculty development programmes – do they exist and how to overcome them
  • Equality Diversity Inclusion and Respect in Medical and Nursing Schools in Higher Education
  • Exploring the "generational gap" and how this influences LGBTQ+ teaching
  • The Doctor Brides: An in-depth mixed methods exploration of female doctors’ experiences and other stakeholders’ perceptions of career enablers and barriers in Pakistan
  • Sense of Belongingness in online health professions education students

Professional Identity Development Cluster

Lead: Dr Gillian Scanlan

This cluster is a hub for activity around professional identity development (PID) research interests. Some of the areas of interest within this group, which have been explored via the lens of social, health and wellbeing and faculty development, include:

  • transitions
  • liminality
  • career structures and pathways
  • interprofessional education
  • dual professional roles
  • leadership
  • organisational structures and their relationships with/effects on PID

The PID cluster is a supportive working group with colleagues to develop ideas that will support our own practice as educators and the development of research projects/ideas with students, peers and colleagues (internal and external). In addition, to the development of research interests, we also cultivate and strengthen the skills of our individual group members, with varying experience and expertise, our group has taken on is a critical friend group which shares trusted opinion and or advice on research papers and grant applications.

Current projects include:

  • Scottish Doctors Wellbeing Study
    Developing evidence-based interventions to support doctors’ well-being and promote resilience during Covid-19 related transitions (and beyond)
  • Understanding of power and hierarchy in a variety of healthcare contexts and develop a concept of interprofessional identity
  • How has the change in teaching methods in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic influenced professional identity development in year 4 undergraduate medical students?

Postgraduate research

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