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Scotland Deanery

Home of Medical and Dental Excellence

Prof Jennifer Cleland

SMERC Director

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 437257

Email: jen.cleland@abdn.ac.uk


Professor Jennifer Cleland is John Simpson Chair of Medical Education Research.  A clinical and occupational psychologist by training, for many years she split her time working in the UK National Health Service (latterly in Liaison Psychiatry), while holding university roles within the University of Aberdeen School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nutrition.

She has 15 years’ experience of healthcare education research.  She has over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and has secured over £3 million UK of research income as Principal or Co-Investigator over the last 15 years.

She co-edited the book “Researching Medical Education” (Wiley, 2015) with Steve Durning of the Uniformed Services University of Healthcare Sciences (USUHS), USA


Jen’s particular research interests are selection and assessment, and medical careers decision making.  Her work spans the continuum of undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education and training, and a breadth of qualitative and quantitative approaches – from large “number crunching” studies to context-dependent, ethnographic research.

She has been commissioned by the General Medical Council and the Medical Schools Council to carry out work on selection and widening access, and works in close collaboration with NHS Education Scotland (NES) to generate new knowledge on medical career decision-making.

She has published in a broad range of journals including Medical Education, Medical Teacher, Quality and Safety in Healthcare, and the BMJ.

Additional Information

Jen’s external responsibilities and roles include:

Director, Centre for Healthcare Research and Innovation (CHERI)

Chair, Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME)

Chair, Association for Medical Education Europe (AMEE) Research Committee

Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Healthcare Sciences (USUHS), USA

Invited Member, The Wilson Centre, University of Toronto, Canada

She is Chair of the Board of Management for the journal Medical Education

She is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Medical Educators