Funded PhD studentship available
Fully funded PhD in Medical Education:
Join an ambitious team at the UK’s leading campus-based university to complete a project that combines education, psychology and medicine.
Applicants should have a good first degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline and a Masters degree in a related discipline is desirable. Funding is available for three years to cover fees for PhD registration (2018/19 home/EU rates: £4,260) and a research studentship stipend of currently £14,777 per annum for 2018/19. Non-EU students would be required to pay the balance (currently approximately £11,200 per annum) of the overseas fees themselves. The post will be shared between the internationally renowned institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS), and the Keele’s Medical School Education Research Group (MERG).
Accurate assessment of the clinical skills of trainee healthcare professionals is vital for both patient safety and educational development and fairness. Current assessment approaches rely on observation and judgement by professionals but are limited by problematic variability in scores. This PhD will contribute to the growing field of “Assessor Cognition” in medical education. Several studies have shown that recently-observed performances influence examiners’ judgements, and may influence their attention. This has lead to pragmatic suggestions that observing “benchmarking” videos prior to examining may direct assessors’ attention and result in more consistent judgements. Despite this, little prior work has investigated whether or how benchmarking influences assessors’ attention and what impact this has on their judgements.
The programme of study will use an initial qualitative think-aloud based approach to study the influence of benchmarking performances on assessors’ attention. It will then use experimental methods to test the influence of mediating factors. Finally, in either the later stages of the PhD or in follow-up work, it will trial an intervention based on benchmarking in the context of a medical student Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE). As a result the PhD’s findings are anticipated to directly inform current practice, and be of interest to national and international audiences and policy makers. The candidate will be supported, but given considerable latitude, to develop the research approach in terms of theory, focus and methods.
Dr Peter Yeates: is a clinical lecturer in medical education research. His research focuses on assessor cognition in medical education; innovative assessment; and equating for examiner differences.
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