Professor Jennifer Cleland

Professor Jennifer Cleland

  • Position: WPG Science Faculty
  • Qualification: BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol, D Clin Psychol, FRCP (Edin), FAoME, FAMEE

Personal Experience & Biography

Jennifer Cleland is a leading expert in the field of selection, assessment and change in organisations. She was Director of the Centre for Healthcare Education Research and Innovation (CHERI), University of Aberdeen (2011-2020) and the Director of the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium (205-2020) before moving to Singapore in 2020. She is Vice-Dean of Education at one of Singapore’s three medical schools: the first non-medic to hold such a position in Singapore. She also leads a medical education research unit at the same institution, working with colleagues nationally and internationally to further develop healthcare education research in Singapore. She is also currently a Visiting/Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, Perth, Australia; the Universities of Aberdeen and Southampton, UK; and the Uniformed Services University of the USA, Maryland, USA. She is also a Visiting Scholar at The Wilson Centre, Toronto, Canada.

Jennifer is dual trained as an occupational and clinical psychologist, training and working in the UK’s NHS for approximately 15 years.

Jennifer publishes regularly in the highest-ranking journals in Medicine (e.g. British Medical Journal, Medical Education, Academic Medicine). She is co-author of the leading international textbook “Researching Medical Education” and has published over 200 peer reviewed journal articles. Her work has been recognised by many honours such as honorary fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP (Edin), the Academy of Medical Educators (FAoME), and the Association for Medical Education Europe (AMEE). In 2018, she was awarded the international Association for the Study of Medical Education’s (ASME) Gold Medal for her services to medical education. She was Chair of ASME from 2013-2018 and is now a member of the AMEE Executive. She has served on the advisory panels of a number of funding bodies including Asthma UK. She was the medical education expert for the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research across UK higher education institutions (REF2021, Education), stepping down when she moved overseas.

Jennifer has worked with WPG for many years. She co-chaired the International Research Network for Researchers in Selection into Healthcare (INReSH) and was co-Editor with Fiona Patterson on a special issue of Advances in Health Science Education focusing on selection into healthcare published in 2016. In 2018, she was senior author on the new international Ottawa consensus statement hosted by the Association for Medical Education in Europe.

Jennifer is fascinated by individual, group, organisational and cultural influences on behaviour. Working within this overarching framework, she draws on diverse theories and methodologies to change thinking and practice in the fields of selection, performance and assessment, career progression and choices in medicine. Her broad training and experience enable her to work comfortably with different theories and across methodologies, from working with big datasets to planning and executing qualitative studies of culture and social learning. Her research is characterized by a high degree of interdisciplinarity.

Her current projects include, but are not limited to: exploring why doctors retire early; relationship between early and later performance during surgical residency; social processes during team-based learning; influences on medical careers decision making; optimising selection and assessment systems and processes.