RME 2021 – Agility and Flexibility in Research (hybrid event)

18th November 2021
Friends House, 173-177 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2BJ, UK

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RME 2021 Conference – Agility and Flexibility in Research
Thursday 18th November 2021
9 am to 5 pm GMT (UK time)
Conference approved by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom for 5 category 1 (external) CPD credits.
Researching Medical Education is a one-day conference for all those interested in medical and clinical education research. The conference is designed and run by the Association for the Study of Medical Education’s Education Research Committee.
This year’s theme of agility and flexibility reflects important characteristics of successful clinical education research at any time, not just during a global pandemic. The process of research rarely goes completely to plan and can be influenced by factors beyond the researcher’s control. RME 2021 presents an opportunity to share and discuss research approaches that allow for adaptation and to consider the practical and ethical implications of maintaining flexibility in research. Keynotes and interactive workshops will include discussion of the benefits and challenges of online research and how education research understanding can be applied in flexible ways.
The RME conference will be of interest to career researchers, teachers of medical / clinical education research and those studying award bearing courses in medical and healthcare education. This includes those undertaking intercalated degrees, masters level courses and those undertaking doctoral level qualifications. Most of all it creates opportunities for rich and lively conversations and learning about educational research and scholarship.
In line with the conference theme, we are offering a choice of attendance options.
You can choose to attend the conference either in-person at Friends House, London (173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ), or online at your home or home institution.
Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected.
Please click HERE to see how to get to the venue.
The in-person format will be familiar to those who have attended RME before, with a range of interactive workshops to suit clinical education researchers at all levels of experience, from beginners to experienced academics.
Hand sanitisers will be provided in the rooms and across the whole building. In the rooms and catering space, wet wipes will also be available.
The online programme is designed to particularly support attendees who are getting started in clinical education research and to meet the needs of both UK and international audiences.
To get a flavour of the conference, videos and interviews from the previous year’s presenters are available in the media area of the ASME website along with Vox Pops from some of the attendees. 
Download our e-flyer here
If you have any questions please email: events@asme.org.uk 
{tab Friends House Programme}
Please note that hand sanitisers will be provided in the rooms and across the whole building. In the rooms and catering space, wet wipes will also be available.

* Sessions in blue live-streamed to online attendees
** Gold sessions – beginner-medium level workshops, grey sessions – medium-advanced level workshops
*** Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected
{tab Online Programme}
* Sessions in blue are live-streamed from Friends House
** Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected
{tab In person workshops}
Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected
Session 1 10.45-12.00
Getting started in medical education research
Prof Bob McKinley and Dr Eliot Rees, Keele University
This workshop is aimed at early career medical educators (including students) who are planning or considering their first research study in medical education.
We will explore how to identify appropriate research questions, different research methodologies, and common pitfalls for new researchers.  We will signpost to sources for further detail for individual projects, and general sources of information and support.
We encourage participants to consider an area or research question that they are interested in investigating in advance of the workshop where possible.

Defining objects of study
Prof Christine Hine, University of Surrey
In line with Prof Hine’s keynote, this workshop will encourage participants to consider the diverse forms that data can take, including online data, offline data, and combinations of the two.  Participants will have opportunities to discuss their experiences with defining objects of study and consider what objects can be studied to address their educational research questions. 

Building flexibility into your research project
Dr Alison Ledger and Katherine Crook, University of Leeds
Many novice clinical education researchers expect research to go strictly to plan, however there are many factors that are beyond our control as researchers.  We are often dependent on busy people to help us in recruiting participants and volunteering for research participation and the systems and groups we study are often moving and evolving.  The pandemic has brought into sharp focus how changes in the context can cause delays to research projects, or even bring research to a halt.
This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to consider how they can plan for flexibility in their research projects.  Participants will work with authentic case examples to identify ways flexibility can be factored in during the research design, ethical review submission, and data analysis phases.

Discourse Analysis
Dr Esther Murray, Queen Mary University London
‘Discourse Analysis’ is a broad term encompassing a number of approaches to analysing communication whether written, spoken, signed or otherwise expressed. We will use this workshop to consider what that might mean for researchers in medical education.  Using artefacts related to Medical Education and practice this workshop will provide the opportunity to perform some preliminary analyses and share our experiences.  A broad reading list will be provided for those interested in following up their preferred perspective.

Rapid and Rigorous: a novel methodological approach to intervention development
Dr Kim Walker, University of Aberdeen
Dr Anita Laidlaw, University of St Andrews
Dr Lisi Gordon, University of Dundee
This workshop will provide a brief introduction to rapid and rigorous process using the Scottish Doctors Wellbeing case study demonstrating agility and flexibility required in differing situations.  Participants will then be given a specific topic/ challenge / issue to consider how they might use this approach in terms of scoping review, data collection, design framework and intervention.
Session 2 13.45-15.00
Questionnaire Design
Dr Sarah Meek, University of Glasgow
Many research studies use questionnaires to gather data as it seems a quick and easy method.  Good questionnaire design is the key to collecting useful and meaningful data. This workshop will provide an understanding of the basic concepts, principles, and practices of questionnaire design, as well as considering some of the common issues and pitfalls such as questionnaire format, use of response scales and validity.

Situated ethics in medical education research
Prof Anita Berlin, Queen Mary University London
Research ethics are generally seen as a set of common principles which can be applied to a range of investigatory approaches.  These have become codified and managed through formal research ethics mechanisms. This workshop seeks to explore another set of ethical issues  – those shaped by the diverse situations in with research takes place  – so called “situated ethics” (Simons & Usher 2000). This is the messy real stuff that we grapple with in medical education research!
Using vignettes and participants’ experience we will seek to explore situated dilemmas that may arise in different loci of our field:
Faculty stuff

Ownership of project- educators or researchers
Authorship – legitimacy and hierarchy – teachers, students, evaluators, curriculum leaders

Student stuff

Students as subjects: insider or outsider research – access to students (Surveyitis Cronica)
Inter subjective student research – students researching each other (disclosure/voyeurism)

Patient- public stuff

Telling stories: Case studies – if it’s ok for teaching is it OK for research/publication?
Shaping projects: co-production of the research or the education

Flexibility to gather a range of perspectives
Prof Katherine Woolf, University College London
In this workshop participants will explore how flexible approaches can enable us to design and adapt research projects within rapidly changing real-world situations. Using examples from real large-scale research projects, participants will explore different ways of interpreting and answering research questions, and consider ways to capture multiple perspectives using diverse methodological approaches and data sources.  

Making data visual
Dr Lisi Gordon and Dr Kim Walker, University of Dundee
This workshop will explore ways in which data can be made visual through are range of options. Traditional thinking around dissemination of research as only possible through publication in journals has given way to more innovative ideas to share data findings in a way that can make often complex nuanced understandings more accessible to wide audiences. Through use of examples, participants will have the opportunity to discuss the ethical and practical implications associated with developing visuals from data- as well as sharing ideas for how they can use these techniques within their own research.

Realist review
Prof Karen Mattick and Dr Daniele Carrieri, University of Exeter
In this RME Workshop, we will share our experience and insights, gained through two NIHR-funded projects, of applying a Realist Review method to topics relevant to the medical education field.  The first project aimed to understand the social and professional factors influencing the antimicrobial prescribing of doctors-in-training, called the IMPACT review; the second project aimed to improve understanding of how, why and in what contexts mental health services and support interventions can be designed in order to minimise the negative impacts of providing care on UK doctors’ mental ill-health, called Care Under Pressure.  We will provide insights into the realist review process, including key decision points and dilemmas encountered, and encourage participants to ask questions and shape the discussion.  We will finish the session with a discussion of what other medical education topics might benefit from a realist review approach and what the downsides or limitations might be.
Session 3 15.30-16.45
Masters Projects – Maximisng the opportunities and overcoming the challenges
Dr Catherine Bennett, University of Warwick and Prof Simon Gay, University of Leicester
This workshop is aimed at delegates who are considering undertaking a Masters project in medical education or who have recently started their Masters project. There will be ample opportunity to discuss thoughts, ideas, concerns and challenges as well as lots of top tips about how to get the most out of a Masters project.
“…ideas are like chessmen moved forward: they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” (J.W. Von Goethe)
So please come along and discuss your ideas…

How to get your papers published in different types of journals
Prof Peter Cantillon, NUI Galway and Dr Samantha Scallan, GP Education Unit, Southampton
Whether you are an experienced author of published papers or a medical educator wanting to see your name on an author list for the first time, this workshop is intended to help you have a more productive and enjoyable experience in successfully submitting your work for publication. The aims are to work interactively to explain how the editorial process works, identify what makes a good academic paper, where to send it and how to respond to reviewers.

Applying factor analytic models in medical education: an introduction
Dr Isobel Cameron and Dr Mustafa Asil, University of Aberdeen
In medical education, researchers are often interested in studying theoretical concepts that cannot be directly measured.  This workshop is a non-technical introduction to factor analysis and how it can be applied to progress our understanding of topics of theoretical interests. It will give practical examples and consider where it is appropriate to apply exploratory factor analysis (EFA) or confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).

Digging deeper – employing methods to enhance qualitative interviews
Prof Gerry Gormley, Queen’s University Belfast
Whilst useful at eliciting insights of participants’ experiences, traditional research interviews can fail to capture the depth and breadth of an individual’s story. Drawing upon social sciences and other disciplines, there are a range of techniques that can enrich interview data by making visible the unverbalizable. Methods including ‘Rich Pictures’, ‘Pictor’, ‘Photovoice’ /‘Photo elicitation’ and ‘Point of View (PoV) filming’ – can help interviewers gain a deeper understanding of participants’ experiences. These techniques allow interviewers to empathize with participants about his/her particular activity that is being researched, while also providing a new communication register for individuals and communities whose ability to use language is limited.
This workshop will introduce participants to a range of methods that can enhance qualitative research interviews. Specifically, participants will (1) learn some key principles of successful interviewing, (2) collect some unconventional, but highly productive, interviewing strategies, and (3) understand the pitfalls and the possibilities of using visual methods. We expect that participants will gain sufficient theoretical and practical skills to begin employing visual methods in their research.

Reframing the Masters project as developing educational literacy
Prof Clare Morris, University of Cambridge
This workshop will pick up on the themes addressed in Prof Morris’ keynote.  Participants are invited to join a conversation about the purpose of the Masters in Medical/Clinical/Health Professions Education.  Should the focus be on publications, prizes, and post-nominals, or should the value of a Masters be re-positioned as a means to inform, shape, and develop education practice?
{tab Online workshops}
Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected
Session 1 10.45-12.00
Individual and group interviews
Dr Janet Lefroy, Keele University School of Medicine
This workshop is aimed at new researchers of Medical Education.
We will cover:

What types of data can you get from individual or group interviews?
How to construct interview guides
How to conduct interviews

The workshop will be interactive using research questions provided by participants as the substrate for discussion and development of interview guides.
Session 2 13.45-15.00
Statistics for medical educators
Dr Obioha Ukoumunne, University of Exeter
This workshop will provide a revision of concepts that are core to the understanding and application of statistics in research. We will revise how best to describe different types of data, and highlight the importance of variability and sample representativeness in statistical inference. We will consider definitions of confidence intervals and p-values and how to interpret these with practical examples. Finally, the scientific and ethical importance of considering the sample size required for research studies will be discussed.
Session 3 15.30-16.45
Positioning scholarship; a guide to publishing in health professions education
Dr Aileen Barrett, Editor in Chief, The Clinical Teacher
Educational scholarship and research are fundamental to quality in teaching and learning; for scholars and teachers interested in sharing their work with the teaching community, the publication process can at first be daunting.
Positioning your ‘great idea’ or scholarly work in an appropriate format is critical to enhancing the chances of successful publication.
In this workshop we will explore the continuum of educational scholarship, including quality improvement methods, evaluation and educational research. We will consider how best to choose a journal and to position, frame, format and submit your paper. Responding to editor and reviewer feedback is another key challenge in the publication process; we will therefore also discuss practical suggestions for managing ‘major revisions’ following peer review.
This workshop is for educators and clinicians from all health professions interested in understanding the publication process and in getting started in educational scholarship.
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We are delighted to be joined by 
Professor Christine Hine

Bio: Christine Hine is Professor of Sociology at the University of Surrey. She has a long-standing focus on research methods in relation to digital phenomena. In particular, she has developed mobile and connective approaches to ethnography that combine online and offline social contexts. She is author of Virtual Ethnography (2000, Sage), Ethnography for the Internet (2015, Bloomsbury) and Understanding Qualitative Research: The Internet (2012, Oxford University Press), editor of Virtual Methods (2005, Berg) and co-editor of Digital Methods for Social Science (2016, Palgrave). She has recently published on autoethnographic approaches to the study of smart home technologies. She is co-editor of a forthcoming collection on Research Methods for Digital Work and Organizations (Oxford University Press) together with Gillian Symon and Katrina Pritchard.
Abstract: Since the 1990s I have been engaged in research that, in various ways, attempts to explore how people make sense of digital technologies in their lives and make sense of their lives through digital technologies. This has involved immersive research within digital spaces and in offline field sites, has spanned many different online platforms and has entailed diverse and often unpredictable combinations of mode and platform. In this talk I will reflect on the epistemological and practical dimensions of taking an agile and flexible approach in which we set out to follow participants to the online and offline places that are relevant to them. Defining emergent field sites in this way brings some clear epistemological pay offs but involves significant practical challenges, particularly in adapting to the diverse forms that data can take and considering the unique ethical properties of each setting. It is important not simply to follow the easily accessible data but also to look for disjunctures between spaces and to attend to silences not readily rendered as accessible data.
Professor Clare Morris

Bio: Clare is Course Director for the MST and Diploma Courses in Medical Education at the University of Cambridge, Honorary Professor of Medical Education at Queen Mary University London and a founding partner of the Swanwick-Morris partnership. Over the past two decades she has supported the development of clinicians as educators, researchers and leaders.
Clare’s research and scholarship is in the field of work-based learning (see ASME Understanding Medical Education and the Oxford Textbook of Medical Education). She is a qualitative researcher, with experience in policy analysis, observational methods and in-depth interviewing. Her work is theoretically driven, drawing on socio-cultural theories of learning and often dealing with interplay of policy and practice e.g. exploring the impact of NHS reform on medical apprenticeship.
Clare is the former Chair of the ASME Educational Research Committee and a 2021 recipient of the University of Cambridge Pilkington Prize, for Excellence in Teaching.
Abstract: You don’t have to look far to find criticisms of medical education research. Scholars in our field argue that it lacks rigour and relevance, that it is under-theorised and under-utilised. Too often the basis of such claims lies in the analysis of publications rather than praxis. I wonder if, as a community, we have too narrow a view of the value of engaging in medical education research? I would suggest that our communities’ concern with numerical indicators of success (degree ranking, post-nominals achieved, papers published, grants awarded etc) is clouding our vision?
In this plenary I aim to clear some of the clouds, by making visible and tangible the ways research can inform, shape and innovate our everyday practice as medical educators. To do this, I will use examples of how research skills can be put to work in a range of contexts, for a range of purposes, spanning curriculum design, faculty development and programme evaluation. In so doing I suggest a re-positioning of the value of medical education, found in praxis not publications. 
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Friends House


ASME Member



ASME Member
F1/F2/PhD Student/Teaching Fellow



ASME Member Undergraduate






Please note that the workshop programme differs depending on the attendance option selected.
Please note that members registrations will be checked against our membership database.
10% discount for groups of 10 or more for Friends House, no discount for online attendance.
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The venue: Friends House
Friends House is committed to sustainability. They want to reduce their impact on the environment while procuring goods and services in an ethical way. Friends House takes action to reduce carbon emissions, cut waste, choose local sourcing and preserve the ecosystem. If you wish to know more about Friends House sustainability policies and achievements, please click HERE.
Hand sanitisers will be provided in the rooms and across the whole building. In the rooms and catering space, wet wipes will also be available.
To know more about COVID-19 safety in the venue, please CLICK HERE.
Friends House use Fairtrade and locally produced seasonal ingredients in their menus where possible.

All packaging including bento boxes and lids are fully biodegradable, the same applies to any cutlery, napkins and disposable cups. The catering provider is a “Zero to Landfill” caterer and they ensure that all waste is recycled.
They operate a fleet of electric vans to reduce the impact on pollution in London.
All meats, fish and produce are sourced from small local suppliers in preference to large national distributors. Wherever possible they use organic ingredients and their minimum is a Red Tractor certification for all meats, MSC approval for all fish/seafood and vegetables sourced from farms in Essex & Kent.
They do occasionally use items out of season or from other countries to sustain the integrity of certain dishes but do ensure ethical sourcing including fair trade fruits, tea & coffee.


There are excellent public transport links to reach the venue. Please click HERE to see how to get to the venue.
There is a safe cycle parking in Friends House courtyard for visitors and staff.

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ASME and Friends House aim to ensure that RME is accessible and welcoming to all. Guests requiring reasonable adjustments (e.g. wheelchair users/other mobility requirements) are advised to make themselves known to reception on arrival at Friends House. For more information about the venue’s accessibility, please click HERE.
If you need alternative formats or other reasonable adjustments, please contact Monica Martins on +44 (0)131 225 9111 or via email: events@asme.org.uk with your request by the 1st of November 2021 so that arrangements, where possible, can be made.
Please click HERE to know more about ASME’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.
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Friends House, London (173-177 Euston Rd, NW1 2BJ)

 {tab Testimonials}
“You get to know people from many different universities, and you get to discuss your ideas and your research topic with them. What I have learned in this edition of RME is how we can link different theories together, and how to integrate that into our own research, and what I thought was most important, how you can use theory in action, in practice.”
Delegate RME 2019 “Theory in Medical Education”
“It is a conference for educators run by educators. Not only are we learning really useful ideas, and challenges and interesting content, but the way in which we are being thought is particularly helpful, because not only am I learning what I’m being taught, but I’m learning how to help others and how to teach others.”
Delegate RME 2019 “Theory in Medical Education”
“The fact that it is so inclusive has really struck me. I really like the way the conference has been set up. There are opportunities for beginners to do their sessions, or to go to the more intermediate or advanced sessions. There are not only all those opportunities for everybody, but everyone is also very welcoming at any of the workshops. You can talk to everybody and everyone’s views are valued.”
Delegate RME 2019 “Theory in Medical Education”
“I find people at RME very friendly, and very approachable. I feel that the benefit of the conference will go on beyond my knowledge and skills but also on how I will take that to other people and how I will link that with people I’ve met here today and work together in the future.”
Delegate RME 2019 “Theory in Medical Education”
“It has opened my eyes as to how research is conducted, how to write things to get published, and it has given me a lot of reassurance and a lot of help that I needed before I embark on my own research and dissertation.”
Delegate RME 2019 “Theory in Medical Education”

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