ASME events team interviewed Professor Clare Morris (University of Cambridge) who will be delivering a plenary talk and a workshop at this year’s Researching Medical Education Conference (RME2021). 


A: The title of your keynote at RME 2021 is “Putting research skills to work: becoming an agile medical educator”. Why did you choose to deliver this talk in this year’s conference, and what can delegates get from it?

C: A key element of ASME’s mission is to promote scholarship in medical education and they do this in a number of ways, not least fostering the types of medical education research activity that can shape and inform our practice as educators. I am delighted to have the opportunity to examine the ways in which research can inform our practice and how our practice can inform our research. I hope that delegates will use this to consider the many ways in which they can become research literate medical educators and how the rewards of being involved in medical education research go far beyond any ‘points’ or ‘prizes’ to advance a chosen career pathway!


A: You are also delivering the workshop “Reframing the master’s project as developing educational literacy”. Can you let our readers know a bit more about what they can learn during the workshop and the format it will have?

C: I see this interactive workshop as a professional conversation, one where we re-think the purposes of a medical education research project. I see it as an opportunity to consider the ways in which we currently foster academic and research literacies throughout a masters programme, not least through our choice of assessment methods. I hope that through this professional conversation we might identify the ways in which doing a medical education research project we can advance scholarship in medical education. I hope this workshop appeals to those currently undertaking a masters level programme in medical /clinical education as well as colleagues involved in the design and delivery of these types of programmes.


A: What is the biggest benefit those attending RME get from this conference?

C: I have been at almost every ASME RME conference since its inception! It is always the highlight of my academic year as there is nothing more invigorating than spending time with others who share a passion for medical education research. The conference is always big enough to stimulate wide ranging discussion, yet small enough to foster a sense of being part of a community. The fact we have people at all stages in their medical education careers makes it a particularly vibrant community and there is always a great conversation to be had, whether with a medical student taking their first steps into medical education research or with one of our medical education thought leaders.

A: What are you most looking for at 2021’s RME?

C: Being part of that community once more. Having great conversations. Debriefing my own masters in medical education students after the event and seeing what they make of it all.


A: What would you like to say to all those attending RME 2021?

C: Embrace every opportunity to ask questions and strike up conversations with others attending. You never know where it will lead.


Clare MorrisClare Morris 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.