Senior Fellowship for Plymouth University lecturer

Dr Kerry Gilbert, Lecturer in Biomedical and Clinical Sciences from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, has been awarded a Senior Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.

Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy is awarded to educators in the higher education sector who have a proven, sustained track record in higher education teaching and management and who are seeking to progress into a leadership position.

As a research fellow early in her career, Kerry regularly came into contact with a wide variety of people, across all walks of life that were interested in the work she was doing. Kerry said: 

“This included appearing in the media - on television and radio as well as popular newspapers and journals. I also had the opportunity to talk to a variety of audiences through popular science talks. I was privileged to be involved in setting up some of the living exhibits in the first days of the Eden Project, which appealed to my sense of getting education out there and giving everyone a chance to learn. From then I have developed a keen interest in how people learn.”

Kerry joined the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry at Plymouth University as Life Sciences Resource Centre Manager in 2007. She quickly became involved in developing the ground breaking curriculum and learning spaces that the medical and dental schools offer.

She developed a keen enthusiasm for small-group learning and in particular problem-based learning (PBL), becoming a lead PBL facilitator and latterly the School Lead for both Problem and Inquiry-Based Learning – subtle adaptations of the enquiry driven learning that underpins the independent and integrated learning that must be developed by students – the doctors of tomorrow. Kerry said: 

“We are currently re-working the PBL curriculum in medicine to reflect the evolving needs of our medical students in a technologically and information-rich world. “
Kerry’s current research interests consider what it is that students find difficult in adapting their learning approaches and if there are specific enablers and barriers within that process. A further interest is in developing interdisciplinary learning across Plymouth University.

Kerry commented: 

“At present, I am working with Pippa Trimble from the Law Department, where we have introduced an interdisciplinary PBL case to explore medical, ethical and legal issues from two different professional standpoints. Over the next few years, we are intending to develop this to other disciplines through the inter-departmental PBL interest group, set up by myself and Professor Hilary Neve.”
Kerry is currently studying for a masters in Clinical Education and in an extension to her scholarly work, is intending to investigate the sociological factors that help and hinder students in their journey to medicine through small groups.

She said: “I am looking forward to developing my skills more widely, spurred on by the recognition of my work so far, into areas of inter-disciplinarity across Plymouth University and out into the wider world of higher education. I am delighted to have achieved Senior Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy and my thanks go to them and to my colleagues for their support.”

Professor Hilary Neve, Professor in Medical Education at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, added: 

“Our congratulations go to Kerry for this superb achievement. She is one of a number of colleagues who have achieved Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, achievements which stand testament to our commitment to innovative and first-class teaching.”