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Medical education research

Medical education is recognised as a specific area of higher education. Otago Medical School supports and encourages those involved in health professional education to keep up with and contribute to research that will inform innovation in the learning offered to our students. The School is actively involved in many research projects related to health professional education.

Medical education research support

Dr Kelby Smith-Han, Medical Education Academic Lead, is a first point of contact for anyone considering or undertaking medical education research. Kelby's role is to help lead, coordinate and foster medical education projects for the Otago Medical School, and to support researchers in conducting medical education research.


Tel  +64 3 479 5173


The medical school has established a medical education research fund for research by our staff into education that includes MB ChB students. Funding round details will be released in early 2018.

PhD Scholarship - Medical Education

Otago Medical School supports our research-informed education by funding a PhD scholarship in medical education, which is advertised as it becomes available.

The first recipient of the scholarship, Dr Althea Blakey, is now based in the Bioethics Centre. The scholarship is currently held by Lis Latta, Dunedin School of Medicine.


If you are considering conducting research with Otago medical students, there is a process to undertake to ensure that our students are not overloaded with requests to take part in research or research that is inappropriate for our students. Please download and complete the form below and return it to Kelby Smith-Han in the early stages of your research planning. This process will be reviewed in 2018.

Student access request form

Medical Education Research Symposium 2018

The Medical Education Research Symposium will be held on Wednesday 6 June 2018 at the Hunter Centre, corner of Frederick and Great King Streets, Dunedin from 10:30am-4pm.

The symposium focuses on sharing research in health professional education that staff and students at Otago Medical School have conducted and/or are looking at conducting in the future. The aim of the symposium is to show the diversity of medical education research undertaken at OMS combined with a providing a space to share research findings and ideas with each other as a School.

Call for papers and registration


Our resource page provides links to information about publications, publication and conference opportunities, and our connections with international organisations that support medical education through research and networking.


Research projects

The Otago Medical School sponsors particular projects that reflect key areas in medical education research, as highlighted below.

Medical Schools Outcomes Database

Since 2008, Otago has worked with the University of Auckland and Health Workforce New Zealand to collect information from medical students' demographics and career intentions and influences on entering medical school, and then at intervals after graduation. This information is used to monitor and guide workforce planning and curriculum development.

MSOD logo

Medical Schools Outcomes Database

CAPLE: Creating a Positive Learning Environment

CAPLE LogoBased in the Bioethics Centre, the CAPLE project aims to work with clinical staff to improve teaching and learning, and the overall clinical workplace atmosphere to make a positive environment for learning for all. Involving multiple stakeholders, CAPLE takes a multi-disciplinary approach to bring about changes in workplace culture.