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A high quality online course for teachers in the healthcare professions

About course

The AMEE Research Essential Skills in Medical Education (RESME) course introduces participants to essential principles and methods of research in health professions education. The course curriculum aims to give participants an understanding of fundamentals concerning research in medical education, from considering their worldview on research through to writing a detailed research proposal. 

The course objective is to encourage participants to engage in their own research.

The course is aimed at participants who have no or little prior experience conducting educational research in medical education. 

All that is needed to participate is access to a broadband internet connection.


The curriculum is organised into consecutive 2-week online modules and is delivered over 12 weeks with a total of six modules.

Each module has the same format: an introductory, pre-recorded webinar; small-group, tutor-moderated asynchronous discussion; reading and other activities related to the topic; and a 500-word assignment.  The assignment for Module 6 is more substantial – approximately 2000 words – because it draws together the earlier assignments.

  • Pre-recorded webinars: led by experts in the field of research in health professions education.  Each presenter will provide an overview, theoretical foundations, practical applications and latest thinking on the most important aspects related to the topic. 
  • Online discussions: participants will be encouraged to work together online to, for example, explore their worldviews, and development and articulate individual research questions and proposals.  Tutors will monitor online discussions as well as providing guidance and encouragement on discussions and activities.
  • Key resource materials: each module will contain a mixture of learning materials and activities.  A reading list will be provided for each module.  Reading will be drawn from multiple resources – AMEE guides, the “Researching Medical Education” book edited by J Cleland and SJ Durning (Wiley, 2015) and journal articles. 
    Please anticipate up to five hours per module for self-directed course reading.
  • Assignments: will be in the form of up to a 500 word written piece addressing questions relating to module content.  For example, the assignment for Module 3 is to critically appraise one or more pre-specified medical education research papers.  Participants will be introduced to systematic approaches for critically appraising different types of research papers in the webinar and by their tutor.  Participants will receive feedback on each module assignment from their tutor.  The last assignment for Module 6 is more substantial – approximately 2000 words – because it draws together the earlier assignments.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Formulate a research question
  • Identify a conceptual framework informing the research question
  • Select appropriate methodologies
  • Operationalize the research question into a research plan
  • Write a research proposal

After completing the course, participants will have acquired a vocabulary and a framework for understanding essential concepts in research and familiarity with the principles for their practical implementation. 

The award of the AMEE-RESME Certificate in Medical Education provides evidence of the participant's interest in education and skills related to medical education research. 


1.   From idea to research question (Prof Julia Blitz)
2.   Situating your question in the literature: “joining the conversation” (Dr Amudha Poobalan)
3.   Ontology, epistemology and worldview (Prof Anna MacLeod)
4.   Study design, method and analysis (1 & 2) (Prof Jennifer Cleland)
5.   Ethics considerations (Dr Lorraine Hawick)
6.   Preparing a research protocol (Dr Louise Allan)

Registration and fees

Fees include access to the interactive presentations, participation in an online discussion forum facilitated by a tutor, course resource materials, assessment of course work and, if the work is completed satisfactorily, the award of AMEE-RESME Certificate in Medical Education.

  • Standard Fee £545
  • Fee for AMEE members £475
  • Fee for AMEE members from less-well-resourced countries £285



The course is led by Professor Jennifer Cleland, PhD, D Clin Psychol.,

Jennifer Cleland is President’s Chair in Medical Education and Vice Dean (Education), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University Singapore. Prior to coming to Singapore in January 2020, she was the inaugural holder of the John Simpson Chair of Medical Education Research and Director of the Centre for Healthcare Education Research and Innovation, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, University of Aberdeen, UK (2011-2020); Chair of the Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) (2013-2018); Chair of the Association for Medical Education Europe (AMEE) Research Committee (2014-2018); and Director of the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium (2015-2020). She has over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and books on a range of medical education topics including surgical education, predicting performance, workplace learning, career decision making and workforce planning. She is lead Editor, with Steven Durning, of Researching Medical Education, a core text for MSc and PhD programmes in health professions education across the globe.
Dr Lorraine Hawick, RGN, PhD., is a Clinical Lecturer at the Institute for Education in Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Lorraine is a registered nurse by profession, with over 30 year’s clinical experience. She has a passion for teaching and supporting clinical trainees. This interest led her to take up post in the medical school in the University of Aberdeen in 2009, where, following a major curriculum reform, she was responsible for exploring and developing new clinical learning opportunities for medical students in Years 1 – 3 of the curriculum. Lorraine’s role encompasses various aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and she is a course coordinator for the MSc in Clinical Education programme at the University and supervises master’s project students. Her main areas of research have concerned curriculum change and the influence of the space and place of learning, with particular interest in how the hidden curriculum influences teaching and learning experiences.
Dr Louise Allen, PhD, BNutrDiet (Hons), is a dietitian by background and is currently a lecturer for the Monash Centre for Professional Development and Monash Online Education. She completed her PhD in 2020 which focused on exploring the broad impacts of continuing professional development in the health professions, including looking beyond impacts such as knowledge, skills and attitudes, to explore longer terms impacts such as the formation of networks and relationships and the benefits that your learners, colleagues, patients and institutions gain from you attending professional development amongst others. Her PhD research highlighted the importance of social learning in generating long term impacts from professional development, and developed a survey to measure a broad range of impacts of professional development in the health professions which is soon to be published in Medical Teacher. She was awarded a 2020 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fulbright Scholarship.
Dr Anna MacLeod, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University. A Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, she is known for her innovative approaches to exploring medical education. Her insights are sought by colleagues nationally and internationally, demonstrated by her visiting scholar appointments and speaking engagements. MacLeod's award-winning contributions are enriching the discourse of medical education, incorporating critical social science perspectives and broadening theory, while making a significant practical contribution to the design and delivery of medical education locally, nationally and around the world.
Amudha Poobalan, MBBS, is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at University of Aberdeen; and a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Her clinical and academic experience gained through working in different cultures and educational settings apprises her innovative teaching methods and her pedagogical research interests in enhancing student learning pathways, through sociocultural coaching. Her subject specific research interests are in lifestyle modification for prevention of non-communicable diseases, especially focusing on young adults and countries in transition. Her methodological expertise is in systematic reviewing to collate evidence to inform policy and practice; and mixed methods study designs. Integrating her specialist knowledge in Public Health and pedagogical principles, she has established several international public health research and teaching collaborations. She conducts CPD workshops for academics and health care professionals on cutting-edge research methods and runs a learning enhancement programme through sociocultural coaching for transitioning postgraduate students. She has authored over 40 publications in high impact peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Julia Blitz is Professor of Health Professions Education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She is a facilitator on Stellenbosch’s MPhil Health Professions Education and well as leading numerous curricular and selection developments on the MBCB as Vice-Dean: Learning and Teaching. Prior to this she was Professor (Family Medicine) at Penang Medical College, Malaysia and the University of Pretoria, South Africa. An ardent supporter of medical education, particularly family medicine, she practises what she preaches – completing a PhD in health professions education at the same time as being Vice-Dean of Teaching and Learning! Her particular research interests are faculty development, clinical teaching and assessment.


Future dates to be announced.

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