Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Meet the team

The HPEC team is comprised of the following staff members.

Director of Health Professions Education Centre: Prof. Teresa Pawlikowska

BSc (Pharmacology), MB BS, MSc, MRCP, DRCOG PhD. Teresa Pawlikowska

Teresa Pawlikowska joined RCSI as Director of the Health Professions Education Centre in June 2013.She is an experienced medical educator and researcher having previously held posts in the UK. Additionally she has designed and delivered a variety of medical education programmes in diverse environments abroad as part of EU 

and World Bank projects. She has also devised and developed research methods in medical education courses at Master’s and PhD levels. Teresa Pawlikowska has taught and researched (and practiced) the medical consultation throughout her career, which was also the subject of her PhD. Areas of expertise: curriculum development, reform and alignment, assessment, reflective practice, inter-professional education, cultural sensitivity, integrated consultation and communication skills (including simulation), research methodology.

Research interests: teaching and learning in the health professions (students and faculty), inter-professional education, communication and consultation skills, methodology in medical education. 

Director of Simulation and Clinical Skills Based Learning: Professor James (Jim) Murray


Jim Murray joined RCSI in August 2016 from Queens University Belfast where he was Director of the Clinical Skills Centre.  Jim qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1980; he joined the Eastern regional anaesthetic training scheme in 1981 following his internship in Baggot St. Hospital.  Jim was a Consultant Anaesthetist in Belfast from 1988-2014.  His major accomplishments include Director of NI postgraduate training programme for anaesthesia, Examiner for Royal College of Anaesthetists (London), Patent Holder for three current medical devices and Medical Director of ‘Trucorp’ – a successful QUB spin out company. 

Research interests: Human factors and team training, movement analysis in clinical skills teaching, performance analysis using deliberate practice.

Curriculum Innovator: Dr Martina Crehan

Martina Crehan

Dr Martina Crehan joined RCSI in 2012, having been the coordinator of the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching & Learning at Dublin Institute of Technology. Martina’s role focuses on pedagogical support for curriculum design/redesign, and course development, specifically in relation to the constructive alignment of curricula. Her areas of expertise include teaching and learning in higher education, student engagement and retention, formative assessment and feedback, and reflective practice. Her role also focuses on the delivery of consultancy and workshops on a variety of topics in learning and teaching development including, but not limited to, large group teaching, teaching styles and strategies, qualitative research, and peer observation of teaching.

Research interests: The first year experience and transition to higher education, reflective practice, and faculty development. Her doctoral research was a study of “The Lived Experience of Transition to Higher Education: A Phenomenological Analysis of Educational Decision Making and Acclimatisation to the First Year of Study”.

Technology enhanced Learning Manager: Catherine Bruen

B.A, MSc., M.Litt., D.Ed. c

Catherine Bruen

Catherine Bruen joined RCSI as Technology enhanced Learning (TeL) Manager in June 2013. Catherine has extensive experience in the areas of technology enhanced learning (TeL), research, lecturing, digital education and teaching and learning from the higher education and private sector in Ireland. She is responsible for developing and implementing an overall Technology Enhanced Learning strategy for RCSI and shaping blended learning solutions for existing and new programmes. Her role focuses on working with academics to meet the challenges of enhancing existing teaching and learning strategies with TeL. Catherine will advise on designing, developing and implementing effective and relevant online learning programmes. Catherine is currently the Deputy chair for Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). Areas of expertise: best practice pedagogies for eLearning; online learning, assessment, learning design and digital learning resource design, strategic development around the use of digital education.

Research interests: Technology enhanced Learning, Communities of Practice, Open educational resources (OERs), digital literacy, digital professionalism, adaptive learning, academic practice and personalised learning.


Clinical Skills and Simulation Technician: Clare Sullivan


Clare joined RCSI as Clinical Skills and Simulation Technician in November 2013.  After initially qualifying in Mechanical Engineering, Clare proceeded to gain qualification also in Occupational Therapy, in order to allow her use her technical skills in a more people facing role. She also has experience in medical technology, medical media and the development of apps for medical education. 

At RCSI, Clare is involved with the development and operation of the simulated learning environment. This involves managing the simulation equipment from task trainers to high fidelity mannequins, supporting teaching through simulation and assisting in the development of the simulated patient programme.


Research Officer: Marié T. O'Shea

Marié T. O’Shea joined RCSI as HPEC Research Officer in November 2016. Marié has extensive experience in social health and health services research in Ireland. In her role in HPEC Marié can advise on designing, developing and implementing effective and relevant research methodologies, and accessing appropriate research supports and services. She is the main point of contact at RCSI for BEME activity and for RCSI Faculty internally and externally. Areas of expertise: mental health research, psychoeducation programme assessment and primary care research.  

Research interests: qualitative research methods, psychoeducational assessment, BEME reviews, methodology in medical education, ethical and methodological issues in sensitive research.  


HPEC Administrator: Mary Smyth

Mary SmythMary joined the Health Professions Education Centre in September 2013. As Administrator, her role is to provide management, administrative and operational support to the HPEC Team and contribute to the development of the Centre. She is the first point of contact for all general HPEC enquiries.

Mary joined the College in 1998 and prior to the Health Professions Education Centre she held administrative positions in both the Dean’s Office and the Communications Department.