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Post Nominals PFHEA MRSB
Biography Dr Claire Garden (she/her) PFHEA MRSB is Associate Professor of Lifescience Education and Head of Learning and Teaching in the School of Applied Science.

Claire graduated with an MBiochem first degree from the University of Bath with neuroscience placements at both University College London and Wake Forest University (NC, USA). She then completed a prestigious CASE PhD studentship in Molecular Neuroscience at the MRC Centre for Synaptic Plasticity, University of Bristol, sponsored by GlaxoSmithkline. This led to postdoctoral work and a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Bristol in the Anatomy and Pharmacology departments before her appointment as a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University in 2007. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Subject Group Leader in Biomedical Sciences & Microbiology in 2013 and in 2017-8 became Head of Life Sciences with strategic responsibility for over 50 academic staff and in the region of 700 students, alongside teaching and research. Claire became the School's Head of Learning and Teaching in March 2020 and led the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She leads the School's LTA strategy, underpinned by student engagement pedagogy. She has extensive experience of staff development, capacity building, mentorship, line management and coaching.

Claire trained in molecular and developmental neuroscience research and now focuses on pedagogical research. She has held Nuffield, Carnegie Trust, RS MacDonald Trust and Scottish Funding Council funding as Principal Investigator and has led a number of funded upskilling initiatives, most recently the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network funded by the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. She now researches novel teaching methods such as gamification, Lego Serious Play and Virtual Reality that improve student engagement, and is an elected member of the Researching, Advancing,& Inspiring Student Engagement network committee. Claire has worked with industry to include novel teaching approaches in training through the Innovation Voucher scheme and is also interested in barriers to the inclusion of industry-relevant skills in life sciences curricula. She regularly collaborates with Skills Development Scotland , Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Universities Lifesciences Alliance (SULSA) on upskilling initiatives, most recently instigating and hosting the first ever Scottish Life and Chemical Science Skills Summit in September 2023 . She is chair of the SULSA Skills Committee and is regularly invited to present on skills to industry committees. Claire has supervised a number of research degrees (PhD and MRes) to completion.

Claire has taught and led a wide variety of Biomedical Sciences modules both in Edinburgh and with international partners, she also has experience of programme leadership. She currently teaches Cell Biology and Pharmacology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is module leader for the Honours Project undergraduate biological sciences module. As Subject Group Leader, she led Biomedical and Biological Sciences degrees to high levels of student satisfaction in the NSS (up to 100%) together with RCVS and RSB undergraduate degree accreditation. Claire has expertise in curriculum design, development and enhancement, and accreditation and quality assurance. She was recognised as Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2024 in recognition of her commitment and expertise in the strategic leadership of Teaching and Learning. She is a Member of the Royal Society of Biology and the Outreach Education and Inclusion working group for the Society of Experimental Biology. She is a proud advocate for equality and inclusion.
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