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Dr Katherine Woolf
Royal Free Hospital
Tel: 020 3108 9216
  • Senior Lecturer
  • UCL Medical School
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

After graduating with a first class BSc in Psychology from Goldsmiths College , I spent 6 months working half the week as a Research Assistant at Goldsmiths continuing my third year project on musical savant skills, and the other half working for an MP in Westminster.

I came to UCL in 2004, firstly as a Research Associate, and then to study for a PhD in Medical Education. In 2009 I became a Lecturer in Medical Education and an Honorary Research Associate in Psychology at UCL. In 2014 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer while on maternity leave with twins.

I am a  Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and educational advisor to the Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (UK) examination. I was co-chair of the UCL Race Equality Steering Group from 2013 to 2016; co-led UCL Medical School's successful Silver Athena SWAN application - working for gender equality in science and medicine; and worked on UCL's successful Bronze Race Equality Charter Mark application.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

I am interested in medical students’ and doctors’ performance. I want to know what helps them perform well, what hinders their performance, and what can be done to improve their performance, and thus improve patient care. 

To me, equality and fairness are vital for effective learning and valid assessment. This belief underlies one of my main research interests, which is understanding how and why medical students and doctors from different ethnic groups have different achievement profiles.

I take a social psychological and a multivariate statistical approach, investigating the effects of stereotyping on performance, and the influence of social networks on learning and attainment.

I also have a keen interest in involving the public in research and teaching. I was UCL's Public Engager of the Year (academic) 2009/10; was selected from over 2,000 candidates to be one of 30 BBC Expert Woman in 2013; and gave the Charles Darwin Award Lecture at the British Science Festival in 2015.

Teaching Summary

My teaching covers two main areas: professional development, and quantitative and qualitative research methods.  I teach small and large groups at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and supervise research projects.

I believe in making access to higher education as fair as possible. I am on the board of the fair access to medicine project Target Medicine, and teach on the UCL fair access project Horizons.

Academic Background
  BSc Bachelor of Science – Psychology Goldsmiths College
2009 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Medical Education University College London
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