Dr Claire Garden (she/her) SFHEA MRSB is an Associate Professor 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 is leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic together with LTA strategy. 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. She now researches novel teaching methods such as gamification and Lego Serious Play that improve student engagement, and has worked with industry to include these approaches in training through the Innovation Voucher scheme. She is also interested in barriers to the inclusion of industry-relevant skills in life sciences curricula and regularly collaborates with Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Enterprise on upskilling initiatives. 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 Pharmacology and Cell Biology modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 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 awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2016, when she also became a Member of the Royal Society of Biology in recognition of her commitment, leadership and expertise in Teaching and Learning. She is a proud advocate for equality and inclusion.