Dental Education Research Priority Setting Exercise

The Dental Education Research Group has commissioned The Centre for Medical Education at the University of Dundee to conduct a priority setting exercise for dental education research in Scotland.


‌The study is funded jointly by NHS Education for Scotland, University of Dundee Dental School, University of Edinburgh Dental Institute and University of Glasgow Dental School.

Current Stage

Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the study are now complete. During Stage 1, over 80 qualitative questionnaire responses, describing respondents’ top three priorities for dental education research were collected. These responses were analysed and a quantitative survey was developed for Stage 2. In response to Stage 2, 649 varied stakeholders ranked a list of 24 dental education research priorities. For Stage 3, an expert reference group discussed the Stage 2 results with a view to informing the research strategy for the Dental Education Research Group. Results are currently being written up and will be made available in due course.

Study Overview & Objectives

The Dental Education Research Group (DERG) of the Scottish Oral Health research Collaboration is seeking to establish priorities for dental education research in Scotland. The identified priorities will form the basis for a focussed dental education research strategy within and between the Scottish Dental Schools and Health Boards.

The Centre for Medical Education at the University of Dundee has been commissioned to conduct the priority setting exercise, employing methods already used by the research team to complete a similar priority setting exercise for Scottish medical education research as part of the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium. This involves a three-stage process:

Stage 1

A qualitative questionnaire will be completed by individuals representing a number of stakeholder groups indentified by DERG. Participants will be asked to select their top three priorities for dental education research. The analysis will identify the range of priorities proposed. This stage is now completed (October 2014).

Stage 2

This will utilise a quantitative online questionnaire developed from the results of stage 1, inviting participation from a larger number of stakeholders but representing the same groups and geographical distribution.  The questionnaire will include the key priorities and ask participants to rate each priority using Likert scales, and then identify their top 5 priorities from the list and explain why they have chosen those 5 priorities. 

Stage 3

This will involve a workshop with an expert reference group (ERG) in order to build consensus about the actual priorities for the Scottish dental education research programme over the next 3-5 years.  The group will review data from Stages 1 and 2 against criteria for priority setting in order to agree the Scottish dental education research agenda going forward.


 Small logo, Aberdeen uni, for project pages. 70px high University of Aberdeen
  University of Dundee
  University of Edinburgh
  University of Glasgow
  University of Highlands and Islands
  NHS Education for Scotland

Steering Group

Angus Walls University of Edinburgh
David Felix NHS Education for Scotland
Vince Bissell University of Glasgow
Kevin Davey University of Dundee
Margaret Ross University of Edinburgh
Tatiana Macfarlane University of Aberdeen
Linda Gunn University of Highlands and Islands
Rola Ajjawi University of Dundee
Karen Barton University of Dundee
Lucy Dunbar University of Glasgow

Project Contacts

Research Fellow

Mrs Karen Barton -
Tel: 01382 383346

Chief Investigator

Dr Rola