Pavla continuously develops, updates and implements new guidelines and protocols for written examinations, and provides professional development workshops and training sessions in order to improve the quality of the MD written assessment. This role also supports the implementation and delivery of electronic exams and benchmarking collaborations.


Researcher biography

Dr Pavla Simerska was awarded PhD in Biochemistry and Biomedicine from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Czech Republic for her research on enzymatic glycosylations at the Czech Academy of Sciences in 2006. Dr Simerska has 12 years of research experience in medicinal chemistry (vaccine and drug design, development and delivery) from working at the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB), The University of Queensland (UQ) with several research fellowships and grants. Dr Simerska has attracted over $1.7M (Chief Investigator) and over $32M (co- and associate investigator) of funding from UQ, Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council. Dr Simerska has authored over 60 peer-reviewed papers/proceedings. She was a co-founder, a scientific secretary, and an elected Vice-President of the Australian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society. Her experience as a lecturer and course coordinator in SCMB inspired her to extend her area of practice and research towards higher education pedagogy. While completing a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2012, her ambition further extended to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. In 2018, Dr Simerska joined the Office of Medical Education in the role of Written Assessment Lead with teaching activities focused on academic leadership and transformation of written assessments across the whole Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, currently actively contributing to the development of the new UQ MD program, MD Design. Dr Simerska developed and course coordinated a new US Medical Licensing Examination Step 1 Preparation course in 2019. She has been leading and supporting the integration and implementation of new platforms and e-assessment strategies including electronic examinations (ExamSoft, National Board of Medical Examiners) and their proctoring, peer-learning (Recommendations in Personalised Peer Learning Environments; RiPPLE) and assessment benchmarking collaborations. Dr Simerska continuously develops, updates and implements new pedagogically driven guidelines and protocols for written examinations, and reliable and valid assessment tools. Moreover, she provides professional development workshops and training sessions in order to improve the quality of written assessments in the MD Program. She has been leading and contributing to several scholarships of teaching and learning research projects, such as enhancing student learning (dissemination of RiPPLE in Faculty of Medicine) and investigating how MD students engage in peer learning, improving assessment and feedback to students and exploring the relationship between medical students' personal characteristics and their academic performance. Since January 2021, Pavla has been acting also as the MD Integrity Officer at the Faculty of Medicine, UQ.