Professor Gabrielle Finn wins National Teaching Fellowship (NTS)

5 August 2019
Gabs Teaching Fellow

Professor Gabrielle Finn wins National Teaching Fellowship (NTS)

Professor Gabrielle Finn, Director of the Health Professions Education Unit at Hull York Medical School and Professor of Medical Education at the University of York has secured the most prestigious award for teaching and learning excellence available - receiving a National Teaching Fellowship (NTS).

The highly competitive National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) run by Advance HE aims to showcase the outstanding impact of individuals and teams who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognizing their success and providing a platform to share learning from their practice. Each year NTFS award National Teaching Fellows to those individuals who have made significant contribution to teaching and learning within their institutions and the sector, with 54 Teaching Fellows announced this year.

Gabrielle is delighted with the award. She says, ‘I am thrilled to have been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF). Throughout my career I have been passionate about medical education and have worked with colleagues and my students to develop tools and techniques to enhance their learning and experience – tools which have been adopted my others within the sector. This award will enable me to continue this work and provide a platform through which I can share my knowledge and collaborate with others to find new ways of working which will continue to impact on the student experience across the sector.’

Through research, scholarship and engaging teaching, Gabrielle advocates the creation of collaborative learning networks to support diverse groups of learners, as well as pioneering new pedagogic approaches such as ultraviolet bodypainting.

She started her academic career as an anatomy lecturer before transitioning to postgraduate medical education. She also volunteers as an Education Officer for the Anatomical Society, a position through which she is able to advocate the use of evidenced based practice within the education of healthcare professionals (

Gabrielle has developed a range of innovative pedagogic approaches for learning and assessment in undergraduate and postgraduate education, including the use of ‘collaborative group wikis’ as a learning and assessment tool. As well as utilising a broad range of tools in her own teaching, Gabrielle has developed an online ‘PaintME’ network ( and the ‘Anatomists Toolkit’ workshop series to support others, including academics, fitness professionals, artists and healthcare workers, in implementing new methods into their own toolkits. She has built on the success of her art-based approaches such as body painting, and taken them a step further by pioneering the use of ultraviolet body paint within healthcare and anatomy education. This new techniques enables multiple views of different layers of the body to be viewed simultaneously, as well as depicting muscle tension and having a more visceral appearance. Gabrielle utilises the technique to bridge the gap between theory and future clinical practice in a fun and memorable way. These engaging techniques create ‘learning landmarks’ for students, promoting better retention of knowledge.

She has also developed anatomy syllabi for a range of healthcare students which have been adopted by HEIs nationally and advocated by national bodies such as the General Medical Council (GMC), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). She challenges herself to develop collaborative learning networks for blended and distance learning programmes, encouraging students to co-construct their learning. Gabrielle has invested significant effort in supporting diverse groups of learners through the development of wikis as learning and assessment tools thus promoting inclusive and shared learning. She devotes time to improving assessment processes and signposting for students, which has seen her assessment rubrics implemented institution wide.

Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School says, ‘I am delighted that Professor Gabrielle Finn has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship. Her passion for teaching and learning is evident in her work and she is already making a difference to students within our medical school and elsewhere.’

Professor Gabrielle Finn will receive her award at a special ceremony on 16 October 2019 in Manchester.

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For further information about Hull York Medical School visit