Dr Celia Taylor BSocSc, PhD, QTS

Senior Lecturer in Medical Education

Medical Science and Education

Contact details

School of Clinical and Experimental Medicial
Room WG 40A Medical School
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Celia Taylor is a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education with a primary focus on assessment. Her current role includes teaching medical statistics, undertaking research in standard setting & performance in assessments and working as part of a team to improve the quality of the assessments used at Birmingham. 

Celia’s publications include a series of four key papers on the epistemology of patient safety research and a number of papers in medical education. Having trained as a Maths teacher in secondary schools, Celia is equally driven to improve her teaching at Birmingham. When she’s not in the office, you’ll generally find Celia running along the canal towpath.


  • Graduate Teacher Programme with Qualified Teacher Status Mathematics and Economics (2004).
  • PhD Economics of Education (2004)
  • PGCert Research Methods (2001)
  • BSocSc (Hons) Economics with Modern Economic History (1999)


Celia Taylor graduated from The University of Birmingham in 1999 with a first class honours degree in Economics with Modern Economic History. She subsequently took up a Research Associate post in the School of Education at Birmingham, where she developed her interest in medical education and began work on her PhD thesis on medical school choice. Having completed her PhD, Celia then trained as a Maths teacher through the Graduate Teacher Programme and gained valuable classroom experience. She returned to academia in 2005 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Birmingham, where her work focused on research methods, primarily for patient safety research.

In January 2010 Celia took up a new post as Senior Lecturer in the College of Clinical & Experimental Medicine, with a specific responsibility for student assessment. Celia is therefore heavily involved with a review of the assessment processes on the MBChB, which aims to enhance the fairness, validity, reliability and cost-effectiveness of the assessments.


  • BMedSci Statistics (Year 2)
  • MBChB/GEC Statistics (Year 2/GEC1)
  • MBChB Research Taster SSA (Year 1)
  • MBChB Personal Mentor

Postgraduate supervision

PhD Supervisor (Evaluating the Headroom Method of Early Economic Evaluation)

Celia is interested in supervising postgraduate students in the area of medical education.


Research in Assessment

Key themes are the evaluation of standard setting and predicting performance at medical school and evaluating bias in medical school assessments.

National Evaluation of Specialty Selection (NESS)

NESS is a DH-funded project led by Professor Hywel Thomas in the School of Education. The project was an evaluation of the selection processes for specialty training in 13 specialties in the UK across four key criteria: validity, reliability, acceptability and cost-effectiveness.


The PLUTO trial: Percutaneous shunting for lower urinary tract obstruction

PLUTO is funded by the HTA NHS R&D Clinical Trials Programme and is led by Professor Mark Kilby of Birmingham Women’s Hospital. Celia was responsible for the Bayesian Priors study, which aimed to examine experts’ prior beliefs as to the effectiveness of shunting.

Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH)

MATCH is funded by the EPSRC and is a collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham, Brunel, Nottingham and Ulster. Celia was the academic manager of the Birmingham team, which was responsible for researching approaches to economic evaluation that can be used on both demand and supply sides of the market for medical devices

MRC cross-council network in patient safety research: Developments and dissemination of methodology

The aim of this study was to provide guidance on research methods for the evaluation of patient safety interventions. The project was led by Professor Richard Lilford of the School of Health and Population Sciences and Celia was the project’s academic manager and lead author of report and publications.

Other activities

Link with the Centre for Research in Medical and Dental Education at The University of Birmingham.

Member of the advisory group for Methods for evaluating service delivery models for end-of-life care: development of best practice guidance (MRC/NIHR funded project led by Professor Irene Higginson at King’s College London).

Reviewer for the following organisations/journals: NHS R&D Clinical Trials Programme, NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme, NIHR Research Methodology Programme, ZonMw (Netherlands organisation for health research and development), British Medical Journal, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Medical Education and Quality and Safety in Health Care.


Torgerson C, Torgerson D and Taylor CA (2010). ‘Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) and Non-Randomized Designs.’ In Wholey JS, Hatry HP and Newcomer KE (Eds.) The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation, Third Edition. San Francisco, CA.Jossey-Bass, pp. 144-162.

Brown C, Morris RK, Daniels J, Khan KS, Lilford RJ and Kilby MD (2010). ‘Effectiveness of percutaneous vesico-amniotic shunting in congenital lower urinary tract obstruction: Divergence in prior beliefs among specialist groups.’ European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology, 152, 25-29.

Lilford RJ, Chilton PJ, Hemming K, Girling AJ, Taylor CA and Barach P (2010). ‘Evaluating policy and service interventions: framework to guide selection and interpretation of study end points.’ BMJ, 314, c4413.

Girling AJ, Young T, Brown C and Lilford R (2010). ‘Early-stage valuation of medical devices: the role of developmental uncertainty.’ Value in Health, 13, 585-591.

Brown CA and Lilford RJ (2009). ‘Should the UK government’s deep cleaning of hospitals programme have been evaluated?’ Journal of Infection Prevention, 10, 143-147.

Brown C and Lilford RJ (2008). ‘Evaluating service delivery interventions to enhance patient safety’ British Medical Journal, 338, 159-163.

Brown CA and Lilford RJ (2008). ‘Selecting medical students’ British Medical Journal, 336, 786.

Brown CA, Sohani SB, Khan K, Lilford R and Mukhwana W (2008). ‘Antenatal care and perinatal outcomes in Kwale district, Kenya’ BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 8:2 (10 January 2008).

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