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Dr Samantha Hibbitts

Dr Samantha Hibbitts

Reader

School of Medicine

Email
hibbittssj@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
UHW Main Building
Comment
Media commentator

Overview

School of Medicine

I am a Reader based in the School of Medicine involved in Medical Education & supporting the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) strategy & activities with actions that focus on undergraduate and postgraduate students, early stage career researchers, key transition points for academic staff, all staff career development, flexible working and managing career breaks, organization and culture and raising awareness of EDI.

Biography

I attained a First Class BSc (Hons) degree in Molecular Genetics in Biotechnology at Sussex University with a year in industry at DowElanco. I then completed a PhD on HIV-1 tissue variation & cell tropism at University College of London before moving to Cardiff University for my first early career researcher post in the Department of Medical Microbiology developing real-time molecular assays for the detection of respiratory viruses.

I was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology where my research focus changed to HPV infection & cancer looking at epidemiology & impact of the HPV vaccination programme on cervical screening programmes & I was later promoted to Senior Lecturer based on Excellence in Research.

In 2013, I moved to the Centre for Medical Education taking a leadership role in the medical curriculum as Director of the Student Selected Component.

In 2016, I was appointed as the Sub-Dean of EDI in the School of Medicine with four key aims:

  1. To support, develop & promote EDI in practice.
  2. To advance gender parity in career development.
  3. To eliminate all forms of discrimination, harassment & victimisation.
  4. To develop a sustainable positive working environment and culture based upon dignity, courtesy & respect.

From July 2018 to June 2021, I was appointed as the Dean of EDI for the University in the Vice Chancellor Office.

I led development and delivery of the University’s EDI strategy and activities which included:

  • Promoting individual and collective contribution to the advancement of EDI across the University.
  • Implementing the vision to become a University that delivers equal pay, fair treatment and opportunity for all and creates an open and inclusive community which encourages diversity.
  • Shaping the strategic development and provide academic leadership to the delivery of the University Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024 (SEP).
  • Working with Staff Equality Networks, Student Union and Trade Unions to identify and implement relevant activities.
  • Chairing the EDI contacts group with representatives from all Schools across the University.
  • Working on the promotion and advancement of EDI in relation to the student experience with the PVC Student Experience and Academic Standards and Students’ Union. Work included a focus on the BAME awarding gap within the University, benchmarking to the sector and developing ten recommendations for change with a Senior Staff Engagement Project: An Active Approach to Race Equality.
  • Delivery & monitoring progress against the Athena SWAN University action plan in support of gender equality.
  • Supporting EDI within the Research Excellence Framework including training to promote an inclusive research culture, equality impact assessments and chair of the individual circumstances group.
  • Representing the interests of the University on internal and external committees/working groups e.g. Collaboration with the EHRC on the recent work into racial harassment in the HE sector with Cardiff recognized as having a promising approach with the Race Equality Supervisory Panel.
  • Being a high profile champion facilitating widespread visibility and accessibility of the University's values, vision and specific activities to progress EDI through active engagement directly with staff and students. 

Outside work, I qualified as a yoga teacher & have been guiding a number of different classes designed to relax & unwind, promote flexibility & strengthen. Also enjoy lots of walking outdoors with the dogs, particularly mountains & beaches.

Honours and awards

May 2019: Enriching Student Life Awards: Vice Chancellor’s Award for Commitment to Student Experience 

Nov 2018: Celebrating Excellence Award: School of Medicine EDI team for excellence in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

March 2016: Rising Star Award BMA Cymru

Jan 2016: Rising Star Award, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

2015-2016: Outstanding contribution award, College of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Cardiff University

2013-2014: Student Prize for Best Case Based Learning Facilitator, School of Medicine, Cardiff University

Professional memberships

  • Member of Diversity in Medicine & Health (DIMAH)
  • Member of Advance HE EDI Strategic Advisory Group
  • Member of the Medical School's Council EDI Reference Group

Publications

2019

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

  • White, P. L. and Hibbitts, S. J. 2005. Blotting techniques. In: Fuchs, J. and Podda, M. eds. Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics. New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 135-139., (10.3109/9780203997352.028)
  • White, P. L. and Hibbitts, S. J. 2005. Long distance PCR. In: Fuchs, J. and Podda, M. eds. Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics. New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 735-739., (10.3109/9780203997352.148)
  • White, P. L. and Hibbitts, S. J. 2005. Inverse PCR. In: Fuchs, J. and Podda, M. eds. Encyclopedia of Medical Genomics and Proteomics. New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 687-692., (10.3109/9780203997352.138)

2004

  • White, P. and Hibbitts, S. J. 2004. Candida Spp. In: Fuchs, J. and Podda, M. eds. Encyclopedia of Diagnostic Genomics and Proteomics. New York: Marcel Dekker, pp. 199-205.

Teaching

Case Based Learning (2013-2018)

In 2013, I was part of the first Case Based Learning (CBL) faculty responsible for delivery of small group teaching to first year medical undergraduate students in the new C21 MB BCh curriculum. I extended facilitation to first, second year and graduate entry medical students covering two semesters each academic year up until 2018 when I began the Dean of EDI role in the Vice Chancellor Office.

Student Selected Component (SSCs) Director in MB BCh (2013-2018)

My first objective as the SSC Director was to review the 5-year SSC programme, catering for 1,500 students each academic year in what was the new C21 MB BCh programme. SSCs had not been coordinated longitudinally with delivery previously in Years 1-2 led by BIOSI and Years 3-5 led by MEDIC. Developing an SSC team to support this framework we collectively aligned all five years to enable a natural progression for students to develop their skill sets and facilitate design of their own projects in a field of interest.

Personal Tutor

I have been a Personal Tutor since joining the University in Dec 2000, undertaking all current training and currently have approximately 20 personal tutees.

Research Career

My scientific research focused on HPV focused epidemiology studies to inform policy and changes to HPV vaccination and cervical screening programme delivery. I led studies in collaboration with Cervical Screening Wales to review the age women should be first invited for screening. This contributed to provision changing from age 20 to age 25 following the introduction of the HPV vaccine to avoid unnecessary treatment in young women. 

I argued in favour of a gender neutral vaccination programme in a debate published in the BMJ in 2009 highlighting the wider societal benefits of herd immunity and cost-effectiveness long-term. I contributed to research into the burden of HPV-related disease in men and following the JCVI recommendation to vaccinate boys, I was invited by the BMJ to write a follow up editorial to my original publication, highlighting the significance of this change to policy. 

My research into HPV extended Internationally with global collaborations looking into lineages of different HPV types and associated oncogenic risk worldwide.