Clinician Educator Incubator

The Clinician Educator Incubator is a professional development programme for clinicians engaged in health professions education, with a focus on the critical care specialties in the Australia and New Zealand setting. This one year programme enrols participants into a mentored digital community of practice.

If you are a clinician who wants to develop as a scholarly educator, apply best practices and innovations to health professions education, and help lead critical care education in the 21st century, we invite you to work with us and join our community.

Participants are chosen for their demonstrated commitment to health professions education and their potential to develop as Clinician Educators. Through collaboration and mentorship they will develop their expertise and engage in education projects that will benefit our community of educators, our learners, and ultimately help improve patient care.

We are indebted to the creators and faculty of the ALiEM Faculty Incubator project for their inspiration, support, and generosity in sharing resources in the development of the Clinician Educator Incubator.

Applications for the 2024 Incubator are about to open! Complete the 2024 Incubator Expression of Interest form to start the application process. EOIs close February 2nd 2024. Read on below for more information.

Goals of the Clinician Educator Incubator

  1. To create an interprofessional virtual community of critical care Clinician Educators
  2. To grow a living professional network of collaborators and mentors that continues beyond the year long programme
  3. To provide participants with a core foundation in education theory and learning science, curriculum development, teaching best practices, assessment, and programme evaluation
  4. To translate learning into practice through reflection, collaboration, coaching, and contextual application

How participants will learn

The programme takes a social constructivist approach, emphasising that learning is collaborative, contextual, builds on prior knowledge, and involves self-directed elements. There are no exams or tests. Assessment is used for learning, and involves reflective exercises, peer review and feedback, engagement in topic discussions, and completion of small projects and scholarly activities.

Learners will have direct access to health professions educators with diverse experience and expertise, including internationally recognised leaders in their fields. Each month we discuss different topics critical to 21st century health professions education, tackle a monthly challenge project, develop a year-long collaborative scholarship project, virtually meet with our mentors and peer collaborators, and take advantage of other opportunities in critical care education.

Topics and timeline

0Mar 2024Orientation
1AprClinician Educators, Scholarship and the Digital Age
2MayEducation Theory and Learning Science
3JunTeaching Techniques I
4JulEducation Research and Critical Reading
5SepCurriculum Development
7NovProgramme Evaluation and Quality

8Jan 2025Teaching Techniques II
9FebEducation Leadership and Change

Our platform

Slack is a digital communication application used by many major companies (even NASA!). It has served successfully for both the ALiEM Faculty Incubator and in the Clinician Educator Incubator since 2020. Slack transforms how teams work, saves your email inbox from being overfilled, and is “platform agnostic” in that it can be used via a web browser or as an app on your laptop or phone. We will use a private Slack workspace to communicate, collaborate, and work together. 

Face-to-face meetings

Clinician Educator Unconferences may be held periodically in Australia and New Zealand and Incubator participants are invited to attend. These participant-driven events are highly interactive and tailored to the needs of the participants. There will be opportunities to bond and learn from one another, build our community, engage with key topics to address your learning needs, collaborate on projects in person, and get feedback on your work. Depending on the COVID19 pandemic situation meetings may be face-to-face or virtual.

Why participant numbers are limited

The Incubator has a limited number of places by design. The Incubator faculty is dedicated to investing in committed learners and ensuring that each participant gets the personalized attention to develop their full potential. Our goal is to develop a true, lifelong community of practice that will continue to collaborate and shape the future of critical care education for many years. Members will be part of rotating project-based small groups, as well as have personal access to leaders in the field. A smaller membership size helps ensure that every member is an active and engaged part of the community. 

Why join the Clinician Educator Incubator?

There are lots of reasons!

  • Personal access to experts and leaders from numerous clinical and non-clinical arenas
  • A year-long curriculum designed by experts in health professions education
  • Mentorship for your own health professions education projects, scholarly activities, and career development
  • Create scholarly outputs that promote health professions education in critical care
  • Join a community of practitioners who will develop and learn together, support one another, and collaborate together throughout their careers
  • Supplement other health professions education (e.g. university qualifications) with a programme and community that is focussed on creating solutions at the “coal face”, embedded in workplace learning, and is truly interprofessional in nature.

Membership cost

The cost for this year-long programme is:

  • Consultant physicians (with CPD funding): AUD $1949.95
  • Trainees/ Nursing/ Allied Health/ other health professions: AUD $449.95

Participants who are an active member of any of the Clinician Educator Incubator partner organisations (ACCCN, ANZICS, CENA, CICM, or ANZAHPE) will receive a AUD $100.00 discount on the above registration fees.

A limited number of scholarships are available to applicants that demonstrate significant need (e.g. participants from LMICs). Compare this to other faculty development courses*:

  • ALiEM Faculty Development Incubator (USD $1,800) for 12 month programme
  • Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions (USD$5,700.00) for 14 days

None of the faculty are remunerated. The purpose of the Incubator registration fee is to ensure that participants are truly committed to our Incubator programme and to develop a fund that supports education research and projects through the Intensive Care Foundation charity.

*costs of other courses may have changed since the time of writing


Preference will be given to applicants who are clinicians that are actively involved in any of the following interprofessional learning activities:

  1. clinical teaching
  2. work integrated learning activities
  3. team training 
  4. undergraduate, post graduate university educational programmes
  5. simulation-based education

Application Process

Applications for the 2024 Clinician Educator Incubator are about to open.

In order to apply for the 2024 cohort, the following materials must be submitted after completing the brief Expression of Interest Registration Form:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae (with Educator’s Portfolio, if available): This should outline specifically all the formal training and previous experiences in medical or health professions education.
  • Short form biography
    • Share with a photograph and a 500-word biography that describes your:
      • Formal and informal background in critical care clinical education
      • Intended contribution to the critical care/ health professions education community from involvement in the Incubator
      • Your intended career interests and goals development
  • Letter of Support Form completed by your departmental/ unit Director or Manager, or a recognised leader in Health Professions Education (click here to download letter template).
  • Letter for special consideration (optional) – Please include this if you feel you qualify for need-based financial assistance (do not exceed 500 words).

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2024 Clinician Educator Incubator are now open.

  • Applications close on February 2nd 2024 (midnight AEDT); applicants must complete the Expression of Interest Registration Form by this date. Applicants will receive an electronic receipt by email followed by emailed instructions for uploading their application documents within 48 hours of registering their expression of interest. All application documents needed to be uploaded by COB February 9th 2024 (AEDT).
  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the application process by email by COB on February 26th 2024 (AEDT).

Incubator Leadership Team and Faculty

Meet the Incubator Leadership team

Chris Nickson (@precordialthump) – Programme Lead

Jason Watterson

Manisa Ghani (@anzcenincubator)

Michael Purvis-Smith

Shashi Bhaskara Krishnamurthi

Toni Moylan

Meet the Incubator Faculty

Our Incubator faculty ‘dream team’, as of November 2023, includes:

Aditee Parab
Albert Chan
Alison Juers
Andrew Chow
Ange Clarke
Angela Charles
Anne Creaton
Ben Porter
Bronwyn Avard
Bruce Lister
Cameron Anderson
Chris Nickson
Claire Pickering
Derek Louey
Eduardo Kattan
Elizabeth Winson
Eric Gantwerker
Felix Ankel
Inayat Ullah Memon
Isabella Stokes (Isabella Lowe)
Jaimie Henry
Jason Watterson
Jessica Sommer
Jodie Hopkins
Josh McLarty
Julia Coull
Ken Hoffman
Kimberly Ayles
Kylie Moon
Leigh McNicol
Manisa Ghani
Margaret Bearman
Michael Purvis-Smith
Mya Cubitt
Paul Ross
Prasanna Nadarajah
Rebecca Smith
Rebecca Szabo
Sharyn Ireland
Shashi b Krishnamurthy
Sonia Baldock
Suneth Jayasekara
Tamishta Hensman
Therese Jacques
Todd Fraser
Toni Moylan
Victor Lee
Yolanda Coleman

The Clinician Educator Incubator was developed by members of the following partner organisations:

  • Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN)
  • Australian and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE)
  • Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS)
  • College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (ACEN)
  • College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (CICM)

Any proceeds from the Clinician Educator Incubator are donated to the Intensive Care Foundation charity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I’m a clinician but I don’t work in critical care, can I  still apply?

Yes! … and what is critical care, anyway? 

Here is Peter Safar’s 1974 definition:

We have defined “critical care medicine” as the triad of 1) resuscitation, 2) emergency care for life-threatening conditions, and 3) intensive care; including all components of the emergency and critical care medicine delivery system, prehospital and hospital.

Our clinical focus is on critical care, given the backgrounds of the faculty and the driving purpose of the Incubator. However, many of the challenges and opportunities of health professions education and the role of the Clinician Educator are shared across clinical specialities. Furthermore, like any complex problem, health professions education benefits from diverse views and perspectives. As such, we believe professionals from beyond critical care can enhance our community and benefit from participation. 

2. What is a Clinician Educator exactly?

Good question!

The Incubator aims to promote the role of Clinician Educators and help individuals develop themselves in this role. Based on the work of Sherbino, Frank, and Snell (2014), we view the key tasks of the Clinician Educator as (1) maintain clinical expertise, (2) provide best practice education and teaching, (3) engage in education scholarship and/or research, and (4) engage in, or consult on, education programme leadership, design and improvement.

A Clinician Educator can be from any health profession. It is distinct from a Clinical Educator who we view as an educator that provides clinical teaching and learning opportunities.

Sherbino J, Frank JR, Snell L. Defining the key roles and competencies of the clinician-educator of the 21st century: a national mixed-methods study. Acad Med. 2014;89(5):783-9.

3. What is the Incubator community and the ANZ Intensive Care Foundation?

The Clinician Educator Incubator has grown from an informal network of educators (previously known as “ANZCEN”: Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network), primarily with an interprofessional critical care focus, promoting the development of the Clinician Educator role and education best practices.

The Intensive Care Foundation is the major charity for critical care in Australia and New Zealand. The Intensive Care Foundation is dedicated to improving the care of critically ill patients, through funding vital research and education projects.

4. Why build this Incubator? Aren’t there enough health professions education courses already?

There are many courses and qualifications that help provide the foundations of health professions education. However, opportunities are often limited for longitudinal mentorship, especially outside one’s own institution and beyond the ivory towers. More than most courses the Incubator is contextually grounded, in that everything is discussed through the lens of the workplace and participants will collaborate with the colleagues who they will continue to work with throughout their careers. Thus, the Incubator can supplement other qualifications (e.g. University-based courses) and provide a testing ground for clinicians who may go onto further health professions education qualifications in the future.

Finally, we look to the success of the ANZICS Clinical Trial Group as an example of a group of enthusiasts who have shared resources, engaged with experts, and bootstrapped themselves into a community of world class research practitioners over many years. We believe we can do the same for Clinician Educators by taking advantage of the opportunities of the Digital Age.

5. How much protected time should participants allocate to Incubator activities? 

We recommend that participants allocate a minimum of 12 hours per month to Incubator activities. Participation in the Incubator requires a significant commitment. However, the time required for individuals will likely vary according to prior knowledge and experience, and proficiency with the platforms used. As with any learning activity, the more you put in the more you will get out. Self-directed learning is a key component of the Incubator, and numerous additional learning resources are suggested each month – however, it is impossible to read/ review all of them… you will need to be selective according to your learning needs and the Incubator community will help you.

6. I am studying for another qualification, or will be away for a couple of months, can I join the Incubator?

If you are a trainee and have significant commitments that overlap with the Incubator time schedule (e.g. impending Fellowship exams) we suggest you wait and join a future Incubator programme once your other commitments are out of the way. Similarly, with other anticipated major life events that will mean you need to take a significant amount of time out. The primary reason for this is that completion of the Incubator programme requires active collaboration in a longitudinal group project over the 12 month period, so a significant break in the middle of the programme will prevent participants – and their collaborators – from getting the most out of the experience. However, we know that “life happens” so if you enrol and then need time out or face other challenges, we will support you to find solutions and get the most out of the Incubator.

If you are engaged in completing a postgraduate health professions education qualification you will likely find the Incubator programme complementary to your studies. Some assignments may be able to be used for both programmes, though you will need to ensure that any work submitted for a formal qualification meets the course requirements (e.g. intellectual property requirements). The Incubator will add contextual relevance, networking, and an active community of practice to your qualification.

7. Can you do a podcast describing the Clinician Educator Incubator and what it is all about?

Done already! Have a listen to Todd Fraser’s 2024 interview with Chris Nickson about the Clinician Educator Incubator programme on the Osler Podcast.

8. Is there any research studying the benefits of the Clinician Educator Incubator?

Yes! Manisa Ghani and colleagues used a mixed methods approach to study how the Clinician Educator Incubator creates value. There were 4 key themes from the study: (1) Experience of affirmation, (2) A sense of belonging, (3) Getting new ideas, and (4) Reframing view one education.

Ghani M, Cooper-Ioelu P, Jowsey T. Measuring the added value of virtual communities of practice for developing the educator role of critical care professionals. BMJ Open Quality 2024;13:e002556. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2023-002556

9. OK, I want to apply. How do I make my application as strong as possible to increase my chance of being selected?

Selection of participants is a competitive process due to the limited number of places in the Incubator. Possible ways to strengthen your applications include:

  • Develop your Educator’s portfolio to accompany your Curriculum Vitae, including evidence of reflective practice.
  • Complete further qualifications in health professions education and/or obtain a defined education role in your workplace.
  • Provide meaningful contributions to scholarly education projects.
  • Emphasise your intended contribution to the critical care/ education community and how your career interests and goals development is aligned with the Incubator.
  • Ensure you have the strongest possible letter of support.
  • Ensure the application arrives before the closing date for applications.

The Incubator selection committee uses pre-defined criteria to assess applications to try to ensure:

  • Preparedness and commitment of participants to actively participate in the Incubator and make a meaningful contribution
  • Benefit from participant involvement in the community, in terms of their personal development as well future contribution to health professions education and the Incubator community
  • Progress is made toward equity, both in terms of the diversity of participants and their likely future contributions to health professions education

10. I need more information, who do I contact?

If you have questions please contact us via this email address: [email protected]. We are happy to help!