Dr McGovern is the Head of Subject in Forensic & Legal Medicine in UCD. She holds a PhD in Coroners’ Law and Death Investigation from the Department of Law in the University of Sheffield. She also holds an MA in the Medico-Ethical Aspects of the Diagnosis of Brain Death (UCD) and a Professional Diploma in University Teaching & Learning from UCD.
She is Chair of one of Ireland's first National Research Ethics Committee for Clinical Trials. She was a member and Chair of UCD's Human Science Research Ethics Committee which has oversight of all research on human participants in the university. She is a member of the Research Ethics Committee in the National Rehabilitation Hospital and a member and ethics advisor of the HSE’s Drugs Group.
She has authored reports on coroners for the Department of Justice, road safety for the Department of Transport, and on health screening for refugees and asylum seekers for the Department of Health. She has published both nationally and internationally on medical law and ethics, identifying undocumented foreign nationals, suicides, road traffic collisions, coroners’ data, and is co-author of the book Simpson’s Forensic Medicine (Irish version).
She was appointed to the UK Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians (London, Glasgow & Edinburgh) where she is the ethics advisor for the MRCP(UK) examination Scenario Editorial Committee. She is also a member of the Ethics Panel in the Irish Medical Council. She is a Board member on the Radiographer's Registration Board (RRB) in CORU.