Spring Seminar Series 2022

Using Qualitative Inquiry to Contribute to Social Justice

Rashawn Ray, April 27-28

Implementation Research: Using Qualitative Research Methods to Improve Policy and Practice

Alison Hamilton, May 12-13

Rapid Turn-Around Qualitative Research

Alison Hamilton, May 23

“Being” a Qualitative Researcher

Mark Vagle, June 14-15

Courses offered exclusively in online format

Online Seminar Details

Courses with Rashawn Ray and Alison Hamilton:

Dr. Ray and Dr. Hamilton are each teaching qualitative topics at our Spring Qualitative Inquiry Seminars that are available as either stand-alone courses or as part of a 2-part sequence with courses offered at our 2022 Qualitative Research Summer Intensive. For details and registration information for the QRSI courses, visit the QRSI page.

Rashawn Ray’s Qualitative Inquiry in Social Justice sequence:

  • Spring Seminar – Using Qualitative Inquiry to Contribute to Social Justice
    • Course dates: April 27-28
  • Optional QRSI Course – End Game: Using Qualitative Data to Maximize Social Justice Research in Policy and Media
    • Course dates: July 28-29

Alison Hamilton’s Implementation Research sequence:

  • Spring Seminar – Implementation Research: Using Qualitative Research Methods to Improve Policy and Practice
    • Course dates: May 12-13
  • Optional QRSI Course – Applying Qualitative Methods in Implementation Research: Developments and Innovations
    • Course dates: August 3-4

Alison Hamilton’s Rapid Qualitative Research sequence:

  • Spring Seminar – Rapid Turn-Around Qualitative Research
    • Course date: May 23
  • Optional QRSI Course – Innovations in Rapid Turn-around Qualitative Research
    • Course dates: July 28-29

Course with Mark Vagle:
“Being” a Qualitative Researcher
Scholar: Mark Vagle
Dates: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14 and 15

This 2-day workshop focuses on the tending to self that is necessary in order to continuously engage the process of “being” a qualitative researcher.

Course Descriptions

Scholars: Rashawn Ray

Dates: Wednesday-Thursday, April 27-28

Social scientists are trained to illuminate social problems, but rarely are we trained to identify potential policy prescriptions for the problems that we highlight. This situation is beginning to change as social scientists increasingly aim to contribute to social justice by helping to shape interventions useful to local, state, and federal stakeholders. We can use qualitative research via stories, first-person accounts, in-depth interviews, content analysis, and observations to draw attention to underlying mechanisms that define social problems.  Once uncovered, deeper understanding of these mechanisms can guide large-scale surveys, direct responses to requests for proposals by private foundations and government agencies, inform policy briefs, and even influence new legislation. In this regard, it is important for qualitative researchers to think beyond simply highlighting problems in order to also develop skills that leverage our work in ways that more directly impact people’s everyday lives.

We will discuss qualitative processes to better position course participants in their efforts to design and collect data specifically aimed at contributing directly to social justice. Three timely issues—obesity, racial disparities in policing, and men’s treatment of women—will be paralleled throughout the course as examples of how decision-making across the methodological life of a qualitative project can be leveraged to address social problems.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Topic decision making: What part(s) of the social problem can and should be studied?
  • Choosing participants: Who should the participants be? How will you gain access?
  • Designing data collection strategies: For research on sensitive topics, how do you shape data collection guides? How do you obtain IRB approval?  Which research methods and procedures are most ethical, efficient, and effective?
  • Developing an analysis plan: How can you capture the holistic stories of participants’ experiences?
  • Disseminating results: How can you develop convincing arguments regarding policy and practice?
  • Planning and implementing interventions: How can findings be used to inform interventions and policy prescriptions?

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Date: Thursday-Friday, May 12-13

Implementation research aims to integrate research findings into practice and policy.  In order to improve the quality and effectiveness of routine practice, implementation researchers collect qualitative data about the everyday behaviors and beliefs of practitioners and other professionals, stakeholders, and recipients of services.  During data collection, special attention is paid to factors that both facilitate and impede effective execution and implementation of programs and service delivery. The end goal is typically to increase the likelihood of uptake, adoption, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based practices.

To provide foundational knowledge and skill to help facilitate your own work, the course walks through critical components of building and carrying out an implementation research project:

  • Developing appropriate implementation research questions and specific aims
  • Determining when, why and how to apply conceptual models
  • Strategizing about study design
  • Selecting appropriate, feasible qualitative data collection methods
  • Executing qualitative analytic strategies
  • Generating timely, impactful implementation research products

The application of methodological concepts will be illustrated via examples from implementation research in the context of varied settings such as healthcare organizations, educational institutions, and communities.

Participants will be provided with materials and bibliographies to support the practice of qualitative methods in implementation research. The course will draw on material from the National Cancer Institute white paper on which Dr. Hamilton is an author: https://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/IS/docs/NCI-DCCPS-ImplementationScience-WhitePaper.pdf and from:

Hamilton, A., Finley, E. (2019). Qualitative Methods in Implementation Research: An Introduction. Psychiatry Research, Oct; 280:112516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112516

Scholar: Alison Hamilton

Date: Monday, May 23

Rapid turn-around qualitative research depends on strategic decision-making to make data collection and analysis feasible without compromising depth of inquiry. In this vein, we build skills for being responsive to what is happening in the field—emphasizing methodological flexibility and remaining attentive to opportunities for emergent discovery. To excel at these projects, researchers must not only understand how to gain timely access to relevant settings and populations, they must also efficiently document the evolution of data collection and analysis. This serves as a bridge to preparing research products for different types of stakeholders throughout the life cycle of a project.

This course will provide participants with resources for building the foundational qualitative knowledge necessary for this work as well as strategies and tools for increasing methodological flexibility and managing the rigor of data collection and analysis.

Scholar: Mark Vagle

Date: Tuesday and Wednesday, June 14 and 15

As qualitative researchers know, much of our work is about process. From start to finish, we are asked to pay attention to what we know, assume, and perceive, and make assertions that stay “true” to our data. We must be both planful and open to shifts and changes. We must interpret and tend to how our positionalities influence these interpretations. We must accept the limitations of language and turn around and use this same language in order to clearly and cogently communicate our findings. We must be comfortable with both the concrete and the ambiguous. The list goes on—as does the need, therefore, to tend to ourselves throughout these often-competing processes.

This 2-day workshop focuses on the tending to self that is necessary in order to continuously engage the process of “being” a qualitative researcher. We begin, on Day 1, by learning about the foundations for Vagle’s 5 principles for everyday contemplation—which 1) focus much less on WHAT and much more on WHY and HOW, and 2) involve Mind, Body, Philosophy, Energy, and Spirit. We conclude Day 1 by learning about the 5 principles: 

  1. Phenomena are Always in Flux. There is Never Nothing Going On.
  2. Contexts Constantly Shape and Re-Shape Phenomena
  3. Slow Down, To Open Up
  4. Look at What We Usually Look Through
  5. See What Frames Our Seeing

In preparation for Day 2, we will each identify a challenging phenomenon we face in the process of “being” a qualitative researcher. On Day 2, we will work the 5 principles on our phenomenon. This work will integrate mind, body, philosophy, energy, and spirit. Although participants do not need to have a background in yoga and meditative practices, we will be learning and using yoga poses and postures and will be doing breath-work throughout both days.

Participants are not required to turn on their cameras, and will be reminded of this throughout the workshop.

Scholar Bios

Alison B. Hamilton, Ph.D., M.P.H., a VA Research Career Scientist and Professor-in-Residence in the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, received her Ph.D. in medical and psychological anthropology from UCLA in 2002, and her M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences from UCLA in 2009.

Dr. Hamilton is the Director of the VA-funded EMPOWER (Enhancing Mental and Physical Health of Women through Engagement and Retention) Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI), focused on improving women Veterans’ health and health care through implementation science. She is the Chief Officer of Implementation & Policy at the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation and Policy at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, specializing in women Veterans’ health, mental health services research, and implementation science. She is also PI of a large-scale NIH study of enhancing organizational and individual readiness to address cardiovascular risk among individuals living with HIV. She was a fellow in the inaugural cohort of the NIMH/VA Implementation Research Institute and she serves as an Associate Editor for Implementation Science Communications and on the editorial boards of Implementation Science (BMC), Women’s Health Issues (Elsevier), and Implementation Research and Practice (Sage).

Dr. Hamilton has been a consultant with ResearchTalk for over 20 years, providing direct support to clients as well as serving as faculty for several of the Qualitative Research Summer Intensives and mentor at ResearchTalk’s Qualitative Methods Camps. At recent Intensives, she has taught courses on qualitative methods in implementation research, rapid qualitative research methods, qualitative grant-writing, qualitative interviewing, integrated mixed methods research, and enhancing the usefulness of qualitative research. Dr. Hamilton is a co-author on a recently published article that provides an overview of the Sort and Sift approach: “Sort and Sift, Think and Shift: Let the Data Be Your Guide: An Applied Approach to Working with, Learning from, and Privileging Qualitative Data” (https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol26/iss6/20/). She is also a co-author on Dr. Ray Maietta’s Sort and Sift, Think and Shift (forthcoming, Guilford).

Dr. Rashawn Ray is a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. He is also a Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research (LASSR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is one of the co-editors of Contexts Magazine: Sociology for the Public. Formerly, Ray was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Research Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and he currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for the RWJF Health Policy Research Scholars Program.

Ray regularly testifies at the federal and state levels on racial equity, policing and criminal justice reform, health policy, wealth, and family policy. Ray has published over 50 books, articles, and book chapters, and roughly 50 op-eds. He has written for Washington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, Newsweek, NBC News, The Guardian, The Hill, Huffington Post, The Conversation, and Public Radio International. Ray has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, BBC, CBS, C-Span, PBS, NPR, HLN, and Al Jazeera. His research is cited in Washington Post, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Root, and The Chronicle. Previously, Ray served on the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington Planning Committee and the Commission on Racial Justice with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Ray’s research addresses the mechanisms that manufacture and maintain racial and social inequality with a particular focus on police-civilian relations and men’s treatment of women. His work also speaks to ways that inequality may be attenuated through racial uplift activism and social policy. His academic articles have appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, Science Advances, Social Science Research, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Du Bois Review, and the Annual Review of Public Health. Ray’s books include How Families Matter: Simply Complicated Intersections of Race, Gender, and Work (with Pamela Braboy Jackson) and Race and Ethnic Relations in the 21st Century: History, Theory, Institutions, and Policy, which has been adopted over 40 times in college courses. He is on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @SociologistRay.

As a ResearchTalk scholar, Ray has taught at QRSI and other ResearchTalk professional development events. He has also served as a consultant on ResearchTalk client projects.

Mark D. Vagle is Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. He has written extensively on phenomenological and qualitative research in journals such as Qualitative InquiryThe International Journal of Qualitative Studies in EducationThe Journal of Curriculum StudiesCultural Studies—Critical MethodologiesField Methods, and Teaching Education, and regularly teaches university courses, leads professional workshops, and is invited to lecture nationally and internationally on the subject. Building off the success of his award-winning first edition, his second edition of Crafting Phenomenological Research (2018, Routledge) continues to be the leading resource for those interested in a concise introduction to phenomenological research in education and the social sciences. Currently, Vagle is using his conception of post-intentional phenomenology to critically examine various ways in which issues related to social class take concrete (lived) shape in the curriculum and pedagogies of elementary education. He is currently working on his next book, Post-Intentional Phenomenological Research for Social Change.

Daily Schedule for All Courses

Course running 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM Eastern:

Courses running 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern:

Registration and Pricing

Using Qualitative Inquiry to Contribute to Social Justice, April 27-28

Early Registration

Standard Registration

Implementation Research: Using Qualitative Research Methods to Improve Policy and Practice, May 12-13

Early Registration

Standard Registration

Rapid Turn-Around Qualitative Research, May 23

Early Registration

Standard Registration

“Being” a Qualitative Researcher, June 14-15

Early Registration

Standard Registration

Registration Notes