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Research Masterclass – Thinking Like a Grounded Theorist

Research Masterclass – Thinking Like a Grounded Theorist, Professor Jane Mills and Professor Melanie Birks
12 AUG 2022
1.00 PM - 3.00 PM
Online via Zoom

Students and novice researchers embarking on a grounded theory study are often concerned about whether they will be able to think in the abstract and conceptual ways necessary for developing theory from data. The terminology itself can be overwhelming, driving those new to the methodology to seek comfort in aligning themselves with one of the seminal grounded theorists. Contrary to common belief, however, specific dedication to a particular genre or generation of grounded theory is not essential. Rather, possessing an understanding of the methods that characterize grounded theory is critical. This presentation will address elements that are essential for developing grounded theory. Embracing these elements from the outset of a study will enable the researcher to think like a grounded theorist, enhancing confidence in their ability to produce theory that is grounded in data. 


Professor Jane Mills is one of Australia’s most experienced primary health care academics having led and managed teams in both government and tertiary sectors. With a research portfolio focused on rural health, health workforce, health system strengthening and nursing education, Professor Mills is considered one of Australia’s top researchers in FOR1110 with a Scopus H-index of 22, a score judged as excellent in comparison to her peers. Since 2006 she has been the recipient of over $3.4 million in research and consultancy income including an NHMRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Primary Health Care. An internationally recognised grounded theorist, in the past decade co-authored with Professor Melanie Birks, the popular text, Grounded Theory: a practical guide has furthered the development of fundamental grounded theory methods of theoretical coding and storyline analysis. The original text has over 2000 citations and has been reprinted several times since its publication in 2011. A second edition was released in February 2015. A recipient of an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Learning and Teaching in the area of teaching research; Professor Mills has a reputation as an excellent higher degree research supervisor across a number of disciplines including public health, dentistry, nursing, midwifery, pharmacy, allied health and social work. 

Melanie Birks is the Professor of Nursing (Quality and Strategy) at James Cook University, Australia, a role which serves her passions for education, research, and nursing. Her primary focus is on the promotion of scholarship in teaching and learning in health professional education. She has extensive experience in international education, having taught in Hong Kong, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia. Her research interests are in the areas of accessibility, innovation, relevance, and quality in nursing education to ensure preparation of graduates who are industry-ready and able to make a contribution to the profession. Her commitment to research is reflected in her publication history, which includes numerous journal articles and book chapters. In addition to the previous editions of this book, she co-authored a qualitative research text for graduate students, Qualitative Methodology: A Practical Guide, with Jane Mills. Visit Melanie Birks’ website here

Please address any queries regarding this session to REDTrain