Roundtable On Qualitative Dissertation Research: Learning From Doctoral Student Peers
Format. This roundtable includes a session organizer and a moderator, both senior faculty members with multiple years of experience supervising qualitative and mixed-methods dissertations. It also includes “questioners” who are doctoral students in the early years of a doctoral program and “responders,” doctoral students in the later stages of their qualitative dissertations.* The roundtable organizer will introduce the session purpose and goals, and introduce participants. Responders will prepare and present brief 5-minute remarks to specific questions that have been identified in advance of the roundtable session; questions are asked aloud by the questioners. Prepared remarks are meant to generate conversation with the audience, which we envision will include a mix of doctoral students and faculty across universities. Each questioner will be responsible for one domain topic (see below), and will address questions to two responders. Questioners may ask follow-up questions in response to responder remarks. The moderator will help facilitate discussion, incorporating audience questions and comments throughout the duration of the session. In the final portion of the roundtable, the moderator will facilitate discussion of next steps to move the conversation forward beyond SSWR. Possibilities may include the formation of on-line discussion groups for trouble shooting dissertation challenges, to provide support, or to post announcements about trainings and other forums related to qualitative research; mentorship models within and across universities; and future SSWR presentations addressing issues in greater depth or new issues not addressed in this roundtable.
Domain 1. Preparing for the Qualitative or Mixed-Methods Dissertation: This domain will address pre-dissertation preparation to conduct qualitative and mixed-methods research, arriving at an appropriate question, considerations of epistemological approach and method selection.
Domain 2. Special Challenges In and Out of the Field: This domain will address challenges to conducting qualitative and mixed-methods research including: IRB considerations, site selection and sample recruitment, moving from data to findings, and from findings to theory. This domain will also address support to deal with emotional challenges resulting from the intensity of researcher-participant relationships, subjectivity of experience, and other field-related issues.
Domain 3. Presenting and Disseminating Qualitative and Mixed-Methods Findings: This domain will address diverse approaches to oral and written presentation of qualitative and mixed-methods findings, venues for publishing, and ways to educate audiences about the purposes and uses of qualitative and mixed-methods social work research.
*Organizer, moderator, and doctoral students participated in the development of this roundtable and have confirmed their availability for participation.