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Qualitative Methods Research Affinity Group
While quantitative data can tell researchers what has happened, qualitative methods play a key role in exploring and contextualizing the hows and whys of research. Many investigators recognize the importance of qualitative research but tend to conduct it among small research teams, without the benefit of a broader collaboration or in-depth knowledge in or experience with various methods.
The Qualitative Methods Research Affinity Group, established in July of 2017, addresses this issue by building and supporting the growing community of investigators at Children’s Hospital using qualitative and mixed methods approaches. The group’s primary focus is providing a formal framework that brings together investigators to share expertise, develop ideas, and build skills.
The Qualitative Methods Research Affinity Group also fosters collaborative efforts to expand the capability for CHOP investigators to conduct high-quality, efficient research utilizing qualitative methods. It provides a forum for educational and networking opportunities to enhance knowledge of qualitative methodologies and develop potential collaborations both within and outside the affinity group. In addition, the group supports the prioritization of resources to enhance and facilitate qualitative research and its potential application to different lines of investigation.
Also key to the affinity group’s goals are opportunities for junior faculty, fellows, and other trainees to have greater access to resources aimed at supporting the integration of qualitative methods into their research studies. For example, last year the Qualitative Methods RAG sponsored 4 spots at the Center for Public Health Initiatives Winter Institute for Qualitative Methods, and this year will be running a qualitative writing group to help a select group develop their manuscripts.