Introduction to Qualitative Research

July 10-July 17, 2023

Part of the Summer Institute in Innovative Methodologies

This course aims to provide a strong foundation for researchers and research consumers with limited prior exposure to the rich underpinnings of qualitative research by exploring the theory and practice of qualitative research. Participants will learn basic qualitative theory, the history and traditions of qualitative research, and possible approaches/methodologies available. They will develop an awareness of the ethical issues involved in qualitative research, their relationship to research design, and issues of subjectivity/role/access. They will also learn key data collection techniques and how to engage in different data collection methods. Participants will develop their analytical aptitude by learning common coding strategies, how to design a qualitative research database, and practicing analytic processes and interpretation of findings.


Day 1 Monday, July 10


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Introductory Session and Key Qualitative Concepts

Exercise A: Fieldwork – Observation


Day 2 Tuesday, July 11


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Discussion of the fieldwork experience, Principles of observing, and History and Philosophy of Science

Exercise B: Fieldwork – Structured Observation


Day 3 Wednesday, July 12


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Paradigms

Exercise C: Analysis of Observations

Exercise D: Fieldwork – Interviews


Day 4 – Thursday, July 13


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Discussion of the fieldwork experience,

Principles of interviewing, and Methodology – Overview


Day 5 – Friday, July 14


10:00am -1:00pm

Exercise E: Fieldwork – Interviews

Exercise F: Analysis of Interviews


Day 6 – Monday, July 17


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Methodology – Qualitative Description

Exercise G: Fieldwork – Focus Group


Day 7 – Tuesday, July 18


10:00am -1:00pm

Discussion Topic(s): Discussion of the fieldwork experience, Principles of conducting group discussions, and Development of the Focus Group Guide


Day 8 – Wednesday, July 19




Discussion Topic(s): Rigour and Reflexivity

Exercise H: Fieldwork experience – Focus Group


Day 9 – Thursday, July 20


10:00am -1:00pm

Exercise I: Analysis of the Focus Group

Exercise J: Ethics


Day 10 – Friday, July 21


10:00am - 1:00pm

Final session wrap-up discussion


Instructors and Organizers

Homa Fathi

Prospective PhD student and Research Assistant, Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences at McGill University

Profile Picture of Homa FathiHoma Fathi graduated from the Dentistry Faculty at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 2016. She joined the McGill MSc Dental Sciences program in 2019 and focused on issues related to access to oral healthcare for underserved populations, particularly people with mobility disabilities. In 2021, Homa was ranked First Place in the Senior Clinical/Pre-Clinical Research Category by Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR) and the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research (NCOHR). She also received several awards and scholarships throughout her MSc, namely a Kenneth Downes Award and a Réseau de Recherche en Santé Buccodentaire et Osseuse (RSBO) Fellowship.

Homa is currently working with Dr. Christophe Bedos on several qualitative research projects related to social activism and health advocacy, transformative learning approaches in dental education, and access to care for marginalized populations. During the past two years, she also has been a guest lecturer in various undergraduate courses at McGill Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health Sciences, including Oral Health Research (DENT 125) and Clinical Decision Making (DENT 337).


Before June 7

After June 7

Students and trainees from McGill University and its affiliated hospital

$520 CAD

$580 CAD

Applicants working or studying in low- and middle-income countries

$600 CAD

$665 CAD

Other students and trainees from high income countries who are registered at a college or university

$730 CAD

$810 CAD

All other applicants

$1,030 CAD

$1145 CAD

A 12% discount will be granted to those participating in 2 Summer Institute courses. In addition, participants of previous editions of the Summer Institute can obtain a discount of 10% on their 20212 registration. To qualify for this discount, please contact Kendra McLaughlin (kendra.mclaughlin [at]

Fees include a course package and a certificate of participation.

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