The Academy of Educators in collaboration with the Medical Education Research Unit (MERU) offers a certificate course for educators in the Washington University School of Medicine who would like to develop their skills for education research and scholarship. The Qualitative Research Methods for Education Scholarship course will provide in-depth work in qualitative research methods, including writing research questions, planning sampling and data collection strategies, analyzing qualitative data, and writing qualitative research for publication. Scholars in the course will develop their own qualitative studies, for research, program evaluation, or other education scholarship.

Course Structure:
The sessions of the qualitative research course will address the following:

  1. Writing qualitative research questions/aims
    • Formulating good qualitative research questions/aims
    • Using qualitative methods for program evaluation
    • The role of theory in qualitative research
  2. Selecting a philosophical framework for qualitative research
    • Summary of philosophical frameworks
    • Perspectives on knowledge and the nature of reality in different philosophical frameworks
    • Implications for methods
  3. Planning sampling strategies for qualitative studies
  4. Selecting and planning data collection strategies (interviews, focus groups, observation, written documents)
  5. Qualitative data analysis part 1
    • Coding and developing a codebook (inductive coding and deductive coding)
    • Bias, reflexivity, and positionality
    • Working with partners and teams
  6. Qualitative data analysis part 2
    • Categories, themes, and relationships between themes
    • Moving toward theory
  7. Disseminating qualitative research and evaluation
    • Considering ethics and preparing IRB applications
    • Writing abstracts
    • Preparing manuscripts
  8. Final presentations

This eight-week program will take place via Zoom, meeting once per week for one to two hours in the late afternoon with independent work required between meetings.

Who may apply?
All educators (faculty, fellows, education researchers and scholars, education research assistants) in the Washington University School of Medicine & Goldfarb School of Nursing faculty.

I completed the Teaching Scholars Program (TSP). May I complete this certificate also?
Graduates of TSP are welcome to participate in this course. The focus on qualitative research methods will be more extensive in this program.

What are the prerequisites?
The most important prerequisites are interest in doing education research/ scholarship and the time to commit to 8 weekly meetings with independent study between meetings.

Who can answer questions?
Contact Dr. Janice Hanson ( with questions and to talk about possible education research/ scholarship projects.

How can I apply?
Click the below link to the application.

Program dates: To be announced

Submission Deadline: To be announced

Eligibility: All educators (faculty, fellows, education researchers and scholars, education research assistants) in the Washington University School of Medicine.

Questions: Contact Dr. Janice Hanson at

2022-2023 Qualitative Research Methods Graduates

Jessie Bricker, Instructor in Occupational Therapy

Justin Chen, Instructor in Medicine

Richard Dunham, Assistant Professor of Neurology

Sara Greer, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Jane Alyce Hunt, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Spencer Lambdin, Fellow in Pediatric Hospitalist

Kerri Ohman, Assistant Professor of Surgery

Jessica Pelletier, Fellow in Emergency Medicine

Sangami Pugazenthi, Predoctoral Trainee

Aja Sullivan, Instructor in Nursing

Jenna Thomas, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine

Marit Watson, Instructor in Occupational Therapy

John Zempel, Professor of Neurology