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CIRA Qualitative Research Discussion Group (QRDG): "Building the Next Generation of Qualitative Researchers: The NIH R15 & Beyond"

Talk Description:

In this session, we will discuss the challenges and rewards of working with teams of undergraduates on qualitative research projects. Ideas for harnessing the power of this student workforce will be explored. Dr. Smoyer's current R15 project will serve as a case study for the design of this type of research/teaching project. Tools of engagement will be described and input about managing student teams, specifically Generation Z in a post-COVID world, will be solicited.

Amy Smoyer, Southern Connecticut State University:

Dr. Smoyer is an Associate Professor of Social Work who teaches research methods and macro social work and coordinates the undergraduate program. Her program of research examines women's lived experience of incarceration and the impact of this experience on health outcomes related to HIV care and prevention, food justice, bladder health, housing stability, and psychosocial wellness. Amy facilitates a weekly support group for HIV-positive women in CT's York Correctional Institution and is a member of New Haven’s Women’s Resettlement Working Group.

QRDG Overview:

The goal of the Qualitative Research Discussion Group (QRDG) is to provide opportunities for individuals involved in qualitative or mixed-methods research to meet regularly to discuss the qualitative research process and potentially problem-solve issues that may arise when engaged in qualitative research. Discussion topics include, but are not limited to: logistics, data management, analysis, dissemination, role of the researcher, and ethics. It is intended as a venue for discussing research in progress and new or relevant literature on qualitative methods and practice as well as to create networking opportunities and foster research collaborations. CIRA's Interdisciplinary Research Methods (IRM) Core Core member, Lauretta Grau, PhD, is coordinating the meetings. She can be reached at


  • Southern Connecticut State University

    Amy Smoyer
    Associate Professor of Social Work



Host Organization




Lectures and Seminars