Qualitative research trainings inspired by a positive deviance approach

Lauren Roach

MPH, Maternal & Child Health

Jamie Stang, Zobeida Bonilla, Katherine Arlinghaus, Sara Benning

Jamie Stang

Qualitative research; research in practice


Qualitative research shines at the Bright Spots Qualitative Methods Mini-Lab. The Mini-Lab–a
collaboration between the Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health and
the Leadership Education and Training (LET) Program in MCH Nutrition–offers free, live virtual
workshops on a variety of qualitative research methods and computer-assisted qualitative data
analysis software. These trainings are open to the public and have introduced over 320
students, faculty, and community members, from as far as Hawaii and India, to qualitative
research topics such as coding, codebook development, positive deviance, online focus groups,
citizen science research, storytelling, ripple effects mapping, photovoice, and more. In session
evaluations, participants described Mini-Lab training as “very instructive,” “unmatched,” and
“exceeded my expectations” because the training opportunities help develop and strengthen
vital research and evaluation skills. With the increased attention in public health to asset-based
research, the Mini-Lab fills a training gap by capturing important insights of the lived
experiences of individuals and communities related to health, illness, and well-being which are
crucial for advancing public health research and practice. The Mini-Lab facilitates and fosters
this level of community engaged scholarship because it not only provides training in mixed
methods practices but also professional consultations on positive deviance research, and
resources for conducting and completing projects. Recent examples include graduate
student-led research and evaluation projects and collaborations with the Minnesota Department
of Health, Extension, and publication of a positive deviance research study by faculty and


Center for Leadership Education in Maternal and Child Public Health; LET Program in MCH Nutrition

Research day poster Lauren Roach

View Poster (PDF)

© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement