The Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research ( ‘CQ’) is a teaching and research unit based at the University of Toronto that functions as an intellectual ‘home’ and resource for critical qualitative researchers in the health research community in the university and its affiliated research institutes, and in other research settings in Canada and internationally.
The Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (‘CQ’) is an extra departmental unit based at the University of Toronto. CQ functions as an intellectual ‘home’ and resource for critical qualitative researchers in the health research community at the university and its affiliated research institutes and in other research settings in Canada and internationally. Watch the video above for an overview of our history or read the transcript here.
Pre EDU-C, 2009-2016
CQ was jointly founded in 2009 by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the University of Toronto. Its creation built on the acumen of over 15 years of “QUIG” (Qualitative Inquiry Group), an informal collective of faculty and students engaged in qualitative research across the health-related sciences at the University of Toronto. QUIG was originally established by Dr. Joan Eakin within the former Department of Behavioural Science in the Faculty of Medicine (one of the departments merged into what eventually become the School of Public Health.)
In 2009, the transformation of QUIG (Qualitative Inquiry Group) into the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research (CQ) marked its entry into a new stage in which it became more deliberately structured and supported in order to sustain activities, engage in new undertakings, take advantage of and meet demands of the high interest in qualitative inquiry in the health research field, grow internationally, and ensure the continuity of the organization beyond its current dependence on particular individual faculty. From 2009-2016 CQ was co-sponsored by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) and the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing (LSBFON). In March 2016, CQ started the process for Extra-Departmental Unit C (EDU-C) status at the University of Toronto.
Transition to EDU-C (July 1st, 2016)
CQ holds Extra-Departmental Unit C (EDU-C) status as of July 1st, 2016. The Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) became the lead Faculty for CQ as an EDU-C and assumes active administrative and budgetary responsibility for the unit. The Centre does not hold any faculty budgetary appointments and any form of funding will be administered through the DLSPH. As of June 2016, CQ is no longer co-sponsored by LSBFON which remains a contributing partner.
In line with the existing Guidelines on Extra-Departmental Units, the Centre is a multidisciplinary unit designed to foster interdisciplinary research and scholarship promoting the development, teaching, and practice of critical qualitative research in the health field.
CQ’s Impact 2009-2013
In 2013, CQ prepared a report of its contributions to the field of qualitative health research and training during its first four years, from 2009 to 2013.
Gastaldo, D., Markoulakis, R., Howse, D., & Gladstone, B. (2013). The Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research 2009-2013: Appraisal of contributions to teaching and research. University of Toronto.
The Director of CQ, Dr. Brenda Gladstone, is the former Associate Director of CQ (2016-2018) and an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, where she teaches Foundations of Qualitative Inquiry (CHL 5131) and the compulsory CQ certificate course Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation (CHL 5115). At CQ, she has been the leader of our community of practice for methodological innovation, including projects on arts-based approaches to qualitative health research (QHR) and participatory approaches to engage children and youth in the research process. Dr. Gladstone’s expertise on qualitative methodologies applied to sociology of childhood and sociology of mental health and illness have been acknowledged internationally, most notably as a Visiting Scholar in Australia and Norway. Presently, she is working with Austrian and Norwegian colleagues in an innovative project adopting open innovation in science (OIS) principles to establish research priorities in children’s mental health and examine the methodological implications of this approach to citizen science, as well as promoting the advancement of QHR graduate education in countries such as Australia, Norway and Brazil.
From 2014 to 2018, Dr. Denise Gastaldo served as Director of CQ.
From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Joan Eakin, now Professor Emerita in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, was the founding director.
CQ is an extra-departmental unit located in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Several other health sciences faculties and departments at the University of Toronto make financial or in-kind contributions towards supporting CQ’s research and educational activities. Since 2016, these partners include:
- The Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work
- The Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education
- Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
- Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
- Rehabilitation Sciences Institute
CQ’s Advisory Board provides oversight and guidance to the director regarding 1) the needs of the qualitative research community and the health sciences academic community and 2) initiatives to enhance the Centre’s contribution to research and education. Board members in 2017-2018 included: Dr. Ellen MacEachen (University of Waterloo), Dr. Eric Mykhalovskiy (York University), and Dr. Heather Boon (Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto). Adjunct fellows Dr. Azucena Pedraz Marcos (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) and Dr. Alex Branco Fraga (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) joined the CQ advisory board to add an international perspective in May of 2018.
The centre acknowledges contributions from the previous members of the Advisory Board: Dr. Mathieu Albert of The Wilson Centre (until 2017), Jessica Polzer, University of Western Ontario (2012-2014), Brian Hodges, Wilson Centre, University of Toronto (2010-2012), Katherine Boydell (Hospital for Sick Children).