Skip to main content

Qualitative Research

The Odum Institute provides ongoing consulting services and short courses on qualitative research and related software. Qualitative research is a social scientific method for collecting textual, visual, or audio data.

Consultations & Guest Lectures


If you have questions regarding research design, data collection, strategies for analysis, and options for reporting findings, please contact Paul Mihas using the information provided below. Paul can also provide consultations on deductive, inductive, and abductive perspectives that inform qualitative research.

Paul can help you through any of the stages of your project, including the early stages of developing research questions and proposal writing, such as: Designing a study, data collection, analysis, developing research products.

Paul Mihas

Assistant Director of Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research



Time permitting, Paul is also available to give guest lectures on various qualitative research topics at classes and meetings. If you would like to schedule a guest lecture on a qualitative research topic, please contact Paul Mihas directly or visit our guest lecture page.

Back to top

Qualitative Research Traditions

The Odum qualitative research consultant, Paul Mihas, can also provide resources for researchers using a specific research tradition. If you would like to discuss different approaches to qualitative analysis, he can meet with you regarding the following traditions:

  • Generic qualitative
  • Thematic qualitative research
  • Phenomenology
  • Ethnography
  • Case study
  • Narrative Analysis
  • Grounded Theory

Back to top

Mixed Methods

Paul can also assist if you are conducting a study combining or connecting qualitative and quantitative data. Please visit our mixed methods page for more information.

Back to top

Project Planning, Data Collection and Analysis

As part of a fee-based service, the Odum Institute offers project-based design and analysis using strategies customized for each project’s needs. These range from evaluation projects to multi-year research studies. Assistant Director Paul Mihas, with the assistance of graduate students, can help with:

  • Research design
  • Developing interview and focus group guides
  • Conducting data collection
  • Data analysis using specialized software
  • Final reports

Back to top

Dissertation & Master’s Thesis Assistance

If you would like Paul Mihas to provide feedback regarding a master’s thesis or dissertation proposal or draft of a chapter, please feel free to contact him at

Back to top

Qualitative Data Analysis Software

The Odum Institute provides specialized computer programs that provide tools for mixed methods analyses; these include QSR NVivo, ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA, and a web-based program, Dedoose.

Odum offers short courses on these programs as well as consultations regarding their use. Please see the current Institute short course schedule or contact Paul Mihas to arrange a customized presentation for graduate or undergraduate classes or other special audiences.

QRS NVivo is a software program for coding and analyzing textual and multimedia data. It also allows researchers to construct diagrams (“mind maps” and “concept maps”) of codes and transcripts and automatically generates comparison diagrams to assess differences between codes or transcripts.

Its analytical strengths include:

  • Cluster analysis of transcripts and multidimensional matrix analysis of codes
  • Quantitative variables for “mixing” quantitative and qualitative data.

ATLAS.ti, a program for analyzing textual and multimedia data, allows users to analyze data based on codes and analytical memos. The software also allows users to create diagrams of transcripts, quotations, memos, and codes and to create links between these “objects” in diagrams.

The query tool lets users ask complex questions of their data, including Boolean searches or queries based on demographics. A co-occurrence table allows researchers to review conceptual intersections of codes. A joint-display matrix allows users to combine qualitative codes and quantitative variables.

MAXQDA is a qualitative analysis software package that helps researchers code textual, audio, or video data and analyze coded segments.

The software also allows users to merge qualitative and quantitative analysis by exporting and importing variables to and from SPSS and Excel. The software includes a mixed methods set of tools for generating tables that “mix” the qualitative codes and quantitative variables. A memo-writing feature allows users to add reflective writing to their analytic process.

A content analysis feature allows researchers to create a special dictionary of keywords. Intercoder reliability features are also available.

Dedoose is a web-based application for analyzing qualitative and mixed methods research with text, images, audio, videos, and spreadsheet data. The program provides numerous user-friendly charts for making sense of mixed methods studies.

Back to top

Learning Opportunities


The Odum Institute has joined ResearchTalk, Inc., in presenting the Qualitative Research Summer Intensive, a five-day qualitative research professional development course series, offered annually in July. The intensive includes courses on qualitative traditions, research design, data collection, analysis, and innovative strategies in the field.

Back to top

Examples & Resources

Consultants at the Odum Institute have authored several online articles regarding specific qualitative methods. For more information, please visit the Sage website regarding learning to use:

Grounded Theory

Phenomenological Analysis

Analyze Written Text

Narrative Analysis

Build a Codebook

Charmazian Grounded Theory

Visual Analysis

Analyze Oral Discourse

Instrument Development

The Qualitative Research Resources Page from the UNC Health Sciences Library is also an excellent resource for information on qualitative research methods.

Back to top