Personal profile

Research Interests

Philosophy, practice, pedagogy, phenomenology

Research Biography

I am an early career researcher with a background and special interest in community-based education. My work prioritises the experiential, the philosophical and the qualitative in our shared search for meaning. 

My current research projects...

The Community Curriculum 

This project has been approved by Flinders University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (ID 5936). Investigators: Dr Nicola Parkin (CI); Prof Claire Drummond; Kim Pearce; Rebecca Stengewis.

This research program investigates the role of the community and the rural health context in shaping and informing health professions education in South Australia, and ways that health profession students might meaningfully engage with the communities in which they are located. The program works with local community organisations to identify, build and exchange knowledge and skills that benefit both the community and the rural health curriculum, within a service learning framework. Its broad scope allows for cross-activity analysis, to yield deeper insights that might be broadly applicable.

The aims of the research are to:

  1. Build capacity in rural communities to address local health priorities
  2. Develop new models and methods of health professions education appropriate to the rural community context
  3. Foster new partnerships (relationships) between community, industry and Flinders University in regional South Australia
  4. Proactively support rural workforce outcomes 


  • Riverland Interprofessional Student Placement Program (RISPP) Evaluation
  • Transdiciplinary clinical education and supervision practices 
  • Multiple contexts for learning on clinical placement 

Longer Stories: Tracking health professions rural training pathways and work location choices

This project has been approved by Flinders University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (ID 6106). Investigators: Dr Nicola Parkin (CI); Prof Claire Drummond; Kim Pearce; Rebecca Stengewis, Prof Robyn Aitken; Vanessa Ryan; Rebecca DeHaan; Dr Dennis Asante.

Longer Stories is a longitudinal, mixed methods research project which helps us better see, share and understand rural workforce training and outcome experiences and patterns across medicine, nursing and allied health professions training and career choices, in relation to rural practice choices. The research aims to meet and exceed the reporting requirements for Commonwealth funding - Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training (RHMT) program. Its findings will also inform health professions curricula and further research studies.

The research incorporates:

  1. The development of a data tracking framework, which scopes the questions, datasets, methods and reports that are needed
  2. The routine collection, analysis and reporting of quantitative data from existing and novel sources
  3. The occasional collection of qualitative data through the recruitment of students to a longitudinal study which follows their career choices during study and up to 10 years post-graduation


  • University Supports for Rural Origin Students
  • Pipeline Stories Longitudinal Study (planned)

Experiential Approaches in Research, Education and Practice

If we are bold we can grant authority to experience, and let it teach us. To do this well we need to sensitise firstly to what is meaningful: to open oneself to uncertainty; to notice what strikes us; and to follow what is difficult about our work and learning. One of the most powerful and natural means we have is telling stories with one another. We are also, as human beings, drawn to discover the deeper principles that order our lives and relations, and to imagine new ways of seeing and acting together. All this requires deliberately making space for the philosophic in our practices. In this research agenda I am provoking and exploring pedagogical 'spaces' for these important but neglected aspects of learning, teaching and practicing. 


  • Experience-led Learning for Clinical Education
  • Narrative Approaches in Medical Education 
  • Noticing Practice (Collaborative Self-Study Group)
  • Phenomenology of 'integration' in the longitudinal integrated clerkship
  • 'Participatory progressive graphic mapping' method for program evaluation
  • Experts' experiences of reaching curriculum consensus
    This project has been approved by Flinders University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (ID 6576). Investigators: Dr Nicola Parkin (CI); Dr Maxine Moore; Prof Claire Drummond 

Supporting Rural GP Research 

This research proposal aims to build capacity for general practitioner (GP) practitioner-led research in South Australia's rural areas, as part of a larger primary health care research capacity-building agenda (PHC Research Network) auspiced under the FHMRI Healthy Communities theme. The research focus on rural general practice has been designed specifically for students undertaking Advanced Studies in Flinders University’s Medical Program Rural Stream (MDRS), to encourage them to locate their research projects in their year three placement communities so that they might better understand and actively serve the communities that host them and at the same time support the agenda to grow general practice-led research appropriately supported by academic-community-service partnerships. Ultimately, by fostering collaboration between Flinders University students, researchers and rural general practice, this project seeks to build capacity for evidence-based, locally appropriate solutions to improve rural healthcare outcomes in South Australia.


  • Supporting rural GP research with a triangular support model - pilot
    This project has been approved by Flinders University’s Human Research Ethics Committee (ID 7060). Investigators: Dr Nicola Parkin (CI); Assoc Prof Tania Shelby-James; Pro Jonathan Karnon; Ms Ccelia Fort; Mr Thomas Waugh

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Education, Flinders University

Award Date: 26 Aug 2021

Bachelor, Adult & Vocational Education, University of Tasmania

Award Date: 8 Dec 2007

Graduate Diploma of Community Cultural Development, CANtrain Inc.

Award Date: 4 May 2000


  • Registered

Research Areas

  • Education
  • Rural and remote health

Supervisory Interests

  • Rural health professions education


  • LB2300 Higher Education
  • Rural health
  • Community education


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