Thru the pinard

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Midwives are well placed to identify and address issues through clinical investigation, but commonly do not undertake higher degrees by research (Trusson et al. 2019). Funders have reported ‘poor academic progression … from the Masters level’ (NHS, 2016 p2). An estimated 5% of medical consultants are employed in clinical academic roles, compared with <0.1% for midwives (MRC, 2017). The reasons midwives do not engage in doctoral research are complex and multifactorial. Exploration of the characteristics of those who complete this process, their postdoctoral career pathways and the impact of their research findings may inform future strategies to engage more midwives in this process.

Purposive snowball sampling of midwives who had completed doctoral research in midwifery related areas was undertaken. Potential respondents were identified through personal contact, professional organisations and social networking. Those providing informed consent attended a semi-structured interview, which was recorded and edited to remove over talking and extraneous noises only. All respondents approved the final audio version before publication. Ethics approval gained.

Currently >50 interviews have been published (Dec2020-Feb2023), resulting in 10000 downloads, in 70 countries. Thematic and narrative analysis showed that almost all respondents reported undertaking a PhD in response to an opportunity, as opposed to a career choice. Similarly, most found the process taxing and difficult at times. Areas of investigation included clinical practice, workforce, and policy issues.

Participants happily discussed their experiences, and many hoped their stories would inspire others. Many faced complex issues during their PhD related to either work or personally. These data demonstrate podcasts provide an effective mechanism to widely disseminate complex and specific information in an informal and acceptable format for participants and listeners. Participants remained passionate about their research and demonstrated impacts that improved outcomes for women, families, and midwives. Clearer career pathways and specialist roles should be developed to encourage midwives to consider doctoral research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP14
Pages (from-to)S36-S37
Number of pages2
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023
EventAustralian College of Midwives National Conference: Be the Change - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 12 Sept 202314 Sept 2023


  • Midwives
  • Post-graduate education
  • Lived experience


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