Professor Birks’ professional goal is to enhance the quality and experience of tertiary education for students and educators through leadership, research and innovation. Her track record in publication, grant success and consultancies demonstrate her determination to advance scholarship in health professional education. Professor Birks’ professional goal grew out of her own experience of the power that education has in promoting and enhancing personal and professional opportunities for practitioners and educators in the health sciences.

Professor Birks’ publications include 7 textbooks, most notably Grounded Theory – a practical guide (2011, 2015), and Qualitative Methodology – a practical guide (2014), along with around 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters

Professor Birks has extensive experience and expertise in educational administration, teaching and curriculum design and development in local, international, military and civilian environments, and has worked in Malaysia, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Australia. She is active on numerous expert advisory panels and is also a recipient of the Australian Defence Medal.

  • Curriculum quality
  • The student experience
  • Leadership and management
  • Program accreditation
  • Accessibility and pathways
  • Curriculum relevance
  • Academic integrity
  • Innovation in education
  • Scope of practice
  • Qualitative research
  • Research principles and methods
  • Professional issues
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Communication
  • Fundamental nursing skills
  • 2012 to present - Adjunct Professor, Monash University (Melbourne)
  • 2011 to 2012 - Deputy Dean, Central Queensland University (Noosa)
  • 1997 to 2011 - Senior lecturer, Monash University (Gippsland)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2010 - Student nominee – Monash University Student Union
  • 2010 - Faculty nominee – Monash University Vice Chancellor’s award for teaching excellence
  • 2007 - Golden Apple teaching awards
  • 2007 - Australian Defence Medal
  • 2005 - Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2011 - Australian College of Nursing Australia (Fellow)
  • 1997 to 2015 - Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Standby Reserve – Commissioned Officer (Flight Lieutenant)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 141+ research outputs authored by Prof Melanie Birks from 1993 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian College of Nursing Foundation - College Consortium Research Grant

Profiling the Deterioration Risk Factors of Patients Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus on a Diabetes Specialist Outpatient Waiting List

Indicative Funding
$30,000 over 6 years
Patients seeking specialist advice from a specialist outpatient department require a referral from their general practitioner to access services. This research explores the time taken for patients to deteriorate if waitlisted in the order of date accepted for their referral compared to rates of deterioration for patients if the accepted referral was waitlisted in order of the patient?s individual risk of deterioration. Stage 1 focuses on identifying patient centric factors within a type 2 diabetes mellitus cohort which lead a patient to deteriorate on a waitlist. Stage 2 involves developing and implementing a framework to support the reconfiguration of waitlist management.
Shannon Sheehan, Kristin Wicking, Maude Chapman, Melanie Birks and Rhondda Jones (College of Healthcare Sciences and Graduate Research)
Diabetes; Clinical Deterioration; Waitlist; Risk Factors; Risk stratification; Triage

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Online Postgraduate Nursing Programs in Australia - Impact on Professional Practice (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Category 2 Outpatient Waitlist, Profiling the Potential Deterioration Risk Factors of Patients Diagnosed with Diabetes (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Teaching Leadership Skills to Medical Students: Are We Transformative? (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Advocacy in nursing: challenging the power structures that keep nurses silent (PhD , Advisor Mentor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 25.250, Nursing Sciences (Townsville campus)
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