Associate Dean Research Education, College of Medicine and Dentistry

Key areas of professional expertise

  • Broad expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research collaboration and supervision for Honours, Masters and PhD students.
  • Extensive experience in conducting research
  • High level skills in research in practice in community palliative care and MND
  • Extensive experience in teaching, research and practice in ethics, professionalism, health professional education and global health
  • Managerial expertise in course administration

 Research focus

My research is focused on achieving positive outcomes for patients and their families in regional and rural Australia with a two-fold focus living with life-limiting illness and workforce recruitment and retention.

I provide research mentorship and advice for busy clinicians engaging in practice based research across a number of disciplines.  My aim is to build capacity for evidence-based practice providing research methods education, assistance with research design and minor projects, as well as opportunities for co-supervision of Honours students and higher degree supervision.

Currently supported clinician research spans neonatology, pain management, deferred consent and telemedicine.

 Living with life-limiting illness

I use qualitative methods to explore the experiences of patients and family caregivers living with progressive neurological disease, most commonly motor neurone disease (MND).

My application of ecomapping as a data gathering tool captured the dynamic changes in support networks available to caregivers, challenging the government’s notion that support is readily available given the healthy nature of social capital in Australia. My work with caregivers of individuals living with MND has redefined emotional labour as it pertains to caregivers and developed the concept of socio-connective trust to describe the reflexive, shifting relationships between caregivers and the individual being cared for, caregivers and expert systems, and caregivers and social networks.

 I have also worked in collaboration with palliative care consultants to assess the need for ongoing education across regional health services and develop and evaluate regular videoconferencing education sessions.  

 Workforce recruitment and retention

In collaboration with others, I have conducted longitudinal mixed methods and qualitative studies with medical students and junior doctors concerning factors that support and enhance rural medical practice. Beginning students from rural and remote backgrounds have a broader understanding of rural practice that is embedded in community relationships, whereas urban origin students tend to be more individually orientated in their approach to rural practice. Identified barriers to rural practice fluctuate across years of medical training and can be mitigated in part, through improved supervision and engagement with effective role models in the teaching and clinical areas.  

  • HS5102: Qualitative Research Methods for Health Professionals (Level 5; TSV)
  • HS7405: Evidence Based Health Professional Education (Level 7; TSV)
  • MD1020: Introduction to Integrated Medical Studies Part 2 of 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • MD3000: Selective Study (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD3011: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 1 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD3012: Introduction to Clinical Healthcare Part 2 of 2 (Level 3; TSV)
  • MD6010: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 1 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6020: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 2 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • MD6030: Advanced Clinical Medicine Part 3 of 3 (Level 6; TSV)
  • PC5521: Pharmaceutical Public Health - Research Methodologies (Level 5; TSV)
  • RM8301: Research Planning in Tropical Health and Medicine (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • RM8302: Research Project in Tropical Health and Medicine (Level 8; CNS & TSV)
  • Qualitative and mixed methods studies
  • Patients and families living with life limiting diseases: Progressive neurological disease Advance care planning and end of life care
  • Rural workforce recruitment and retention
  • Student selection
  • Qualitative and mixed methods for research
  • Global Health - status of women
  • Undergraduate: ethics, communication, professionalism, motivational interviewing for health behavioural change,
  • 2017 to present - Associate Dean, Research Education, James Cook University
  • 2016 to present - Associate Dean, Research Education, College Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University
  • 2009 to present - Senior Lecturer, College Medicine and Dentistry James Cook University
  • 2009 to 2010 - Research Fellow, La Trobe University
  • 2007 to 2009 - Lecturer, James Cook University School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition
  • 2007 to 2009 - Research Administration, Research Services, James Cook University
  • 2000 to 2007 - Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe University
  • 2000 - Clinical Educator, La Trobe University
  • 1992 to 2000 - Lecturer, Central Queensland University
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2008 - Outstanding Thesis Merit Award (Doctorate)
  • 2005 - Nina Buscombe Award - Motor Neurone Disease Research
  • 2001 to 2007 - Doctor of Philosophy Thesis title: Socio-connective trust, the essence of social support for informal caregivers of individuals living with motor neurone disease
  • 1996 to 1998 - Master of Health Science (research) Thesis title: The patterns and individual contexts of heart health behavioural change
  • 1993 to 1995 - Bachelor of Education (with distinction)
  • 1977 to 1978 - Midwifery Nursing Certificate
  • 1974 to 1977 - General Nursing Certificate

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 28+ research outputs authored by Dr Robin Ray from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Emergency Medicine Foundation - Project Grant

A randomised controlled trial of intravenous paracetamol and oral paracetamol to control acute pain

Indicative Funding
The objective of this project is to provide evidence that intravenous paracetamol produces superior analgesia than oral paracetamol in the ED setting. Secondary objectives include providing evidence that IV paracetamol produces good patient satisfaction, few side effects and reduced length of hospital stay. The trial is designed as a prospective double blind randomised controlled trial with two parallel groups. 50 patients will receive placebo oral intervention and a 1g intravenous paracetamol formulation. The other 50 patients will receive 1g oral paracetamol and IV normal saline. Patients will be requested to chart their pain prior to analgesia and then at 15 minute intervals for the first hour and half hourly for the following 3 hours. Side effects, length of ED stay and patient satisfaction will also be recorded to assess the secondary objectives.
Jeremy Furyk, Ben Close and Robin Ray in collaboration with Kirsty Freeman, Kathryn Laspina, Deahnne Levas and Venkat Vangaveti (College of Medicine & Dentistry and Townsville General Hospital)
Intravenous Paracetamol; Pain; Analgesia; Emergency Department

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.

  • Management of Paediatric Status Epilepticus in Australia and New Zealand (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • A Multicentre Exploration of Risk Management of Neonatal Skin Injuries (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • An Exploration of Dying Roles Within a Contemporary Regional Australian Context. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • What InfluencesThe Provision Of Care To Periviable Babies In North Queensland And What Are The Consequences Of The Provision Of This Care. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • View of Older Residents in Rural Australia and Their Social Networks on Their Planned Approach to Healthy Ageing in Place: A Series of Case Studies. (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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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