Dr Emma Cooke

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Child Health Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine


Dr Emma Cooke is a sociologist, postdoctoral research fellow, and the qualitative research lead in the Kids Sleep Research Group at UQ's Child Health Research Centre (CHRC). Dr Cooke works with interdisciplinary teams to research the lived experiences of children, educators and families and is particularly interested in sleep, gender, wellbeing, and inequality. Her current research focuses clinicians' experiences of explaining prenatal screening and delivering genetic syndrome diagnoses, and families’ experiences of having a child or sibling with sleep difficulties and a neurodisability (e.g., Down syndrome). She has expertise in qualitative research, DRAWing (Departing Radically in Academic Writing), and knowledge translation.

Dr Cooke is an affiliate postdoctoral research fellow at the Queensland Brain Institute and at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. She has researched educators’ experiences of using Information and Communication Technologies in education settings, and is currently researching technology use around bedtime in children with a neurodisability. When she was based in the Child Development, Education and Care Group at ISSR she worked on the Evaluation of the Queensland KindyLinQ Pilot Program and a range of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) research projects.

In her PhD thesis, Dr Cooke utilised a crystallization methodological framework to gain multifaceted insights into children’s rights, early childhood discourses, and children’s relaxation and unrestful experiences in ECEC. She has extensive experience interviewing children and adults across a range of contexts, and uses different qualitative analysis methodologies, including thematic analysis, discourse analysis, and creative analytical practices. An active member of the DRAW (Departing Radically in Academic Writing) Group, Dr Cooke’s recent academic work is written creatively for impact.

Research Impacts

To support research translation, Dr Cooke has delivered professional development workshops and presentations for educators at C&K, the Early Childhood Teachers Association, the Ternity Group for Maternity and Early Parenting Education, families connected to Down Syndrome Queensland, and clinical doctors and nurses at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. She also writes media articles and blog posts based on her journal articles.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Allotta, Elizabeth, Andriani, Dewi, Cooke, Emma, Doherty, Eloise, Green, Mel, Madden, Karen, Mickelburgh, Renee, Musofer, Muhammad Ali, Ream, Rebecca, Vayada, Preeti and Mackinlay, Elizabeth (2022). 100 words exactly: the art of thesis drabbling. Doing Rebellious Research In and beyond the Academy. (pp. 168-187) edited by Pamela Burnard, Elizabeth Mackinlay, David Rousell and Tatjana Dragovic. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004516069_014

  • Cooke, Emma (2022). Playfully rethinking the pandemic’s pivot imperative: an early childhood researcher’s reflections. Massive/micro autoethnography: creative learning in COVID times. (pp. 155-169) edited by Daniel X. Harris, Mary Elizabeth Luka and Annette N. Markham. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore. doi: 10.1007/978-981-16-8305-3_10

  • Allotta, Elizabeth, Doherty, Eloise, Andriani, Dewi, Burke, Kathy, Cooke, Emma, Evans, Bonnie, Green, Mel, Madden, Karen, Mickelburgh, Renee, Musofer, Muhammad Ali, Vayada, Preeti, Mackinlay, Elizabeth and Wyatt, Jonathan (2022). The affect of writing to it: a collaborative response to encountering Deleuze and Guattari for the first time. Doing Rebellious Research In and beyond the Academy. (pp. 188-207) edited by Pamela Burnard, Elizabeth Mackinlay, David Rousell and Tatjana Dragovic. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. doi: 10.1163/9789004516069_015

  • Cooke, Emma, Brady, Michelle, Alipio, Cheryll and Cook, Kay (2018). Researching the experiences of young children using graphic elicitation: A case study of the use of drawing diaries in semi-structured interviews. SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2. (pp. 1-19) London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications. doi: 10.4135/9781526439208

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)