Dr Emma Cooke

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Child Health Research Centre
Faculty of Medicine

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Queensland Brain Institute


Dr Emma Cooke is a sociologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland working in the Child Development, Education and Care Research Group at the Queensland Brain Institute and the Kids Sleep Research Group at the Child Health Research Centre. Dr Cooke works with interdisciplinary teams to research the lived experiences of children, families, educators, and clinicians – focusing on sleep, gender, disability, healthcare, and inequality.

As the qualitative research lead in the Kids Sleep Research Group, Dr Cooke facilitates research training and support, and collaborates with clinicians, students, and researchers to conduct qualitative research. She also has expertise in DRAWing (Departing Radically in Academic Writing) and knowledge translation. Dr Cooke is currently working on research projects investigating young children’s understandings of gender; families’ experiences of having a child or sibling with Down syndrome and sleep difficulties; and clinicians' experiences of explaining prenatal screening and delivering genetic syndrome diagnoses.

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 Early Childhood Education and Care. 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 Group, Dr Cooke’s recent academic work is written creatively to have an emotional as well as intellectual 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 of Sociology, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor (Honours) of Arts, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Cooke, Emma, Coles, Laetitia, Thorpe, Karen and Houen, Sandy (2024). Crystallising the everyday emotional work of women working in childcare during Covid-19. Departing radically in academic writing: alternative approaches to writing and methods in qualitative research. (pp. 15-25) edited by Elizabeth Mackinlay and Karen Madden. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9781003360766-2

  • Coles, Laetitia, Cooke, Emma and Chawla, Jasneek (2023). Confronting meanings of motherhood in neoliberal Australia: six crystallised case studies. Biographical Research and the Meanings of Mothering. (pp. 158-193) edited by Lyudmila Nurse, Lisa Moran and Kateřina Sidiropulu-Janků. Bristol, United Kingdom: Policy Press. doi: 10.56687/9781447365648-013

  • 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)