This is possibly a new term for most musicians, but 'grounded theory' is a research method with origins in sociological scholarship. Two sociologists (Glaser and Strauss) published a book called, The Discovery of Grounded Theory, in 1967.
More recently, Barry Gibson and Jan Hartman have written, Rediscovering Grounded Theory. (We won't attempt to describe sociological theories between 1967 and 2014!)
If your research supervisor suggests that you investigate grounded theory, at least the Whittaker Library now has something for you to investigate! Publication details HERE.