Brush up your research design


Course information

ECTS: 2.5 
Number of sessions: 4
Hours per session: 3
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 525,- for non-members
  • You can only enrol for one edition of this course.
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information

Contact:

Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School)

You can only enrol for one edition of this course.

In the academic year 2021-2022 this course will take place online.

Edition 1 (online)

Session 1
September 28 (Tuesday) 2021
13.30-16.30

Session 2
October 5 (Tuesday) 2021
13.30-16.30

Session 3
October 26 (Tuesday) 2021
13.30-16.30

Session 4
November 2 (Tuesday) 2021
13.30-16.30

Edition 2 (online)

Session 1
January 25 (Tuesday) 2022
13.30-16.30

Session 2
February 1 (Tuesday) 2022
13.30-16.30

Session 3
February 8 (Tuesday) 2022
13.30-16.30

Session 4
February 15 (Tuesday) 2022
13.30-16.30


Aims and working method

The objective of this course is to support you in designing (or brushing up, or revising) your research project in such a way that you will achieve your research aim. The course will provide you with a set of procedures and criteria (tips and tricks) that, in a structured manner, will help you to make decisions about your research design and methods that are consistent with your research aim. Throughout the course you’ll be invited to identify possible risks and/or inconsistencies in your design (including but not limited to risks related to having access to data sources).

The logic of this approach follows the usual phases of an empirical study, from the specification of its aim against the background of an evaluation of previous research, through case/sample selection and measurement decisions, to the production of the study’s results, their interpretation and their reporting. You will practice this approach by applying it to your own research project, focusing on rigor, relevance and practicalities of your research design.

The course is designed and primarily useful for PhD candidates who are about to complete their research design. It can however also be useful for candidates who are at the beginning of their project and therefore still do not have a research design. It can also be useful for candidates who already completed their research design and like to have help with reflecting and elaborating on its quality and coherence.


Session descriptions

  • Session 1:
    Specifying your research aim and research design
    • Tips and tricks to specify your research aim in such detail that it will steer you in the design of your project, and for specifying a research design and a sample that are consistent with this research aim.
    • Preparation: A description of these tips and tricks will be provided. Using these tips and tricks, you specify your research aim, and a research design and a sample that are consistent with this research aim. You will receive feedback in class.
  • Session 2:
    Specifying data collection methods and methods of analysis
    • Tips and tricks for specifying data collection methods and a method of data analysis that are consistent with your research aim and your research design.
    • Preparation: A description of these tips and tricks will be provided. You specify your data collection methods and a method of data analysis, using these tips and tricks. You will receive feedback in class.
  • Session 3 and 4:
    Individual consultation
    • Preparation: Describe current issues or dilemmas in your research project and/or issues discussed in class that need clarification. These issues will be discussed in an individual meeting.

About the instructor

Vincent Homburg is associate professor in Public Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Currently, his research focuses on e-government (both as a national, Dutch phenomenon, as well as in comparative research). He also actively contributes to the public management and information systems literature and has over eighty peer-reviewed publications. 

Vincent co-supervises several PhD candidates working on a variety of topics and employing diverse methodologies. In 2010 he received the best PhD supervisor award, awarded by the Netherlands Institute of Government’s (NIG).