Research Methodology: From research question to research proposal - 4 ECTS

This 4 ECTS course offers you an overview of the entire research cycle, with an emphasis on the technical design.

Organised by Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Tue 14 November 2023 until Tue 19 December 2023

We will be starting with a brief evaluation of proper research questions and hypotheses to continue with operationalization, the study design (e.g. experiment, cross-sectional), and sampling design (random, non-random, systematic). We’ll discuss important issues that need consideration to design data collection (qualitative, quantitative or mixed) including the choice of research instruments; research ethics and research integrity; and finally, reporting the research and research design in a scientific manner.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants are (among other things) able to:

  1. Explain the differences between a conceptual and technical research design
  2. Understand the relation between research questions and research approaches
  3. Describe the defining features (e.g. level of control by the researcher, number of data collection waves) of an appropriate study design
  4. Explain the (threats to) internal validity associated with the chosen study design.
  5. Understand when qualitative research is appropriate, when quantitative research is appropriate, and, when mixed methods research is appropriate
  6. Understand the basic principles of operationalization of one- and multidimensional concepts
  7. Describe the pros and cons of different data collection methods
  8. Explain (threats to) reliability and measurement validity of chosen data collection instruments
  9. Clarify what random, non-random, and systematic sampling is about
  10. Describe how a chosen sampling design relates to different forms of generalizability (e.g. external validity).
  11. Evaluate and present research design in terms of:  internal validity, reliability, measurement validity, different forms of triangulation, different forms of generalizability, and different forms of saturation.


    Session 1 14 November 9.00-13.00 hrs
    Session 2 21 November 9.00-13.00 hrs
    Session 3 28 November 9.00-13.00 hrs
    Session 4 05 December 9.00-13.00 hrs
    Session 5 12 December 9.00-13.00 hrs
    Session 6 19 December 9.00-13.00 hrs

      Course fees

      WGS PhDs with TSP € 325
      Other PhDs, postdocs and academic staff € 650
      Participants from the private sector € 975

      Cancellation conditions:

      Participants can cancel their registration free of charge 1 month before the course starts. A cancellation fee of 100% applies if a participant cancels his/her registration less than 1 month prior to the start of the course.

      The organisers have the right to cancel the course no later than one month before the planned course start date in the case that the number of registrations does not reach the minimum.

      The participants will be notified of any changes at their e-mail addresses.