About Research Methodology

Research Methodology (RME) hosts a group of professional and dedicated staff members. All our staff are experienced professionals with complementary scientific backgrounds and experts in using a variety of teaching methods.

We have experts on quantitative research as well as on qualitative research. To guarantee the quality of our work, we engage ourselves in scientific research into methodological development to keep ourselves well informed of current methodological debates. We are acquainted with the challenges and opportunities of doing research, both by advising others, as well as by carrying out our own research projects.

Research methodology is the backbone of all scientific research projects. A solid methodological approach is a prerequisite for high quality science, whatever the theoretical orientation or the practical aim may be and irrespective whether qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods strategies are used. Sooner or later, every student, every researcher, has to be confident in choosing and adequately applying research methodology.

Research methodology, in our view, is very broad. Research methodology starts from the conceptualization of research questions to the presentation of the research results, and formulation of future research needs. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that the research question should always be leading to choose the specific methodological design of the research. Some questions are best addressed with qualitative methods as interviews and observations, while other research questions require controlled experiments or time series analysis  and the associated methods and analyses. The research question may be based in natural sciences, social sciences or natural social science interactions; it may be theory oriented (fundamental) or practice oriented (applied); it may concern exploratory, descriptive, hypothesis testing, or interpretive research. Each approach has its value depending on the research question. The distinctive qualitative and quantitative methods are complementary ways of doing research.

RME is a group within of the Department of Social Sciences of the Wageningen University. The group resorts under the chair-group Education and Competence Studies Group (ECS), but as a methodology group RME has valuable advice to the whole Department of Social Sciences and beyond the social sciences, to all of WUR. We collaborate (among others) with economics of consumers and households (ECH), communication science (COM and CIS), health, rural development and environmental sciences and marketing and consumer behaviour (MCB).