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Your research design needs to be a well-thought-out text detailing the practical implementation of the
research (no bullet points!). It is anchored in the theoretical framework, but focuses on making
practical choices. Make sure to use methodological sources for this section, for which you can draw
upon the literature provided to you in your methodological classes. Special attention is paid to the
advantages and disadvantages of each choice, and to the practical implementation of the research.
The research design includes the following components:
– Description of the type of research
– Motivation of why the selected research methodology is best-suited to answer your research
questions
– Discussion of the quality criteria for the specific research
– Description of the research units and the field of validity (and what selections are made in this
respect?)
– Consideration of the ethical aspects that arise in the research and how you as a researcher
plan to deal with these
– Reflection on the expected outcomes/resultsYour research design needs to be a well-thought-out text detailing the practical implementation of the
research (no bullet points!). It is anchored in the theoretical framework, but focuses on making
practical choices. Make sure to use methodological sources for this section, for which you can draw
upon the literature provided to you in your methodological classes. Special attention is paid to the
advantages and disadvantages of each choice, and to the practical implementation of the research.
The research design includes the following components:
– Description of the type of research
– Motivation of why the selected research methodology is best-suited to answer your research
questions
– Discussion of the quality criteria for the specific research
– Description of the research units and the field of validity (and what selections are made in this
respect?)
– Consideration of the ethical aspects that arise in the research and how you as a researcher
plan to deal with these
– Reflection on the expected outcomes/results
For quantitative research (use existing data files):
o Justification for the choice of the chosen database
o Detailed description of the data file, including: selection procedures of the research
units (how was the sample drawn?), observation methods (survey? interviews?), size
of the data file…
o Converting concepts into measurable/observable properties.
o Operationalisation (a list of variables, i.e. an operational definition of concepts)
o Description of the analytical method envisaged (multilevel analysis?)
o Reflection on the expected outcomes/results
– For qualitative research:
o Describe and justify the theoretically relevant sampling method used;
o Describe the process of negotiating access to respondents and settings and how
challenges in this process were anticipated and followed up.
o Consider the ethical issues that arise in his/her research and explain how the
researcher dealt with them.
o Provide a description of the chosen data collection technique(s) (e.g. individual in-
depth interviews, group interviews, observations, focus groups), including the
instruments developed (e.g. questionnaires for semi-structured interviews) and justify
those choices.
o Describing and justifying the chosen method(s) for qualitative data analysis (e.g.
coding according to a Grounded Theory approach, CDA of texts, narrative analysis of
stories etc.). In doing so, the student should consider how the method will be applied
concretely in his/her research (e.g. which theoretically relevant codes the student
thinks he/she will use) and not merely describe the method in a general sense.
o Establish a research design that recognises the cyclical nature of qualitative research
by incorporating different cycles of data collection and analysis.
o For ethnographic / observational research, the chosen research roles must be well
described and justified, and the possible consequences of taking on those roles for the
research process, and especially the ethics of the research, must be considered.
o Operationalisation (e.g. a list of interview questions, a first draft of an observation
manual, etc.)
o Reflection on the expected outcomes/resultsFor quantitative research (use existing data files):
o Justification for the choice of the chosen database
o Detailed description of the data file, including: selection procedures of the research
units (how was the sample drawn?), observation methods (survey? interviews?), size
of the data file…
o Converting concepts into measurable/observable properties.
o Operationalisation (a list of variables, i.e. an operational definition of concepts)
o Description of the analytical method envisaged (multilevel analysis?)
o Reflection on the expected outcomes/results
– For qualitative research:
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