Full course description
This research training is focused on research design, and in particular on training students in the writing and defense of an individual research project proposal. Students are asked to (i) develop an innovative research idea for the MSc thesis, (ii) design a research proposal for a 'pilot' project related to the topic of their MSc thesis and (iii) defend their research proposal to their peers. One of the most common tasks of professional researchers and academic scholars is the writing of research proposals. A research proposal defines the core aims, background and originality of a proposed research project, its methodology and work plan, alongside presenting the feasibility and credibility of the proposed research. Designing a solid research proposal is of crucial importance for carrying out any kind of research activity (be that the writing of an MSc thesis, developing academic articles or books; or applying for research funding). The knowledge of how to design and present a systematic and convincing research proposal is thus critically important to students' ability to develop their individual MSc thesis research projects later on in the MSc European Studies.
After this course students should:
- have knowledge of the specifics and the stages of the social scientific research projects; including the ability to write a concise summary of a research project - ability to elaborate the aims, objectives, background and originality of a research project - ability to develop a research design - ability to evaluate the suitability of different data analysis and collection methods for a concrete research project – ability to integrate and combine substantive knowledge, theories and methods from the diverse field of European Studies in a well-reasoned manner; - ability to compare, select, integrate, and apply the appropriate theories, concepts and scientific research methods political science and related academic disciplines to analyse new research puzzles in the field of European studies; -ability to critically reflect on the strengths and limitations of a research project - ability to design a feasible project plan - ability to demonstrate the relevance of the proposed research project for non-academic stakeholders)
- have the ability to develop a design a complete research proposal (the 'pilot' for the MSc thesis) • have knowledge of/ ability to use standard assessment criteria for research proposals.
Zina o'Leary (2004; 2009). The Essential Guide to Doing Your research project, SAGE, London. Bob Hancké (2009). Intelligent research design: a guide for beginning researchers in the social sciences. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.