Designing Empirical Research

Professors: Bouskill and Meredith
Units: 1.0
Core Course

This course is designed to provide you with the opportunity to learn and actually use basics of research design and data collection methods to craft a research proposal. We will introduce you to methods, but that is not the focus here, since many methods courses are available to complement this course. In other words, our focus is on the “Ws” (Who, What, Why & Where), but not on the “How.”

This provides you with skills for your own research and also for obtaining OJT at RAND. While the methods we discuss are commonly used in the social sciences, they are broadly applicable to a wide range of policy areas. Quite a few students have used this course to develop an interest that later turned into a dissertation, although that is not the explicit goal.

Rather, the goal is to give you the tools and the experience of developing a complete research design. Once you have those, you can apply them to any policy topic. This year we are integrating the three new streams that resulted from the curriculum redesign: (1) policy, (2) embedded community, and (3) technology lab.