Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Space available in doctoral-level course in advanced research design

Interested students please contact Dr. Alberti by email at with questions or for an entry code.

URBDP 591A: Advanced Research Design: Theories, Practices, and Novel Approaches

Fall Quarter 2014
Tue-Thu 9:00-10:20
Gould 442
4 Credits

Instructor: Marina Alberti
Department of Urban Design and Planning E-mail:
Tel: 206 616 8667

This course is designed to provide graduate students in the applied social and natural sciences with theoretical and practical skills for conducting research in complex settings with a particular emphasis on integration and synthesis of theories, concepts, and data across disciplines. Research design will be framed as an emergent process. Students will be exposed to the issues involved in research decisions and to diverse problemsolving strategies at various stages of the research process. The course examines the logic and limits of scientific inquiry, conceptualization and measurement of social and ecological phenomena in urbanizing systems, and principles of research design. The course will explore alternative methods for collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing primary and secondary data. Emphasis is given to statistical principles of research design hypothesis testing and statistical inference, sampling strategies, and analytical approaches to randomized experimental, quasi-experimental, longitudinal and crosscomparative studies. Major theoretical issues include: threats to internal validity, sampling and external validity, reliability of measures, causality, interpretation of statistical analysis and ethics in research. Students will learn how to frame a research question, develop testable hypotheses, identify and provide operational definitions of research variables, select appropriate research methods, evaluate alternative research designs, and develop capacity for syntheses. The course is structured in two components: a theoretical/methodological component and an applied research component. The theoretical component consists of lectures on research design principles and approaches. The applied research component focuses on the practice of scientific research in selected research areas and through interactions with diverse scientists on research challenge in practice in their laboratories.