Skip Navigation

Spring 2011 - 62130 - PA390E - Research Design

Instructor(s): Osborne, Cynthia
Unique Number: 62130
Day & Time: Th 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.312
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

A course in research design that will provide a structured framework through which students can build on and apply their methods training and produce a quality research paper in their field of study.

Section Description

This doctoral level course provides a structured framework through which students can build on and apply their methods training to produce a quality publication that advances their field of study. The overarching goals of this course are for students to: (1) develop an appropriate analytic strategy to answer a theoretically driven research question that addresses an important policy issue; and (2) to produce a paper that will ultimately be suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

The specific learning objectives of this course are for students to:

  1. Develop and structure a solid research question that advances the extant literature in the student's chosen field and addresses a pertinent policy issue;
  2. Motivate their analysis through a strong theoretical framework that draws on multiple disciplines;
  3. Understand and identify issues related to sample design, sampling frames, and attrition issues;
  4. Be proficient with a variety of research techniques (both quantitative and qualitative) and be able to determine which technique best addresses a given research question;
  5. Demonstrate expertise in managing issues of selection, endogeneity, reverse causality, omitted variable bias, generalizability, attrition bias, and other pitfalls of quantitative and qualitative research;
  6. Differentiate between significant and meaningful results and clarify the policy relevance and implications of their findings;
  7. Learn the structure of a peer-reviewed publication (that applies across disciplines) and write a manuscript ultimately suitable for a peer-reviewed journal;
  8. Present their findings orally in a professional manner;
  9. Provide meaningful critiques to peer work;
  10. Understand and succeed in the peer-reviewed publication process.

Students are expected to use an analytical software tool (e.g. STATA, SAS, SPSS) in the class, although high level qualitative analysis is acceptable for the studentís paper. The primary assignment for this course is to write a research paper, however, the various components of the paper will be assessed over the course of the semester, and additional projects will be required.