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Training Course on Fundamentals of Research and Research Methods


About The Course

Course Description

Social science research allow scholars to make sense of the social world, to discover why people think and act like they do and how important institutions act. The primary objective of this course is to develop a research orientation among the scholars and to acquaint them with fundamentals of research methods. Specifically, the course aims at introducing them to the basic concepts used in research and to scientific social research methods and their approach. It includes discussions on sampling techniques, research designs and techniques of analysis.

Participants will learn how to identify problems to study, develop hypotheses and research questions, specify independent and dependent variables, check for the validity and reliability of studies and design research projects. Participants will be exposed to the broad range of designs used in social science research from laboratory and field experiments, surveys, content analysis, focus groups and in-depth interviewing.

Course Objectives

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • Develop understanding of the basic framework of research process.
  • Develop an understanding of various research designs and techniques.
  • Identify various sources of information for literature review and data collection.
  • Develop an understanding of the ethical dimensions of conducting applied research.
  • Describe and compare the major quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Propose a research study and justify the theory as well as the methodological decisions, including sampling and measurement.
  • Understand the importance of research ethics and integrate research ethics into the research process.
  • Construct an effective questionnaire that employs several types of survey questions.

Training Methodology

The course is designed to be highly interactive, challenging and stimulating. It will be an instructor led training and will be delivered using a blended learning approach comprising of presentations, discussions, guided sessions of practical exercise, case study review, web based tutorials, group work and exploration of relevant issues. Our facilitators are seasoned industry professionals with years of expertise in their chosen fields. All facilitation and course materials will be offered in English.

Course Content

Introduction and Getting Started

  • Meaning & Purpose of Research
  • Motivation in Research
  • General Characteristics of Research
  • Criteria of Good Research
  • Types of Research
  • Ethical Issues in Conducting Research

Research Problem

  • What is a Research Problem?
  • Selecting the Research Problem
  • Sources of the Research Problem
  • Definition & Statement of a Research Problem
  • Delimiting a Research Problem
  • Evaluation of a Research Problem

Literature Review

  • Meaning & Purpose of Literature Review
  • Sources of Literature
  • The Functions of Literature
  • Conducting Literature Review
  • Hints for the Review of Literature
  • Reporting the Review of Literature

Research Hypotheses

  • Meaning & Purpose of Hypothesis
  • Nature & Kinds of Hypothesis
  • Functions of Hypothesis
  • Characteristics of a Good Hypothesis
  • Variables in a Hypothesis
  • Formulating a Hypothesis
  • Testing the Hypothesis

Research Approach

  • Qualitative Approach
  • Quantitative Approach
  • Mixed-Methods Approach
  • Criteria for Selecting a Research Approach

Research Strategies

  • Meaning & Purpose of a Research Strategy
  • Case Studies
  • Experiments
  • Ethnography
  • Phenomenology
  • Ground Theory (GT)
  • Action Research
  • Mixed-methods
  • Longitudinal
  • Criteria for Selecting a Research Strategy


  • Meaning and Purpose of Sampling
  • Functions of Population and Sampling
  • Methods of Sampling
  • Characteristics of a Good Sample
  • Size of a Sample

Data Collection Methods

  • Secondary data collection methods
  • Qualitative methods of data collection: Interviews, FGDs, Observation
  • Survey methods of data collection: Questionnaires
  • Basics of Qualitative Moderation
  • Projective techniques in Qualitative Research

Data Analysis & Report Writing

  • Putting it all together
  • Interpretation & presentation and practical examples of how to
  • Drawing conclusions from both quantitative & qualitative data

Report Format & Content

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Appendices

Assignment #1: Writing a Survey Questionnaire

Based on class discussion and your readings on writing good valid survey questions, write a 5-7 page survey questionnaire about a topic that interests you. If you are doing a survey for your study in this training it would be logical to do questions you can use in that study. As we indicated in class, you do not need to re-invent the wheel. Indeed, it is better to use existing measures because you can better argue their validity. While I indicate you need at least one question of each of the type listed below, it is better if you can find related ones that you could use to form into a scale. You should label each question for the type of question it is and if you took if from an existing study please give the citation for the study. Labels should appear adjacent to the question.

  1. Cover sheet with title that reflects the focus of your questionnaire, name and date
  2. At least one dichotomous question
  3. At least one nominal question
  4. At least one ranking question
  5. At least one question using a Likert scale
  6. At least one question using a semantic differential scale
  7. At least one question involving a thermometer scale
  8. At least one question involving a Guttman scale
  9. At least one question involving an interval level scale
  10. At least one question involving a ratio level scale

Assignment #2: Developing a Research Proposal

This assignment is intended to provide you with the opportunity to “try out” a couple of different research methodologies in a fairly concise manner. Identify a topic area you are interested in researching. The research proposal is a detailed plan of a study that you intend to conduct. You need to write an 8 – 10 page research proposal on your selected topic (or on a revised topic that we have agreed upon). For your research methodology you may select a survey, content analysis, secondary analysis of data or an empirical qualitative method such as focus groups or in-depth interviews.

The Research Proposal should include:

  1. A clear statement of the problem or question to be researched.
  2. The purpose and utility of the research;
  3. The research design (including the methodology, data collection and analytic techniques to be used);
  4. A rationale for the methodology chosen;
  5. A discussion of the ethics and politics of the proposed research;
  6. An analysis of the merits and limitations of your design, including a discussion of issues of rigor, reliability, etc.

Grading Criteria

  1. Ability to demonstrate understanding of the key concepts of the methodology
  2. Ability to critically analyze the research approach proposed
  3. Ability to effectively organize and present the proposal

The research proposal will be submitted in four stages: A topic page, a rough draft of your proposal, a final draft of the proposal, and a PowerPoint presentation of your research project.

  1. Term Paper Topic: You must choose a narrow, specific topic. For instance use of mobile devices is too broad. However, examining motivations for why Kenyan youths use smart phones for gambling (betting) activities is more specific. You are going to spend a lot of time with this topic, so it is important to choose one that suits your interests.

Your discussion of your topic needs to include two things:

  1. Clearly describe the issue you will investigate. Explain the topic itself as well as who are the subjects you will investigate (e.g. Kenyan youths aged 20 – 30 years), what is the method you will use (e.g. survey) and ideally what concept or theories you will use to investigate the topic
  2. Explain why you think this is an important topic to investigate. That is, what will this add to the existing literature? Therefore, you might want to spend some time researching the topic to see what has been done on the topic and what other areas still need to be explored.

Your description of the topic should be typed and should be at least one good size paragraph long.

  1. Rough Draft of the Topic Proposal: For those of you who are doing studies involving human subjects such as surveys, experiments, focus groups or in-depth interviews (content analysis and secondary analysis of data is exempt), you will need to fill out the Required Research Proposal Format on Human Subjects. For those doing studies not involving humans, you can leave out part VI of the Human Subjects form.
  2. Final Draft of the Topic Proposal: This will be a revised version of the proposal. I will be giving detailed instructions on what you need to do to improve the proposal.
  3. Research Study Status Report PowerPoint Presentation: On the final day of the course everyone will do a 10-12 PowerPoint presentation on their topic.


Participants should be reasonably proficient in English. Applicants must live up to Phoenix Center for Policy, Research & Training admission criteria.


  1. Discounts: Organizations sponsoring Four Participants will have the 5th attend Free
  2. What is catered for by the Course Fees: Fees caters for all requirements for the training – Learning materials, Lunches, Teas, Snacks and Certification. All participants will additionally cater for their travel and accommodation expenses, visa application, insurance, and other personal expenses.
  3. Certificate Awarded: Participants are awarded Certificates of Participation at the end of the training.
  4. The program content shown here is for guidance purposes only. Our continuous course improvement process may lead to changes in topics and course structure.
  5. Approval of Course: Our Programs are NITA Participating organizations can therefore claim reimbursement on fee paid in accordance with NITA Rules.

How to Book

Book directly on our website or Simply send an email to the Training Officer on and we will send you a registration form. We advise you to book early to avoid missing a seat to this training.

Or call us on: +254720272325 / +254737566961

Payment Options: We provide 3 payment options, choose one for your convenience, and kindly make payments at least 5 days before the Training start date in order to reserve your seat:

  1. Groups of 5 People and Above – Cheque Payments to: Phoenix Center for Policy, Research & Training Limited should be paid in advance, 5 days to the training.
  2. Invoice: We can send a bill directly to you or your company.
  3. Deposit directly into Bank Account (Account details provided upon request)

Cancellation Policy

  1. Payment for the all courses includes a registration fee, which is non-refundable, and equals 15% of the total sum of the course fee.
  2. Participants may cancel attendance 14 days or more prior to the training commencement date.
  3. No refunds will be made 14 days or less to the training commencement date. However, participants who are unable to attend may opt to attend a similar training at a later date, or send a substitute participant provided the participation criteria have been met.

Tailor Made Courses

This training course can also be customized for your institution upon request to a minimum of 5 participants. You can have it delivered at our Training Centre or at a convenient location. For further inquiries, please contact us on Tel: +254720272325 / +254737566961 or Email

Accommodation: Accommodation is arranged upon request and at extra cost. For reservations contact the Training Officer on Email: or on Tel: +254720272325 / +254737566961

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Start To Learn

5 Days


Course Duration

5 Days

Course Price

USD 980

Training Calendar

2024 Training Calendar

Start Date
End Date