Training for 1st year students
This course aims at providing basic tools for PhD students to write their thesis projects and carry out good research in the social and political sciences. The course aims to help students understand how different research questions turn into different research designs. Most of the course is devoted to discuss the main three types of research questions and corresponding research designs in the social and political sciences -- experimental, cross-sectional, and exploratory -- as well as some other mixed types located in between the three "pure" types - semi-experimental and comparative. Each research design responds to a different type of logic- deductive, inductive, and abductive -- best suited to solve the research problems at hand. The course also discusses different types of social and political theories, such as rational-choice and game theories, and the problems inherent to the conceptualizations and measurement of concepts in our disciplines. Ultimately, the course aims at helping students start writing the research proposals that they will need to defend at the end of the second term of the academic year. The course will be followed by a research seminar, in which students will have to defend their research proposals in front of their peers and the convener of the seminar.
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Jorge Rodríguez obtained his PhD in Sociology at Nortwestern University, in the USA. He is currently associate professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where he is also the Coordinator of the PhD Program of the Department of Political & Social Sciences. In the past, he has been Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Methods at the University of Kent, and Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Reading, both in the UK. He also worked as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in the USA. In 2012, he won with Daniel Oesch the prize for the best paper of the year published in the journal Socio-Economic Review, edited by the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.