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Online Course for Ph.D. Students: Conducting Empirical Research Projects

Organized by the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) in collaboration with the University of Lausanne

Topic and Objectives

This course is primarily addressed to Ph.D. students who are at the beginning of their doctoral studies. The course aims to provide participants with strategies and methods that help them to convert an abstract research topic or an overarching research goal into a concrete research design. In addition to an introduction to the basic steps in the development of adequate research designs (from case selection to data collection and analysis), the course gives an overview of (primarily qualitative) methods and how they can be combined to fruitfully analyse existing data, make ‘smart’ comparisons, and draw valid and generalisable inferences. The course covers the following topics:

At a Glance

Date: 02.12.2021 and 03.12.2021 (provisional day: 10.12.2021; depending on the number of participants)

Location: Zoom (online)

Max. number of attendees: 30

Registration fee: free of charge

Registration deadline: 18.11.21

Deadline for research summary submission: 25.11.21


Thursday, 02.12.2021 – 08.30-12.30 and 13.30-17.30

Friday, 03.12.2021 – 08.30-12.30 and 13.30-17.30

Friday, 10.12.2021 – 08.30-12.30 (provisional day, depending on the number of participants)


Dr. Markus Hinterleitner, LMU Munich

Dr. Lyn Pleger, research associate at the institute of public management

Dr. Johanna Cludius, research associate at the Center for Energy and the Environment




Participants need to submit a one-page summary of their research design. The aim is to summarise their most urgent research design issue relating to their Ph.D. The summary should correspond to the presentation and constitutes a written outline of the research design presented in class.

Registration deadline: 18.11.21

Deadline for research summary submission: 25.11.21
You can hand in your research summary after your registration. Please send it to Chantal Menzi (

Local Organizing Committee