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RESESARCH METHODOLOGY

Dr. Adnan Maqsood

 DAY 1:
 Introduction to Research Methodology
Brief About Myself
 Professional Background
 Undergraduate Studies - CAE, NUST, Risalpur, Pakistan
 Graduate Studies - NTU, Singapore
 Post-Doctorate Research - NTU, Singapore
 Assistant Professor - NUST, Pakistan
 Research/Specialization
 Aerodynamics/Flight Mechanics & Control/Human Factors
 Over 30 publications in Intl. Journals & Conferences
 Teaching
 Advanced Flight Mechanics
 Advanced Incompressible Fluids
 Advanced Compressible Fluids
 Research Methodology
 Human Factors Engineering
 Nonlinear Dynamics
Course Administration
 Resource Person: Asst/Prof Adnan Maqsood
 Office Location: RCMS 2nd Floor
 Contact Tel: 051-9085-5734;
 Contact Email: adnan@rcms.nust.edu.pk
 Office Hours:
 Tuesday:1200-1300 hrs
 Thrusday: 1200-1300 hrs
 Course Material Download Location
 www.dropbox.com
 Username: rcmsresearchmethodology@yahoo.com
 Password: rcms@123
Grading
 Grading Components
 Quizzes (Surprise)  5%
 Assignment (Seminal Paper Search)  5%
 OHT (02)  40%
 Literature Review (20%)
 Poster Presentation (20%)
 Group Discussion  10%
 End Semester Exam  40%
 Research Proposal (20%)
 Research Proposal Defense (20%)
 The criterion for each evaluation will be shared with
the class
Topics of the Course
No. Course Content Hands-on Activity
1 Introduction to Research Methodology Research Topic Discussion
2 Scientific Approach Research Topic Finalization
3 Literature Review Seminal Paper Search
4 Research Design EndNOTE®
5 Planning & Management Problem Solving: Literature Review
6 Data Analysis & Visualization Excel® / MATLAB®
7 Writing Technically Problem Solving: Literature Review
8 Documentation Guidelines Discussion: Review / Rebut Strategies
Research Selling:
9 Ethics in Research 1. Poster Development
2. Press Release
10 Speaking Technically Review of Group Discussion Topic
11 Group Discussion
Problem Solving: Research Proposal
12 Research Proposal Documentation
Document
Problem Solving: Research Proposal
13 Research Proposal Documentation
Presentation
14 Research Proposal Presentations / Lunch?
Books/References
 Some good textbooks:
 *Designing a Research Project – 2nd edition by Verschuren &
Doorewaard
 *The Craft of Research – 3rd edition by Booth, Colomb and
Williams
 Lecture Notes:
 Books
 Lectures from Anand Asundi @ NTU, Singapore
 Lectures from Ricky Curran @ TU Delft, Nederland
 Different Internet resources
Historical Perspective & Intended Audience
 RM-898 is a Research Methodology course, initially
introduced at SEECS
 Across NUST, a need for inclusion of this course in
Graduate curriculum was identified
 In 40th ACM, the course was made part of syllabus of
all graduate programs as “Additional Mandatory”
classification
 As per Main Office directive, the course should be
taught to graduate batches enrolled from Fall 2013
and onwards
 In Fall 2013, RCMS registered
 Batch 1 – Systems Engineering
 Batch 6 – Computational Science & Engineering
Research Learning Cycle in Real Life

Scientific Literature Problem Research


Approach Survey Identification Design

Research Planning &


Thesis Defense Curiosity
Ethics Management

Speaking Data Analysis &


Technically Visualization
Service
to
Humanity

Writing Validation &


Presentation Documentation
Technically Verification
Thesis Based MS Program at RCMS
 Following important stages are laid down for the
graduate student life at RCMS

 Register Enrolment to the program


 Coursework  Body of knowledge required for research
 Research Methodology How to do Research?
 Thesis Research  Well rounded answers to „questions‟
 Thesis Defense  Demonstration of gains from NUST
 Graduation  Life-long learning capabilities
Aim of the Course

Source:
http://www.gnurf.net/v3/portfolio/graduation-
thesis-angst.html

 The course is primarily a research-driven preparation


for graduate students
Learning Outcomes of the Course (1)
 The students will be able to:
 Understand the concept of research and the
circumstances under which formal research is required
in the field of science & engineering
 Approach scientific research problems in a structured
and strategic manner
 Formulate a research problem with SMART objectives
 Undertake an effective literature review to learn the
background material required for the research project
and also to identify the current state of the art
 Communicate the findings of a literature review following
the accepted standards and traditions of scientific
disciplines – especially with regard to referencing
Learning Outcomes of the Course (1)
 The students will be able to:
 Prepare and communicate a formal research proposal
including a plan, a convincing justification for the
research and formal placement of this research within
the context of the current state of the art
 Understand and describe the ethical obligations
associated with conducting research
 Identify many different forms of plagiarism and ethical
breaches
 Understand and be able to implement best practices in
data management
 Demonstrate communication skills (written and oral) to
explain a scientific research exercise to specialist and
non-specialist audiences with motivation, approach,
justification, and key outcomes
Research During Masters Program
 NUST Statues; Chapter VII; Para 56…..
 56. The procedure for thesis research shall be as
under:
 (a) All students must successfully complete a minimum
of 6 credits in Masters thesis, based on a highly
individualized, investigative study which shall make a
significant contribution to knowledge;
 (b) Subject of research shall be agreed to by the student
and the research Supervisor/Advisor (thesis advisor), in
consultation with Guidance and Examination Committee
(GEC), when required. The topics must be original and
not plagarized, and relevant to the needs of the country;
 (c) Thesis shall be graded and counted towards the
calculation of CGPA for all programmes
Research During Masters Program (Cont‟d)
 (d) a student who cannot complete the thesis work in the
assigned on-campus time may continue to do so at his
own arrangements to complete the thesis work within the
maximum allowed time;
 (e) the students desirous of continuing their research
after the on-campus time shall have to maintain their
registration with the University and accordingly pay the
registration fee as per the policy.
 (f) A student can start research work after completion of
9 (nine) credit hours of coursework provided his CGPA is
≥3.0. Thesis defense will only be allowed once he has
attained a CGPA of ≥3.0 in coursework
Guidance & Examination Committees (GEC)
 NUST Statues; Chapter VII; Para 57…..
 The GEC shall comprise at least three members
holding preferably a PhD degree in the relevant field,
in addition to Research Supervisor/Advisor who must
be a PhD in a relevant field. At least one member of
the GEC shall be an external from another reputed
national University or constituent institute of NUST or
relevant organization. The Research
Supervisor/Advisor shall chair the meeting of GEC.
The Research Supervisors/Advisors must be given
prior necessary experience for this job by initally
nominating them as members of GEC/Co-Supervisors
MS Research Flow at NUST

TH-4

TH-3

TH-2A

TH-2

TH-1

TH-1 Internal
What to do BEFORE next class?
• Submit a research topic relevant to your area of
research.
• The topic should be preferably of an area that
interests you and your potential supervisor
• Ideal scenario is to consult some PhD faculty before
proposing the topic. If no-one can be found, consult
me
• The One pager print-outs of your name, registration
number, research topic/area should reach my office
before 0900 hrs on Thursday (02-July-2015)
• Late submissions will be penalized in terms of marks
from overall score
Research & Its Goals
 What is research?
 According to Webster (1985)
 to research is to search or investigate exhaustively
 A careful or diligent search
 A studious inquiry or examination
 A special investigation or experimentation
 Aimed at
 The discovery and interpretation of facts
 Revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new
facts or practical application or such new or revised
theories or laws
 It can also be the collection of information about a
particular subject
What is research – Other Definitions
 What is research?
 According to Google
 Noun: The systematic investigation into and study of
materials and sources in order to establish facts and
reach new conclusions
 “the group carries out research in geochemistry”
 Synonyms: investigation; experimentation; testing;
exploration; analysis; fact finding; examination; scrutiny;
probing
 Verb: Investigate systematically
 “She has spent last five years researching her people‟s
history”
 Synonyms: investigate, probe, explore, analyse, examine,
review, assess
What is research – Other Definitions
 Overall scheme of scientific activities in which
scientists engage in order to produce new knowledge

 Systematic, controlled, empirical and critical


investigation of hypothetical propositions about
presumed relationship among natural phenomenon

 Research is a critical process for asking and


attempting to answer questions about the world

 Research is a systematic and unbiased way of solving


a problem (by answering questions of supporting
hypotheses) through generating verifiable data
What is research – Other definitions
 Research is finding answers to questions that haven‟t
been answered yet

 Research is asking questions that haven‟t been asked


yet

 Research is adding new knowledge to your field

 Conducting research for your MS/PhD thesis is much


different from taking classes
How is Research Different?
 Taking Classes is predictable: You go to class,
read, complete assignments, take tests, the term
ends, and you begin again with a new course, new
instructor, new class mates. It‟s like hiking a well-
established trail up a mountain
 Conducting research is like reaching the summit of
that mountain to find a featureless plain stretching
ahead of you – and having to blaze your own trail
across it
How is Research Different?
 Research lacks the familiar, comfortable milestones of
coursework

 Research is free-form, the expectations less concrete:

“Do something original. Then come


back in a few months/years and let us
evaluate just how original you were”

 It will be up to you, with the help of your advisor, to set


your own checkpoints to evaluate your progress
across the plains of research
Are there alternatives to Research?

 Reliance on authority  „truth‟ not verifiable

 Personal Experiences  limited and biased

 Common Sense  half-truths; hearsay; wishful

 Intuition  limited & difficult to verify


Goals of Research
 To formulate questions
Exploration

Description

Prediction

Explanation

Action
 To seek answers to these questions
Goals of Research - Exploration
 Exploration: What is a photon – the Nature of light

To determine whether or not a phenomenon exists

 Exploratory research can be very simple or very


complex and sometimes the subject of a research
process itself

 Nothing new might be discovered but the explorations


can reveal some new aspects of the research topic
Goals of Research - Description
 Description: Viral or Bacterial Infections

To examine a phenomenon in more detail or to


differentiate it from other phenomenon

 Descriptive research captures the flavour of an object,


a person or an event at the time the data is collected
but the flavour can change over time

 Research results are not timeless simply because


change is one inherent complexity in this world
Goals of Research - Prediction
 Prediction: Load and change in resistance

To identify relationships that allow speculation


about one thing by knowing more about another
thing

 Exceptions point to the fact that predictive research


enable us to make informed guesses but does not
lead to absolute certainties

 Example: Geoffery West Scalability Studies at Santa


Fe Institute
Goals of Research - Explanation
 Explanation: Ecology; Hooke‟s Law

To examine a cause-effect relationship between two


or more phenomena

 It is used to determine whether or not an explanation


(cause and effect relationship) is valid or to determine
which of two or more competing explanation is more
valid
Goals of Research - Action
 Action: Manage natural resources

Research conducted to solve a social/specific


problem

 Involves any of the previously mentioned goals but


adds to such goals the requirement of finding a
solution, of doing something

 Action research allows testing of other research


results
Goals of Research – Degree Requirements
Exploration – Does it
PhD exist

Description – What is
PhD/MEng/MPhil it? How is it different

Prediction –
MEng/MPhil Relationships

Explanation – What
Mphil/MS/BEng/BSc causes it

MS/BEng/BSc Action - Application


Research Classification – Basic Research
 To develop theories and principles which will add to
man‟s store of knowledge

 Developing knowledge for the sake of knowledge with


little or no concern for immediate practical applications

“People cannot foresee the future well enough to


predict what’s going to develop from basic research.
If we only did applied research, we would still be
making better spears.” Dr. G. Smoot LBNL
Research Classification – Basic Research
 Basic ( aka fundamental or pure) research is driven by
a scientist‟s curiosity or interest in scientific questions
 The main motivation is to expand man‟s knowledge,
not to create or invent something
 There is no obvious commercial values to the
discoveries that result from basic research
 For example; basic investigations probe for answers to
questions such as:
 How did the universe begin?
 What are protons neutrons, and electrons composed of?
 How do slime molds reproduce?
 What is the specific genetic code of the fruit fly?
Research Classification – Applied Research
 To solve an immediate problem or improve a product
or a process
 Has many characteristics of basic research including
sampling and inferences to larger population
 For example, applied researchers may investigate
ways to:
 Improve agricultural crop production
 Treat or cure a specific disease
 Improve the energy efficiency of homes, offices, or
modes of transportation
Research Classification – Gray Area
“How long will it be before some practical
application results from the research?”
 If a practical use is only a few years away, then the
work can be defined as strictly applied research
 If a practical use is still 20-50 years away, then the
work is somewhat applied and somewhat basic in
nature
 If a practical use cannot be envisioned in the
foreseeable future, then the work can be described as
purely basic research
 Example: Fusion Reactor; Superconductivity
Action Research – The undesirable at NUST
 Apply research methods to solve a problem of
limited/local interest
 No attempt to generalize it beyond its scope is made
 Lowest in the hierarchy of research levels
Evaluation of Research
 Critical evaluation of research involves both the
positive and negative aspects of the research

 Research goals effect the methods used to conduct a


research project which in turn effects the way in which
we attempt to evaluate the research

 For those doing research, evaluation of research is


important to know whether it is worthwhile

 For those not conducting research evaluation helps in


understanding which research is relevant and which is
not
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHO: Researchers, Participants & Consumers

 Researchers are presumed to be competent unless


their previous record is to the contrary

 Research reports are the major source of information


and they must be as accurate as possible

 Researcher bias effects direction of research as well


as evaluation of own and other people research

 We would accept a study from a non-believer more


readily than from believer
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHO: Researchers, Participants & Consumers

 The right participants are important consideration in


evaluation of research

 There should be a fit between the purpose of research


and the participants involved in it

 Participants need not be people but could be records


of persons, programs or other objects

 SELF PRESENTATION – How others perceive the


records created – may cloud the issue
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHO: Researchers, Participants & Consumers

 Researchers tend to write reports for other


researchers as opposed to the general public
 Terminology is used which only certain person can
understand
 However, it is difficult to start right from the beginning
in each report
 Hence a glossary is an important part which helps in
the evaluation of the report
 How to disseminate your findings to common masses?
 News & Media Reports
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHAT: Research types and view behind them

 Both topic and theory on which research is based is of


concern

 Different topics require different methods

 Answering different questions about the same


research topic might require different methods

 Perceptions on electrical usage – interviews may be


used
 Actual electrical usage – Read meters
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHAT: Research types and view behind them

 Theory includes overall worldview – basic set of


untestable assumptions underlying all theory and
research

 Theory used to derive our research questions effect


the manner in which the research is conducted

 Worldview is another important aspect of research


 Sex differences are acceptable in intelligence tests but
race and ethnic differences are not so readily
acceptable
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHAT: Research types and view behind them

 Worldview also effects the way research results are


interpreted

 Were we CREATED or EVOLVED


 Same data – Physical world
 Creators conclude that world is about 10,000 years
and humans are created by a divine intervention
 Evolutionists conclude that earth is billions of years old
and humans evolved from other species
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHERE: Research Setting and Environment

 WHERE includes physical and social environments in


which research is conducted

 Simulations may be required to test certain theories –


FIRE

 Artificiality is thus not grounds alone to reject a


research project

 Social environments may make results of certain


research unsuccessful
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 When: time frame of research

 Research on steam engines may be out of place at


this time

 However, one cannot generalize to say that what is


written in a book has been done so that there is no
need to research into this further

 The other aspect is change in condition over time


Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 HOW: Research Methods

 Design and procedure of conducting a research will be


most critically evaluated

 IDEA

 Proposal – Ethics – Design – Data Organization –


Interpretation
 RESEARCH SUPPORT
Who, What, Where, When, How & Why
 WHY: Additional Reasons for the research

 Main goals have already been mentioned

 Other reasons why we do research is to satisfy our


curiosity

 Exact methodology of the study may be a secret which


makes it difficult to evaluate the research critically
Summary
 Research is a process through which questions are
asked and answered systematically. Research can
include the question what is the common persons
perception of the research

 Exploration and Description - Basic Research -


whether or not a particular phenomenon exists and
more carefully define a particular phenomenon
including distinguishing it from other phenomena

 Prediction and Explanation - Applied research –


relationship between two things so that educated
guesses can be made. Does one thing cause another.
Summary
 Action research involves using research to attempt to
solve specific application - Contract research
 Evaluating research involves asking WHO, WHAT,
WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of the research
 The TOPIC, THEORY and WORLDVIEW are also
involved in critical evaluation of research as also are
the PHYSICAL SETTING and SOCIAL CLIMATE
 Research results are not timeless mainly because the
world is changing
 All research that becomes public should be subject to
equally stringent evaluation and criticism be it contract
research