Philosophical Foundations of Responsible Research (online course)

Testimonials

Have you ever wondered what it really means when a threshold of p < .10 versus a p < .05 is used for significance hypothesis testing? (Hint: It’s related to the risks involved as organizations implement management practices. It’s not about whether the effect is “more/less significant” nor whether reviewers would find the results “more/less credible.”)

Have you ever wondered why some people will argue that our research should be value-free, while considering organizational values for performance and profit-making as acceptable (and oftentimes taken-for-granted)? Have you also wondered to what extent researchers’ own values (e.g., values for achievement, status, or societal welfare) have played a role in their scientific work?

Have you ever wondered if there is a parallel between translating physics knowledge to engineering practices, biochemical knowledge to medical practices, and management knowledge from your own studies to managerial practices?

If you find any of the above questions intriguing, you will find the course delightful, just as I did. I did not find definitive answers on all the topics, but the interactive discussions and the relevant readings, helped me expand my perspectives to think through these complex issues.

Perhaps these issues do not seem apparent in our day-to-day research. Yet, through the learning in this course, I have come to realize how deeply embedded these issues are in many of our research decisions. Just because we are not always conscious of the implications and influences of our decisions and actions, the impact nevertheless exists. I appreciate the opportunity and the safe space in which I could learn to be more mindful of what we really do as social scientists.

Of course, it was also a lot of fun to make friends with a bunch of inspiring and friendly faculty and peers from around the world!

Grace, United States

I must say that I had high expectations of this course and these expectations were remarkably exceeded. In fact, I think I was able to get the most out of this course and I am ready to use it in the course of my PhD.

This experience would only have been better if it had been face-to-face, as it is really hard to develop solid relationships online.

Furthermore, your teaching styles and methods will serve as a “role model” during my professional and academic life. The extremely well organized way you presented all the contents and lectures (starting with the syllabus and ending with each of the session closings, including the last one) is impressive.

I am a little exhausted after so much reading and discussions, but really happy to have completed it. Although this was a course, it definitely felt like a full first year of a PhD!

Pedro, Portugal

The RRBM course was truly a unique and rewarding experience. First, the world-class mentors and presenters not only share their wisdom and insights, but also encourage the students to challenge their assumptions, think critically, and engage in rigorous debates on important topics in social science and practice. Second, a culturally diverse and multi-disciplinary cohort of doctoral students from across the world offer learning and networking opportunities unlikely available anywhere else. Third, a deep dive into the philosophy of science and principles of responsible research provides the foundation to address current issues in the social sciences and society. The course is hard work, but the rewards are commensurate with the efforts required.

Justin, United States

I would recommend that all doctoral students do the Philosophical Foundations of Responsible Research course offered through RRBM. I believe that my doctoral journey would have been incomplete without doing this course. The books, other readings, and overall plan of the course ensures steady progress and understanding of critical concepts. The similarities and differences between science and social sciences are better understood and I am now able to better appreciate the profound ideas of Karl Popper. Responsibility, rigor, and relevance required in research are values that are highlighted in this course and the sooner doctoral students inculcate these values the better it is for them individually as researchers and for all stakeholders as well.

Chandra, India

The doctoral seminar hosted by RRBM has been a life-changing experience for me. As a PhD candidate who is all set to write her dissertation, I received the right guidance at the right time about the role of values in social sciences and the progression of science over the years. Such readings are often excluded from the doctoral programs, which deprives the students of the foundational knowledge about the principles and practices one must follow as a researcher. The enriching discussions with Dr. Anne Tsui, Dr. Don Lange, and all the guest speakers helped me understand the message hidden in the readings better. If it hadn’t been for this seminar, my journey as a researcher would have been incomplete.

Piyushi, United States

It’s a wonderful and engaging experience, go for it!

The course is designed with early career researchers in mind: to drive the sense-making of the content. Participants are drawn from different universities across the globe: positing an enriching, well-structured, balanced, and inclusive melting pot of views and ideas by colleagues with very different and informative backgrounds – absolutely superb! Input flows from the dedicated team of seasoned academics who guide the sessions as well as the subject experts who are invited to share their brilliant and prized work: welcoming criticism and constructive learning while fully engaging with the students. Perhaps the greatest highlight for me was the feedback I received which helped in shaping the study to ensure actionable and impactful contributions. These insights build upon the evolution of existing philosophical standpoints, and are a meaningful ingredient for broad dissemination once the research has been completed.

Afsa, Scotland, United Kingdom