Research Methodology in Transport Sciences

6 - 13 December 2014


Understanding  key concepts on:

  • Differentiate between the different fundamental research methods and understand their strengths and weaknesses when applied to real world problems;
  • System thinking framework, process and compositional approaches for research design, including identification of research questions and formulation of hypothesis;
  • Utilization of multi-methodologies to approach complex problems with quantitative and qualitative methods;
  • Effective and rigorous communication of scientific results to skilled and non-skilled audiences 

Provide students with the technical skills to:

  • Organize a research process
  • Choose the adequate method for the research envisaged
  • Analyse real world problems and develop formulations and solutions supported by scientific methods 


  • Introduction and program  overview.
    Evolution and specialisation of research methods.
    Review of different approaches to science.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • The importance of a good literature review. How to achieve it.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • Overview of quantitative methods supporting research in transport policy and planning.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • Start organizing your research (Part I) 
    Overview of quantitative methods supporting research in transport policy and planning.
    Research design: problem solving approach; research questions and hypotheses; choice of research methods.
    Research process: organization of process; progress monitoring and control.
    Use of Case studies.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • Transforming experimental data into computational analysis in research with controllable phenomenon.
    by Luis Picado (IST)
  • Modelling and simulation techniques.
    by Vasco Reis (IST)
  • Research and data analysis with insufficient information.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • Assessing and choosing a supervisor.
    Interaction between PhD supervisor and student.
    by Rosário Macário (IST) and Vasco Reis (IST) 
  • How to publish – Scientific Communication 
    Panel discussion: 
    Different PhD experiences:  stages of the life cycle of a PhD process;  differences between hard and soft topics.
    by Rosário Macário (supported by Elsevier)
  • Data analysis in Socio-economic research – non controllable phenomenon.
    by Hilde Meersman (University of Antwerp)
  • Start assembling your method 
    Scientific method in natural sciences: description; prediction; control and understanding;
    Controllable versus uncontrollable phenomenon: limitations of experimental methods in face of real world complexity.
    Non-experimental methods: correlation; naturalistic observation; surveys; case studies.
    by Rosário Macário (IST)
  • Policy analysis
    by Eddy van de Voorde (University of Antwerp)
  • Workshop 
    Start building your research argument  
    Students reporting on their own research topics.
    by Rosário Macário (IST) /Eddy van de Voorde  (UAntwerp)/ Hilde de Meersman (UAntwerp)
  • Skype meetings (on request) to support the development of the research plan
    by Rosário Macário/Vasco Reis (IST)‚Äč


Responsible Professor: Prof Rosário Macário 
Time Schedule:  6 – 13 December 2014
Final Exam: to be announced Individual project: 30th January 2015
(by e-mail to