Research Design in Environmental Sociology

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam



Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"


The seminar has a crash course format and is organized into three full-day meeting. Each student will be assigned a discussants, but all will be welcome to comment orally and in written form. Each student will present their work, followed by the intervention of the assigned discussant and by further comments from the rest of the audience. Students will be asked to circulate at least a week before each meeting the following type of documents: the research proposal (for I year PhD students); one PhD chapter or PhD-related article and a five page summary of the PhD (for II-III PhD students). Assessment will be based on: 1) clarity of presentation; 2) quality of submitted work; 3) participation to class discussion, in terms of feedback and peer-review comments provided to fellow PhD students.


Session N. 1 Discussion of III year PhD students

(9/5/2023, h. 11-18)

Session N. 2 Discussion of II year PhD students

(16/5/2023, h. 11-18)

Session N. 3 Discussion of I year PhD students

(23/5/2023, h. 11-18)

Educational aims

The aim is to provide PhD students of the first three years who are working, as their main topic or as an aspect of their core topic, on environmental and urban-rural issues (including conflicts, mobilizations, governance and participation, and the role therein of technoscience and expertise) with a common space for presenting and discussing the development of their thesis projects to an audience made of peers, professors and post-doctoral fellows. Besides improving reciprocal knowledge and potential networking, the research design course aims at discussing, with reference to the specific projects, the main steps in the development of a research design: from the selection of the central research questions, to their theoretical framing, the case selection, the choice of the empirical methods of investigation, the challenges of fieldwork, and the analysis and presentation of the results. Involving participants at different stages of their academic experiences, the seminar also offers the opportunity to develop PhD’s skills in not only discussing, but also constructively contributing to each other research, both during the sessions and in successive informal, face-to-face or small groups, occasions, that are in part already ongoing and that we hope to stimulate further.