Research Methodology

3 credits / 9 weeks weeks
8 Jan 2024 - 10 Mar 2024

Professor Olivia Sylvester
Professor Uzma Rashid

In this course, we will examine the process of designing and carrying out research. We will explore the basic structure of research, learn how to critically analyze the literature to identify research topics and questions, and we will dialogue about the ethics of research. Research designs will be reviewed as well as multiple methods for data gathering both in qualitative and quantitative research (e.g. interviews, photovoice, surveys). Lastly, we will learn how to analyze data so you can present and disseminate your research. Emphasis will be placed on examining existing research to ensure that teachings are applicable to on the ground work. This class is relevant to students and professionals that want to deepen their understanding of how to design, carry out and disseminate research.

Olivia Sylvester

Olivia Sylvester, Ph.D., is the Head of the Environment, Development and Peace Department, and assistant professor at the University for Peace. She is also an adjunct professor for Long Island University and teaches in their Global Studies programme. In the last decade, Olivia’s research program has focused on food security, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental justice, and gender. Specifically, she works with Indigenous people, women, small-scale farmers, and youth on these topics. Her research is driven by social and environmental justice and she uses relevant methodologies (e.g., Indigenous, feminist) to achieve these goals. Olivia is also member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the International Society of Ethnobiology, and the Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage Project. Being active within these networks allows her to work at the interface of policy and practice.

Uzma Rashid


Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies

Dr. Uzma Rashid currently serves as Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University for Peace, Costa Rica. Prior to joining UPEACE, she worked as Chair at the Department of Sociology, and Associate Dean for Research of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Rashid has done her PhD as a Fulbright scholar from the interdisciplinary Language, Literacy, and Culture program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA, and has extensive teaching and research experience in a variety of contexts. Her current research interests lie at the intersections of gender, religion, race, ethnicity, and class, in particular focusing on intersectionality and inclusivity in peacebuilding efforts.

She can be reached at


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