OPG Workshop 23 October

Workshop: Advanced Research Methods and Techniques
Workshop in which 2nd-year PhD students reflect on the methodological choices that they have made with Carla Hoetink and Liesbeth van de Grift
When: 23 October, 15:00-17:00, online 

We warmly invite you to the first event in the RSPH workshop series. After an introduction to this year’s programme, we will engage with the existential question ‘What exactly am I doing and how can that be justified?’

You have now entered the second year of your PhD trajectory and will have obtained a clearer view of the research aims and objectives that you are pursuing in your respective projects. You will most likely have made sharper choices with respect to the concepts from which you work, the period on which you intend to focus, the primary sources that you will study – some perhaps more consciously so than others. We will use this workshop as an opportunity to take stock of these choices and the ways in which they can be justified with an eye to the research questions that you pose. Is this indeed the way to go if you want to find an answer to this particular research question? What are the limitations and challenges of your chosen method and approach? Are alternatives thinkable and how would you justify your not-using them?

We ask you to prepare a concise and structured report (1-2 pages) in which you describe how you will operationalize your research question. What are the choices (in terms of conceptual/theoretical framework, approach, source corpus, periodization, geographical scope…) that you have made and why? What are the possible implications of these choices for the results of your research project? Have you considered alternatives as well and why have you decided to dismiss them? What choices do you still need to make and what do you need to be able to make them (this workshop may prove of help!)?

Please send your essay to c.hoetink@let.ru.nl and l.vandegrift@uu.nl by Tuesday 20 October. We will use the essays as a basis to prepare the group work and plenary discussions. During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your choices and engage in a discussion about their validity and feasibility with your peers.


15.00   Opening and introduction to the programme 2020-2021 by Dirk Jan Wolffram/Margit van der Steen

15.15   Choosing your methods – introduction and discussion by Carla Hoetink and Liesbeth van de Grift

15.35    Start of group work

16.00    Break

16.15    Continuation of group work

16.45    Where are we at? Plenary discussion about the possibilities, challenges and limitations of your chosen methods



Participants need to register at bureau@onderzoekschoolpolitiekegeschiedenis.nl before 21 October. After registering, you will receive a zoomlink (or other online video conference tool).


  • Carla Hoetink is assistant professor of Political History at Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Dr Liesbeth van de Grift is associate professor of International History at Utrecht University