Hints for Preparation

What do we mean by methodological consultation?

"Method" as a term has its origin in Greek (méthodos; με ́θοδοζ) and describes "a way towards something". In research, it depicts systematized procedures for surveying, editing, analysing and visualizing facts for answering a certain scientific question. For instance, interviews, observations or analyzing pictoral footage.

"Consultation" is usually understood as the act of asking an expert to help solve a specific problem through communication, either by mail, phone or other ways.

  • Who are we adressing?
  • How do we proceed?
  • Important for your preparation

Who are we adressing?

  • Students of the Leuphana University (Bachelor, Master or PhD level)
  • External doctoral candidates whose enrollment takes place at the Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • Staff of the Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • Scientists and junior researchers of the Leuphana University Lüneburg

How do we proceed?

  1. Inform your supervisor and obtain their consent.
  2. Engage intensively with your research topic (especially the empirical part) and define your research objective (including statistical hypotheses or specific research questions).
  3. Register officially for a consultation appointment.
  4. Prepare for the consultation appointment and, if necessary, send us additional information and materials (e.g. data, survey and research design etc.) in advance so that we can advise you effectively.
  5. Usually, 1 to 3 consultation appointments take place, in which we work out a solution together with you.

Important for your preparation

Help us to help you!

In order to provide you with the best possible advice, we would like to give you the following information:

  1. Please be prepared for the appointment. In order for us to be able to give you the best possible advice, you should check in advance whether the research questions have been formulated precisely, whether the data has been sufficiently prepared for statistical or interpretative analysis and - if possible - that you have refreshed your methodological knowledge yourself.
  2. Please formulate your research questions or statistical hypotheses as precisely as possible. The more precisely you formulate your research objective, the more efficiently and effectively we can help you. In very few cases we can help you with questions of content, since we are based in different disciplines and therefore probably not familiar with your field of research.
  3. Before consulting, please consider which research goal you are pursuing and give us sufficient information about it. Let us know at the beginning of the consultation what you need our help for. For quantitative surveys, please avoid changing your research objective or research question as much as possible, as this usually leads to a different methodological approach and thus, unnecessary consulting loops arise.
  4. Please allow enough time for advice. Especially for theses (Bachelor, Master, PhD theses) it is recommended to get advice at the beginning of your work as soon as your research goal is determined. This has the advantage of allowing us to provide methodological advice as early as the conception of your study (which also means: BEFORE the start of data collection). It also avoids the risk of getting into scheduling bottlenecks if you ever have to wait for an appointment.
  5. Please note that the number and duration of consultations are limited. In order to provide advice to all members of the Leuphana University, the scope of the advice should not exceed three appointments. Doctoral students and (young) researchers also receive a higher number of advisory appointments than Bachelor theses.
  6. Please note the legal framework for method advice. In order to protect your copyrights and authors' rights, a complete evaluation of your data, interpretation of your results or other relevant qualification and research services (e.g. construction of a questionnaire, guidelines for your interviews etc.) cannot be carried out. However, small-scale calculations or analysis steps of the software can usually be carried out together with the advisors. Scientific collaborations (especially co-authorship) are not advisory services and are excluded from this.