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SAMPLE OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY DESCRIPTIONS

My research methodology requires gathering relevant data from the specified documents and
compiling databases in order to analyze the material and arrive at a more complete understanding and
historical reconstruction of the lives of selected female scholars. I hope to shed light on the following
questions through my research: 1) How did female scholars obtain their education? a) How important
were factors such as kinship networks and socio-economic status in providing women access to their
education? b) To what extent did women attend classes with other students and/or was their training
obtained through private tutoring? 2) Did religious rules regarding veiling, seclusion, and women’s
mobility in the public sphere affect the physical circumstances of women’s education? For example,
did women interact directly with male students and teachers in formal educational settings, or did
they participate through informal spheres such as gatherings in homes, mosques, libraries, and
literary salons? 3) Are there any indications of a curriculum—or a set course of study— that a woman
had to complete before gaining recognition as a hadīth transmitter or as a legal scholar? What
credentials qualified women to interpret Islamic law or to transmit hadīth ? And how do these
compare to the credentials and curricula of contemporary male scholars? 4) To what extent did
female scholars obtain an education in a range of religious sciences beyond hadīth transmission, such
as Islamic law, Qur’ānic exegesis, or poetry?

William Faulkner’s books—first with my teachers at [a previous institution], later at the [another
university] and the [a university], then with my students in undergraduate and graduate courses at
[another university], and finally with literary critics and historians at the [another university].
Decades ago, I left Mississippi, traveling all over the world and living at various places in the United
States, as well as in Germany for four years. During this time, I attended seven different colleges,
focusing primarily on southern literature. I have enjoyed studying and living in over fifteen places,
affirming my adaptability and collegiality. Each return to my study of William Faulkner’s works,
however, enhances my understanding of his fictional Yoknapatawpha County and the Mississippi of
my youth. But it was not until I finally visited [host country] decades ago and later began reading Oe
Kenzaburo’s novels that I realized the influence and universality of William Faulkner’s vision of a
defeated country and a patriarchal society. Being a Fulbright scholar would allow me the chance to
work with Japanese students, explaining Faulkner’s writings, as well as the Mississippi of my youth,
all the while exploring Oe’s moving works.

This project will utilize both quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, but is rooted in a
qualitative epistemological position that recognizes the importance of locating the research within a
particular social, cultural, and historical context. It also takes seriously the social construction of
these contexts and the identities participants construct within them.

Data Collection

Data collection will consist of surveys, classroom observations and interviews with [host country]
teachers, as well as journal logs from teachers. Initially, a survey instrument to measure teacher
attitudes and beliefs regarding professional roles and responsibilities will be administered to a broad
spectrum of participants (ideally, n=300). Subsequently, a purposeful sample will be identified to
participate in the second round of data collection. A structured observation protocol will be
developed to aid in field note collection and an interview protocol rooted in the literature will be
developed to act as a guide for the semi-structured interviews. Multiple interviews are planned with
each participant in order to provide more in-depth data collection and opportunities for follow-up.
The goal is to interview approximately 20 participants who embody a range of identity positions and
who come from different schools and communities. I will work with [host country] teacher training
programs (IUFM), and with faculty at the Research Center in [host city], to identify potential
participants. I will also ask teachers to respond to a series of journal prompts over the course of the
project that allow them to provide a more detailed and longitudinal view of their daily lives as
teachers—their experiences, reactions, beliefs, and ideas about their roles and responsibilities as
educators.

A qualitative evaluation shall be utilized for this research project leveraging subjective methods such
as interviews and observations to collect substantive and relevant data. These interviews shall be
conducted with practicing diplomats from the [one host institution] as well as visiting diplomats to
the [another host institution] conferences. Such a qualitative approach is valuable here due to the
varying experiences of the diplomats in [host country] and other country cultural situations. Upon
collecting the qualitative data derived from said interviews, careful analysis shall be done (both
manually and utilizing nVivo software) to prepare a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,
and threats) to analyze how to best customize the course to the target student populations. Recent
research on intercultural communication and instructional design shall be consulted to validate
collected data. A bibliography containing such research sources has been submitted separately with
this Fulbright application. The research from this Fulbright project shall become an asset to the
established body of literature on cross-cultural issues, however now with a special [host region] point
of interest. As for my own research efforts, I will have the opportunity to implement by intercultural
education expertise within another country and assist a recognized university in developing a ground-
breaking and vital course.

I have an established collaboration with [host scholar] from the Department of Environmental
Science, Faculty of Science, [host institution] We have already collaborated on a project to develop
an annamox culture that anaerobically oxidizes ammonia for nitrogen removal from wastewater….
His extensive network of contacts will optimize my time in [host country] by providing ready-made
avenues for me to contribute my knowledge of environmental science and engineering to several
[host country] universities and for me to learn as much as possible about the [host country]
approaches to nutrient removal and decentralized sanitation.

During the proposed visit, we will investigate the application of the annamox process to remove
nitrogen in domestic wastewater. …This process is called annamox (for anaerobic ammonium
oxidation). The conventional approach to remove nitrogenous pollution in wastewater involves the
aerobic biological oxidation (nitrification) of NH4 …However, this process typically requires
separate reactors for the two processes, nitrifying bacteria are relatively slow growing, and the
denitrification process requires carbon that is not always available … These probes allow detection of
the anaerobic ammonium oxidizing bacteria by techniques such as fluorescent in situ hybridization
(FISH). In FISH, microscopic visualization of specific microbes occurs in relatively intact samples,
which allows insight into the spatial distribution of ....Work at the host

institution thus provides an opportunity for me to work on a very cutting edge microbial process with
a waste stream very different in nature from the waste I typically see.
SAMPLING METHODS

It is incumbent on the researcher to clearly define the target population. There are no strict rules to
follow, and the researcher must rely on logic and judgment. The population is defined in keeping
with the objectives of the study.

Sometimes, the entire population will be sufficiently small, and the researcher can include the entire
population in the study. This type of research is called a census study because data is gathered on
every member of the population.

Usually, the population is too large for the researcher to attempt to survey all of its members. A
small, but carefully chosen sample can be used to represent the population. The sample reflects the
characteristics of the population from which it is drawn.

Sampling methods are classified as either probability or nonprobability. In probability samples, each
member of the population has a known non-zero probability of being selected. Probability methods
include random sampling, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling. In nonprobability sampling,
members are selected from the population in some nonrandom manner. These include convenience
sampling, judgment sampling, quota sampling, and snowball sampling. The advantage of probability
sampling is that sampling error can be calculated. Sampling error is the degree to which a sample
might differ from the population. When inferring to the population, results are reported plus or minus
the sampling error. In nonprobability sampling, the degree to which the sample differs from the
population remains unknown.

Random sampling is the purest form of probability sampling. Each member of the population has an
equal and known chance of being selected. When there are very large populations, it is often difficult
or impossible to identify every member of the population, so the pool of available subjects becomes
biased.

Systematic sampling is often used instead of random sampling. It is also called an Nth name
selection technique. After the required sample size has been calculated, every Nth record is selected
from a list of population members. As long as the list does not contain any hidden order, this
sampling method is as good as the random sampling method. Its only advantage over the random
sampling technique is simplicity. Systematic sampling is frequently used to select a specified number
of records from a computer file.

Stratified sampling is commonly used probability method that is superior to random sampling
because it reduces sampling error. A stratum is a subset of the population that share at least one
common characteristic. Examples of stratums might be males and females, or managers and non-
managers. The researcher first identifies the relevant stratums and their actual representation in the
population. Random sampling is then used to select a sufficient number of subjects from each
stratum. "Sufficient" refers to a sample size large enough for us to be reasonably confident that the
stratum represents the population. Stratified sampling is often used when one or more of the stratums
in the population have a low incidence relative to the other stratums.

Convenience sampling is used in exploratory research where the researcher is interested in getting
an inexpensive approximation of the truth. As the name implies, the sample is selected because they
are convenient. This nonprobability method is often used during preliminary research efforts to get a
gross estimate of the results, without incurring the cost or time required to select a random sample.
Judgment sampling is a common nonprobability method. The researcher selects the sample based
on judgment. This is usually an extension of convenience sampling. For example, a researcher may
decide to draw the entire sample from one "representative" city, even though the population includes
all cities. When using this method, the researcher must be confident that the chosen sample is truly
representative of the entire population.

Quota sampling is the nonprobability equivalent of stratified sampling. Like stratified sampling, the
researcher first identifies the stratums and their proportions as they are represented in the population.
Then convenience or judgment sampling is used to select the required number of subjects from each
stratum. This differs from stratified sampling, where the stratums are filled by random sampling.

Snowball sampling is a special nonprobability method used when the desired sample characteristic is
rare. It may be extremely difficult or cost prohibitive to locate respondents in these situations.
Snowball sampling relies on referrals from initial subjects to generate additional subjects. While this
technique can dramatically lower search costs, it comes at the expense of introducing bias because
the technique itself reduces the likelihood that the sample will represent a good cross section from the
population.