Research Design and Methodologies

Research design is a plan to answer your research question. A research method is a strategy used to implement that plan. Research design and methods are different but closely related. Good research design, ensures that the data you obtain will help you answer your research question more effectively.

The method of data collection used for research must be selected appropriately to answer the research question.

Quantitative data collection methods can include;

  • Retrospective data collection
  • Survey data collection
  • Questionnaires;
  • Interviews;
  • Systematic observations

Qualitative data collection methods can include;

  • Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Observations

This clip really usefully explains how researchers use routine data:

Keele CTU employs a range of data collection methodologies, we are currently exploring innovative EDC methods too.


Please see the presentation below which will talk you through the EDC innovations that Keele CTU have developed, to ensure that we can provide the best method of data capture and data management for both you and your research participants. The presentation covers; Keele CTU’s Study App Template; EDC methodologies to include Keele Health Survey, SMS and social media; plus, Teleform. 

Click here to download our Electronic Data Capture Presentation which features videos covering the topic of EDC.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have been further developing our EDC through the use of online surveys, here is a presentation which explains in more detail how EDC through online surveys has helped to continue our research throughout the pandemic.

If you would like further information on EDC, please drop the team an email at

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in RCTs

At the core of all of our research, are patients and the public, and we have a Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) team who support and develop all PPIE activities. We have over 130 lay members sitting on our Research User Group (RUG), who help us to develop our research questions, design our research, and provide invaluable advice on how we can implement our research into practice. If you are interested in getting involved or would like to find out more, then please email or call 01782 734727.

This clip provides some more information on how we make sure that a trial is safe.

The Lay Involvement in Knowledge Mobilisation (LINK) Working Party was established at Keele University in early 2016 to enable and support meaningful Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) in the implementation of research evidence into real-life healthcare practice. The group aims to facilitate the movement, or ‘mobilisation,’ of knowledge and evidence-based innovations into wider use, for the benefit of the wider community, nationally and internationally.

Find out more here.