Military Nursing Research: Fundamentals of Survey Methodology


The Biobehavioral Research Interest Group (RIG) of the TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP) is initiating a survey research training program for military nurse researchers. This intensive program will require at-home study and one week in residence at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The field of survey methodology draws on theories and practices developed in several academic disciplines - mathematics, statistics, psychology, sociology, computer science, and economics. To become an accomplished professional in the survey research field requires a mastery of research literatures as well as experience designing, conducting, and analyzing surveys.

This course introduces the student to a set of principles of survey design that are the basis of standard practices in the field. The course exposes the student to research literatures that use both observational and experimental methods to test key hypotheses about the nature of human behavior that affect the quality of survey data. It will also present important statistical concepts and techniques in sample design, execution, and estimation, as well as models of behavior describing errors in responding to survey questions. Thus, both social science and statistical concepts will be presented.

The course uses the concept of total survey error as a framework to discuss coverage properties of sampling frames, alternative sample designs and their impacts on standard errors of survey statistics, alternative modes of data collection, field administration operations, the role of the survey interviewer, impacts of nonresponse on survey statistics, the effect of question structure, wording and context on respondent behavior, models of measurement error, post survey processing, and estimation in surveys.

The course is intended as an introduction to survey methodology taught at a graduate level. Lectures and course readings assume that students understand basic statistical concepts (at the level of an undergraduate course) and have exposure to elements of social science perspectives on human behavior. For those lacking such a background, supplementary readings are recommended. In addition to lectures, the workshop format consists of in-class exercises and evening homework assignments.

This workshop is intended to be the first in a series of offerings leading to a certificate in survey methodology and analysis. Admission to the program is competitive and enrollment is limited. Participants will be selected based on their research experience, methodological training, and research agenda. To apply to the course, complete the Summer Program portal registration information (by clicking on the "Registration & Fees" tab at the top of this page) and then upload the following documents through the portal:

  • Current curriculum vita
  • Brief letter of interest describing how you plan to apply the knowledge and skills gained by attending the workshop, including relevance to your research agenda
  • In the letter of interest, please indicate the source of your funding:
    • Applying for Tri-Service funding
    • Other funding; please specify

Deadlines: All application materials must be submitted no later than April 30. Applicants will be notified by May 30.

Tags: nurses, military, survey methodology

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