After half a year of reading up on relevant, political scientific literature,and some additional methods training, I was given the task to come up with a feasible thesis project, which would address one single topic to be dealt with in slightly different ways, by 3 separate studies. These studies would be separate but related, to finally come together as an article-based thesis. They also had to tap into the interests of the CSPL, the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which I am collaborating with.
This required the necessary suggestions from my supervisors, reading heaps of literature, a search for current and relevant phenomena and some serious thought regarding my already existing skills and interests. I even had to contact some of my friends here and there to discuss the feasibility of some ideas and methodological applications that crossed my mind. This stage of the process is time-consuming and – may I say – a little scary. Not having a specific direction or plan gives a certain discomfort. I am, however, now happy to report that I have decided on the main topic and the three studies to conduct.
I will spend this summer reading up and working on these paper plans. Hopefully I will also manage to perform some data collection. This will make the first weeks and months of the second year of my PhD much more manageable.
I am so looking forward to making some real, concrete progress.