This new four-week online course will provide all levels of think tankers with the knowledge, insights, and tools to build and grow their research capacity. This course will introduce you to principles of research capacity building, policy design, analytical tools, and policy writing, as well as techniques for research project management. Each lesson is taught through assorted readings, case studies, exercises and online lectures — preparing you to take your think tank’s policy research projects to the next level. 
A think tank’s role is to move public opinion, and high-quality, credible research provides the foundation to accomplish just that. Through this course we’ll explore methods, best practice and successful strategies from think tanks across the globe, to help you gain the research foundation necessary to achieve greater impact.
Who will benefit from this course?
  • Individuals in the early stage of building a policy research- and advocacy-based think tank
  • Research project managers at new & established think tanks
  • New think tank researchers
  • Think tanks working to grow their research capacity
What you’ll gain
  • Understanding of successful think tank practices in policy research
  • Knowledge of how to deliver successful research projects:
  • Effective research project design and management
  • The fundamentals of think tank policy research: analytical research, writing, quality control, and messaging
What will you leave this training with?
  • An assessment of your think tanks’ research capacity
  • Research project management tools: Timelines, templates and tools 
  • A policy research agenda ready for implementation at your think tank
  • A piece of policy analysis ready for publication
Course Breakdown:
  • Lesson One: Building Think Tank Research Capacity: Theory and Practice
  • Lesson Two: An Analytical Framework for Think Tank Public Policy Research
  • Lesson Three: Introduction to Data and Research Methods
  • Lesson Four: Policy Writing, Publishing and Messaging    
Note, this course is designed for individuals serious about developing their research capabilities. We recommend devoting at least two hours per week to this course, and taking the time to thoroughly apply the assignments to your own think tank’s realities. While this is not a replacement for higher education, this course will provide a think tank the tools to get started on effective research development.