The International School of Quantitative Research (ISQR)

The problem:

It is today widely recognized that a high number of scientifically well educated people is one key to success for any modern society. As a consequence, many countries have started initiatives to increase the number of phd students and to ensure a lifelong education of researchers. However, research is today highly specialized. This makes it even for (big) universities difficult to offer appropriate courses to their phd students and researchers covering a substantial number of participants. Offering courses across different institutions is an obvious solution to this problem. Research is today also more and more cross disciplinary. Again, even for (big) universities it can be difficult to offer support or supervision by a local team of experts covering all disciplines. Cross-institutional supervision and support is again an obvious solution.

The use of empirical, quantitative research methods is today part of many research projects. Even research not using quantitative methods itself is often highly depending on a correct understanding of results based on quantitative, empirical research methods. As a result, courses on quantitative research methods are an essential part of the education for many phd students.

The solution:

The ISQR at the University of Freiburg is responding to this global need for high-level education related to quantitative research for postgraduate students and other (young) researchers. The main tools used by the ISQR are internet based courses and summer schools on specific areas defined by research methods or research topics, but also individual support for research projects is possible. It is typically for the courses and summer schools offered by the ISQR that they are not tailored to participants with a specific, highly specialized background, but are accessible for participants with highly varying scientific background, working typically in cross disciplinary environments.

The ISQR will offer courses at various levels

  • Introductory courses: These courses require no background in quantitative research and are intended for participants who would like to do their first steps in empirical research.
  • Basic courses: These courses are typically on a specific type of methods or on a specific area of application. They require some familiarity with basic concepts of quantitative research and statistics.
  • Advanced courses: These courses are typically on specific modern techniques.


The ISQR is still under construction. In 2010, we offered a 11-week course Regression Models as a Tool in Medical Research the first time. In 2012, the course was offered for the third time, now as a 16-week-course. Since then, we offered it every year.

In 2011 we got a grant from the BMBF to develop courses on "Understanding Diagnostic Research" and "Quantitative Methods in Health Service Research". We hope to be able to offer these courses in 2014.

The ISQR is recruiting teachers and instructors from all Faculties of the University of Freiburg and from other universities.



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