The process of inquiry in research and industry projects

This page will be updated in due time. Please check at a later date.

1.1 Why do we perform an inquiry?

Before we even start to contemplate the meaning of an inquiry, let’s think about our hypothesis(es) because quite frankly, there will be no inquiry without a hypothesis.

“A hypothesis may be defined as a culmination of previously established evidence or an extrapolation of these evidence.” (Bryman, 2008)

Have you ever asked yourself what is an inquiry in the FYP? Don’t we just conduct a research project and at the end of it write a 3000 word report and present an e-poster? Why are supervisors making life so difficult for us 3rd years by asking us to go through the inquiry process? Wait a minute, we still haven’t define what an inquiry is! Now, based on the dictionary definition: An ‘inquiry’ has these meanings (

1. a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge
2. an investigation, as into an incident: a Congressional inquiry into the bribery charges
3. the act of inquiring or of seeking information by questioning; interrogation
4.a question; query.
So what are we inquiring in our FYPs in SHL? *scratch head*
For DSES students, you may be asked to perform specific inquiry/investigation into the effects of a training modality/supplement on a physiological/physical characteristic. Meaning, you could be investigating the effects of walking 30 minutes everyday for 4 weeks on resting heart rate in sedentary people, or you could be investigating the effects of an energy gel on sprinting performance. When you performsuch an inquiry, you need to have some questions in mind in the first place, such as, “What effects may be found after a 4-week walking programme?” And the truth is, there will be so many physiological effects of exercise so, this question must be more specific. You need to add in more details, so the question now becomes, ” What cardiovascular effects may be found after a 4 week walking programme?” Then, someone else might ask you, “how fast is the walking in the walking programme?” Now, that throws another spanner in the works because you now need to go find out at what point does walking become speed walking, and for that matter at which point does is become jogging?” In DSLM or DOAL, students may be examining more sociocultural, management, or event related issues such as the physical activity levels of physical education teachers or the efficacy of an outdoor adventure camp on self-esteem and confidence. Again, the need to clearly state what constitutes physical activity, efficacy, self-esteem or confidence is present. In summary, a research question will lead you to form a hypothesis(es). Once you have that hypothetical ‘hunch’ you start performing your inquiry to gather evidence to ‘prove your point’.

1.2   What are the purposes of research and industry projects?

Not all projects in SHL are research based. Some are event management type projects where teams undertake the coordination of an event. Nevertheless, in any type of project, teams are required to do some research to gather information for your study/event.

Research can be conceptualised as exhibiting one or more of the following four purposes:

Exploratory: e.g., discovering, uncovering, exploring

Descriptive: e.g., summarising, gathering info, mapping

Explanatory: e.g., testing and understanding causal relations

Predictive: e.g., predict what might happen in various scenarios

To be continued…

2.1   How are research and industry projects conducted?

2.2   How to ensure reliability and validity in the approach of the research/industry project?

2.3   What are milestones within research and industry projects?

3.1   What is the end-product of research and industry projects?

3.2   How will the end-product be used?




Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods. New York: Oxford University Press.

World Medical Association. Declaration of Helsinki (1964). Retrieved from on 13 March 2010.

Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K. (2005). Research Methods in    Physical Activity. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics.


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