This doctoral training course aims to strengthen the methodological and analytical competencies that enable to design and plan creative, critical, and autonomous academic research, capable of pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge. This is a general course on research design and excellence, providing a holistic view of the research methodologies and process by addressing the following topics: scientific research, epistemology and methodology of science, research problems and questions, methods of data collection and analysis, validity and reliability. The course is divided into five modules: Module 1 addresses philosophical, ontological and epistemological frameworks and current trends of scientific research; Module 2 addresses systematic literature review, development of research problems and questions; Module 3 includes comprehensive overview of advanced technological tools for research (includes cases on applications of AI and machine learning to research, e.g. surveys, sentiment analysis, consumer behaviour, etc.); Module 4 addresses advanced methods, instruments and research quality criteria relevant for working with qualitative data; Module 5 addresses advanced methods, instruments, typical errors, validity and reliability of quantitative research. PhD students will use their research as case example to apply the concepts and skills learned during the course.