All researchers are philosophers…. because all research is based on how the world is perceived and how we believe we can best come to understand it. Research philosophy is concerned with: Ontology Epistemology Methodology Ontology: What is ‘reality’? Epistemology: How do you know something? What is the relationship between you and what you know? Methodology: How do you go about gaining knowledge? Research Paradigm: How we answer these questions creates a paradigm or conceptual framework that guides our research activities. Research Paradigms: Research paradigms guide how a community of researchers act with regards to inquiry. Each paradigm represents a distinct position that stimulates alternative research questions and prompts different modes of investigation. It is necessary to recognise the unique insights and valuable contributions as well as the limitations of each paradigm. Do you see reality as something 'out there', as a law of nature just waiting to be found? Or do you believe that knowledge is a social reality? How does your own presence as a researcher influence what you are trying to un/dis/cover? Are you part of the knowledge you are seeking or are you external to it? How does your view of what knowledge is affect the way you research? Do you have a clear theory that predicts what you will find out in your research? Do you aim to change the thing that you are researching (policy, attitudes, institutions etc.)?