The quest for "safe uncertainty" in student research

Authors Stijn Bollinger
Publication date 2014
Research groups Research Competence
Type Lecture


This contribution explores the anatomy of “safe uncertainty” in the research process of students in higher education. Uncertainty and research go hand in hand, as uncertainty is omnipresent in the process of research. Mostly in the background, but sometimes looming large in the foreground. We tend to expel uncertainty from research. We try to make the research process as predictable as possible by creating clear criteria, planning, making agreements and organizing supervision. Also with regard to the content, uncertainty has to be decreased. We try to reduce uncertainty by emphasizing precision, objectivity, logic, accountablility, measurability, validity, reliablility. And in the process, we are actually searching for the right concepts, language, or even shared images, in order to get as much grip as possible on the intangible research process.

On this publication contributed

Language English

Stijn Bollinger

Stijn Bollinger | Senior researcher and senior lecturer | Methodology of Practice-Based Research

Stijn Bollinger

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Research Competence