This essential part of the program deals with the tools and skills necessary for MSc thesis research and includes all the activities leading to a successful research design and implementation. This course is spread throughout the program and each participant will select a research topic and be assigned an IHE and local mentor. They will then go on to prepare their literature review and defend their research thesis proposal. The research topics are embedded in practice and can be technical and/or non-technical in nature. It is expected that there will be a fieldwork aspect and the student will be hosted by one of our partner institutions who are working at the cutting edge of non-sewered sanitation research in low- and middle-income countries. Upon return to IHE Delft, the participants are expected to consolidate the research findings and prepare and defend an MSc research thesis.