Engineering design has a broad variety of approaches, methods and methodologies to conduct, evaluate and validate research. This contribution focuses on empirical studies and divides existing approaches and classifies them according to a scheme with criteria and boundary conditions, such as participants (students, researchers), the length of the study, the incorporation of the study into the curriculum etc. There are certain ideas, challenges and recommended practices associated with each environment and scenario. Knowing them will help design method developers in engineering design who want to conduct empirical studies but have little or no experience with student participants. Therefore, conducted studies from the research institute are mapped onto the classification scheme and synthesized challenges and recommended practices associated with laboratory conditions and student participants will be presented.