Doing creative research





Is there room for creativity in science?

Researchers live in an eternal paradox: on the one hand, they need to follow well structured and formalized procedures as well as a research plan and fulfill the scientific demand for rigour. On the other hand, they are constantly confronted with the unknown and are expected to be original and innovative. This paradox can be unsettling for researchers, can restrict their self-confidence and can lead to a loss of motivation.
With examples from the history of science as well as by sharing own experiences, PhD candidates reflect on how creative thinking arises in the research process and what in turn affects and impairs thinking, performance and discovery.

The workshop offers the opportunity to step beyond a conventional 
understanding of the research process and explore thinking strategies that lead to creative problem solving. Besides theoretical inputs the workshop consists in experiential learning: With exercises from improvisational theatre participants experience new, playful and fruitful ways of dealing with the unexpected, with coincidences, mistakes and constrains. They relate their experience in the exercises to their experience in their everyday work as researcher and apply it to their current research project. 
In this course PhD candidates learn to approach unexpected situations in a more flexible, spontaneous and self-confident way – be it in research or in life. 

Course objectives    
  • learn how to deal with errors and feel more confident in the research process
  • learn about the process of discovery from historical examples
  • understand what affects thinking and performance psychologically 
  • explore characteristics of creative thinking and how it can be encouraged
  • analyse own working strategies and thinking patterns as well as impasses in the current research project
  • experience new ways of thinking and loosen up rational thinking with exercises from improvisational theatre
  • elaborate own, unconventional approaches to their current research project and solve concrete problems they encounter with creative strategies
Instructor     Dr. phil. Alba Polo
Target participants     PhD candidates of all disciplines
Language     English
Duration     3 days

5 May 2020

12 May 2020

26 May 2020

Canceling deadline     14 April 2020 23:59


Contact person     Eric Alms, Graduate Campus
ECTS credit     1 ECTS credit (has to be recognized by your faculty)