Doing creative research




In this workshop, we will go beyond a conventional understanding of the research process as a well-structured procedure, a linear A to B plan that must be followed correctly. The research process is always unpredictable: Unforeseen events, constraints, obstacles, and mistakes are an inherent part of it. Instead of going against the odds in this workshop, you will learn how to “go with the flow”: Saying yes to the mess and developing creative problem-solving strategies. In addition to theoretical inputs and examples of how well-known scientists deal with failure, an important part of the workshop is experiential learning: With playful exercises from improvisational theatre, you will discover fruitful ways to deal with the unpredictable and annoying, be it your data, your instruments or your colleagues. You will also use the energy of the group to stimulate, motivate and inspire each other, and last but not least: to have fun! But most importantly, you will relate your experience from the exercises to your current research project and find creative ways to move it forward. 
In short: In this workshop, you will be able to approach unexpected situations in your research project with flexibility, spontaneity, and confidence: qualities that are essential for academic success – and valuable in life. 

Course objectives    
  • Learn how to deal with so-called “errors” and feel confident with them.
  • Learn about the process of discovery from examples of the history of science.
  • Understand what affects and impairs thinking, performance and discovery psychologically.
  • Explore characteristics of creative thinking and how it can be incited.
  • Analyze own thinking patterns as well as impasses in your current research project.
  • Loosen up rational thinking and experience new ways of problem-solving with exercises from improvisational theater.
  • Elaborate own unconventional strategies to solve a current problem in your research project.
Instructor     Dr. phil. Alba Polo
Target participants     PhD candidates of all disciplines
Duration     3 days

5 May 2022 9:00 - 17:30h

10 May 2022 9:00 - 17:30h

24 May 2022 9:00 - 17:30h

Canceling deadline    

14 April 2022 23:59

(see Conditions of Participation for information on canceling after the deadline.)



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