Creative Problem Exploration in Research

Title:Creative Problem Exploration in Research

Duration:1 day
Training Units2.0
The Graduate School

This course is delivered by the Graduate School

The Graduate School courses are very popular and the majority are run in both semesters to give you the opportunity to attend at a time of the year that suits you. Semester 1 courses will be available for booking from the second week of October and Semester 2 courses from the second week of February.

Target audience

Mid stage postgraduate research students
Early career researchers

This course is for you if you are interested in developing your creative thinking in the context of your research problems. By looking at the assumptions underlying your problem statement you will view your research with new perspectives and potentially identify new avenues of exploration. The course will help you with idea-generation and enable you to identify the stages of the creative process.


Pre-session preparation – clarifying your research questions:
This one-day course is intended to develop your ability to explore research problems using the creative process.    In order to maximise the usefulness of the session all participants need to think about their research in advance, and prepare short written answers to the following:

 a) What key questions or problems does your research explore?

Phrase your response in terms that will be easily understood by students from other disciplines; use simple vocabulary and focus on the most important issues/concepts being explored. Keep it short – maximum of two sentences. 

 b) Are there currently barriers to you finding answers to these key questions or solutions to the problems? If so, what are they?

Barriers might relate to the research itself e.g. difficulty in sourcing information, choosing an appropriate methodology, or replicating experimental data. Barriers might also be caused by a lack of resources, gaps in your knowledge or skills-base, or simple lack of time/energy/funds!

Please remember to bring the responses with you on the day.


A one-day workshop.


The course will take you through an introduction to creative processes and recent developments in using tools to enhance creative thinking. You will be invited to explore some aspects of your own research during the course by defining/redefining research questions, examining underlying assumptions, employing creative thinking techniques to generate new ideas and to discuss these with other researchers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.
This is an exciting and innovative course offered by the Graduate School in response to training guidance from the Research Councils.

Related Courses
How to be an Effective Researcher (PGRs only)


To develop your background and experience in exploring research problems using the creative process.


By the end of the course you will be able to: 

• redefine your research questions as problem statements;
• identify assumptions underlying your problem statements; 
• explore methods of visually mapping research information; 
• employ idea-generation strategies to introduce new approaches to your research; 
• consider new ideas generated to re-examine the direction of your research project ;
• identify the stages of the creative process.

Latecomer policy
Researchers should plan to arrive prior to the advertised course start time. Except for exceptional reasons, there will be no admittance to a Graduate School or Faculty Training Programme (FTP) course 15 minutes after the advertised course start time.

Importance of booking commitment
When booking on to a Graduate School short course you are entering into a commitment to attend. If you find that you are no longer available to attend you MUST cancel your place (on the system if more than three days before the course) or if at short notice by emailing This will ensure that your place can be offered to another researcher on the waiting list. Failure to cancel a place results in other researchers missing out on places through the waiting list process.

It is unacceptable for researchers to just not attend when booked onto a course. The Graduate School maintains records of those who repeatedly do not attend courses they have booked. This may affect future eligibility to book onto further Graduate School courses and will affect considerations for Graduate School funded opportunities.


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