Skillfluence can work with you to deliver this EPSRC designed initiative to explore and nurture creative thinking that might lead to potentially transformative research. The Creativity@home initiative follows on from a consultation process with senior members of the academic community. They were asked what sort of environment and support would really help them to focus on being creative in their research ideas – the EPSRC listened and creativity@home was launched.
Creativity@home was piloted with six cross-disciplinary EPSRC funded research groups. Each group was given access to a professional facilitator for up to three working days – the aims and objectives were left up to the groups to decide. For creativity@home, the academic group is the key resource. The facilitators work in partnership with the group throughout the initiative – the timescale and all facilitation activities are planned in consultation with the lead academic. The facilitators focus on the process enabling the group to think freely and explore new and exciting research directions.
Objectives for creativity@home include:
- Learning a range of creative problem solving tools and techniques and how this might aid creativity in research.
- Exploring the future research vision and cross-disciplinary opportunities in the group using new facilitation tools and techniques.
- Engaging post-doctoral and post-graduate researchers in blue sky idea generation in particular, ensuring EPSRC sponsored students are encouraged to cultivate and develop their creative thinking skills – thus enhancing their training experience.
- Learning how to work effectively in teams, understanding different styles of approaching problems / challenges and how to influence others.
- Developing a cohort of trained people that have learned and are applying creative problem solving techniques so that the approaches and culture become embedded in the group, centre, departments and institutions.
Activities that have previously taken place include:
- Away days to explore future research directions, involving a variety of stakeholders.
- Training project managers in creative facilitation techniques enabling them to run departmental sandpits and cross-disciplinary idea generation workshops.
- Away days for the teams exploring how they might work better together.