Student Futures

The creative researcher

The very best research efforts - and the researchers who carry them out - combine two important activities; critical thinking, and creativity. Science and engineering are perceived by those who work in the field as being inherently "creative" subjects, but having a more developed intellectual ability doesn't necessarily imply a greater creative skill. Though it cannot be taught directly, the skills required for more effective creative thinking can be nurtured through an osmotic process - an individual immersed in a creative environment with other people, with the opportunity to practice some of the tools, can help to improve their creative potential. Often though, it's a matter of learning how to re-active ones' innate creativity that can become attenuated in a professional environment where risk-taking might be discouraged.

What is Student Futures?

Student Futures is a residential course, delivered by EPSRC in conjunction with professional creative facilitators and mentors drawn from across UK academia and/or business. Each event aims to provide a small group of current EPSRC sponsored doctoral students with the opportunity to experience a range of tools and techniques for individual and group working that are designed to enhance their abilities for creative thinking, problem-solving and idea-generation.

Through the lens of the theme of the Student Futures event, attendees will have the chance to explore how they and their other delegates approach problem-solving, how to nurture creativity in themselves and those in the group around them, and how to exploit their personal and professional networks for the benefit of the creative process. There is no prescriptive fashion in which to achieve this - rather, Student Futures aims to give the participants a range of techniques, such that they can choose those methods that work best for them, when applied to their research field.

Aims and objectives

Student Futures aims to give students:

  • Experience of a range of techniques for creative problem-solving and idea-generation.
  • An appreciation of the how to look at a problem from many different angles.
  • The ability to maximise their professional and personal network for their own benefit.
  • A capability to educate their peers in the skills that they have learned.

Who attends Student Futures?

EPSRC selects focus areas for Student Futures events, and extends an open invitation to students to submit applications for consideration. These applications are assessed by an EPSRC panel, on the basis of their perceived suitability for, and receptiveness towards, the creative ethos the event is championing. Applicants are encouraged to think laterally as to how they demonstrate their suitability and enthusiasm for the Student Futures concept.

Student Futures opportunities will be advertised as an EPSRC Call.