Creativity@home is an initiative to generate and nurture creative thinking that might lead to potentially transformative research.
The initiative has been developed to help make the best use of the flexibility that is given throughout an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant.
Any researcher applying for an EPSRC grant can include Creativity@home funding as part of their grant submission.
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 – we 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 will 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 postgraduate researchers in blue skies 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 or challenges and how to influence others
- developing a cohort of trained people that have learnt and are applying creative problem-solving techniques so that the approaches and culture become embedded in the group, centre, departments and institutions.