Creative Thinking


Career management

Target group

Members of the Doctoral Schools, no previous knowledge required


In any university context, you are required to establish practical, creative habits that allow you to innovate, solve problems and collaborate positively. Throw into that mix the fact that any PhD project is an exercise in problem solving and that every funding bid or publication requires novelty, and its clear that you benefit from the ability to devise new, and workable, ideas. This hands-on workshop is designed to equip you with practical tools and approaches to relieve the pressure of problematic situations, generate new and insightful ideas and develop them into suitable ways forward.


By the end of the course, you will have addressed the following objectives:

  1. Explored the links between creativity, motivation, flexibility and research
  2. Understood your reasons and context for participation – applied the learning and tools to real situations
  3. Learned an overall process for understanding and approaching situations constructively
  4. Devised tools to cultivate and attend to natural creative process and attitude
  5. Working knowledge of tools to create ideas and new lines of though
  6. Understood different practical methods to explore, develop and turn those ideas into plans
  7. Explored how to offer and receive critique on those plans in a genuinely constructive manner
  8. Understood the of use solution-focused questioning to cultivate creativity
  9. Learned how to generate a motivating vision for solutions vs dwelling in problems
  10. Found the factors that support, or suppress, personal creativity and resourcefulness
  11. Understood the impact of assumption and ego vs open, exploratory states
  12. A method for easing the pressure of important situations and enabling creativity


This event is a highly experiential, hands-on workshop – we won’t be lecturing or diving deeply into theory. We ask you to learn by practicing with the tools and methods we cover, and to apply them to real situations, so what you learn is immediately applicable, personal and memorable. Please come along ready to contribute and participate fully, thanks. The real work occurs between and after the course. There is a small amount of fieldwork that will help you to deepen and experience the ideas and tools we use. These aren’t too much and might even be rather enjoyable; we will certainly use them in each session – so please, make the time to do the fieldwork.


Day 1

  • Introduction and orientation – to the session, the people and style of working.
  • What are you here for? A process to examine motivation, creativity and different approaches to use
  • The quiet voice – what happens when we sit back for a while, and how does it affect creativity?
  • Defaults and mental shortcuts – the good, bad and pretty unhelpful – and how to step outside of them
  • Taking off the pressure and understanding into the situation properly – tools to release the grip of our default thinking, understand the situation more clearly and free up your creative thinking
  • If not that, then what? A small group process explores the impact of focussing on solutions and orienting ourselves to a goal, rather than problems
  • Separate processes – an introduction to a method to structure creative processes from ideas to plans

Day 2

  • Reviewing the fieldwork and practicing what you have learned
  • Tools to help generate ideas are practiced in small groups along with tools for planning and sharing critique in useful ways
  • Building your map – what is it that supports your creative thinking processes – using the workshop learning and your wider experience, we assemble a map of your personal creativity
  • Motivation, action and putting things into practice – tools, conversations and structure that allow you to put all this into practice out of the training room

Time schedule & Venue

Course code



Time Format

14 and 15 December 2023


14/12: Vergaderzaal 1.2 (Campus Ledeganck)

15/12: Leslokaal 1.1, Campus Ledeganck


29 February and 1 March 2024


Leslokaal 0.2 (Campus Ledeganck)


9 until 12 April 2024 



Registration procedure

First semester: follow this link to subscribe to the registration or waiting list.

Second semester: follow this link to subscribe to the registration or waiting list.

Your registration will be confirmed by separate e-mail from the Doctoral Schools.

Cancellation of your registration can only be performed by sending an email to

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools. The no show policy applies.


Dr Jamie McDonald (

Number of participants




Evaluation methods and criteria (doctoral training programme)

Active participation and 100% attendance.

After successful participation, the Doctoral Schools will add this course to your curriculum of the Doctoral Training Programme in Oasis. Please note that this takes up to one to two months after completion of the course.