Client Case


EIASM (European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management) is an international network for management research and teaching that includes more than 70,000 management scientists from all over the world. EIASM’s mission is to foster and support innovative, rigorous, responsible and impactful research in management, governance and related disciplines. Since its founding in 1971, for over 50 years EIASM has been the European Network of Networks for Researchers and Doctoral Students in Management and Governance.

Training objectives and learning goals

We are currently (2023) running our 4th edition of the ‘doctoral seminar on generating managerially & societally impactful research ideas’. Finding creative and impactful research ideas is a struggle for many PhD students early in their academic career. Some find it difficult to find the right research question, others stop ideating after their first idea, and some have many ideas but do not know which one to select. We support them with a clear process and tools, and apply these to their own projects.

The seminar aims to help participants achieve their personal goals, which may be different, but often start with a great idea. This may include (I) publishing impactful papers in top journals, (II) working on projects with high societal impact, (III) having greater control over ideation, (IV) increasing the chances of project funding, … .

By the end of the seminar, participants learn:

  • A clear process and tools to get inspired, generate, discuss, and select managerially and societally relevant ideas.
  • Different ways to find inspiration for your research, depending on your research goals and interests.
  • How to develop a higher number and more creative research ideas using hands-on tools and methods.
  • How to present ideas to others in a clear and coherent way.

Mixing industry and academic knowledge

The training upskill academics we have successfully used in companies, governments and academic institutions for 20+ years, adapted to the specific context of generating more impactful research for academics. Through our consulting work, we have applied this process and tooling in multinationals such as Air France-KLM, Michelin, Nokia, Siemens, including many science-based companies (with several PhDs working within them) such as Baxter, Merck, Novartis, and Takeda. Before and since, we have applied these tools together with academic institutions such as the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Metals Consortium, Ghent University, IESEG, Tel Aviv University, WWU Munster, and others.

Training details

The training takes place throughout 5 days with time in between sessions for participants to work on their projects. During our sessions we cover 4 topics, namely (i) domain setting, (ii) immersion, (iii) ideation, and (iv) maturation. The sessions are a mix of interactive sessions, individual work, teamwork, group discussions, and presentations by participants. For each step of the journey participants use tools to support them in conceiving and developing their ideas. See below a summary of the steps we go through and a selection of our tools.


The trainings have been a great success, with the first 3 editions receiving an overall satisfaction score between 4.6-4.8/5 from participants. We also received many tangible results with participants mentioning:

  • “2 ideas that came from our course I now received funding for.”
  • “I am already teaching the tools also to my students.”
  • “I now proposed a new project based on our course also now incorporating my passion.”

We also received overall feedback about the course, which included:

  • “Thank you for creating a safe space for us to learn various new things and share our ideas with the team”
  • “Great to have concrete tools to start crafting and developing ideas”
  • “The workshop was very interactive and the hosts were very enthusiastic. It was nice that during the small break-out sessions we could get to know each other a little bit better. Overall I am very happy with how the workshop was organized.”
  • “Great training! Astonishingly, I felt like I was on a regular workshop despite it being digital. It was very interactive (with MURALs, breakout rooms and small group work).”
  • “The way how presenters offered me the new perspective on my potential customers – journals, jury, supervisor etc. I have never thought about them from the business perspective!”

Why Academic Creativity Labs?

We are proud to bring something new to academia and help develop researchers’ competencies so they can have a higher societal impact and bring innovations to the world. We bring a unique blend of knowledge from business and academia.

From business we bring tooling, processes and experience working with science-driven companies & organizations.

From academia we bring a deep understanding of the academic world based on our own academic experience.