Client Case

University of Münster

The University of Münster is a public research university located in the city of Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. With more than 43,000 students and over 120 fields of study in 15 departments, it is Germany’s fifth largest university.

Training objectives

We delivered a training on “Generating more creative and impactful research ideas”. Researchers, especially those earlier in their career, struggle to come up with creative and impactful ideas. Moreover, when they find an interesting avenue for research they don’t sufficiently ideate to make ideas bigger and better. Through our programs, we thereby help researchers to generate more creative and impactful ideas. This serves several objectives, including:

  • Writing more impactful papers (publishing in top journals, implications for policy and society, managerial relevance)
  • Having greater control over ideation
  • Finding a good idea for a research proposal
  • Ensuring researchers’ wellbeing

Training details

We train participants on a 4-step-approach, namely domain setting, immersion, ideation, & maturation). For each step we provide examples, tools, and templates to support participants. We bring together 20+ years of experience using these tools and templates with business leaders worldwide, working in top academic institutions, and developing tools through Academic Creativity Labs catered to researchers.

Together with a group of 15 PhD students from different departments (including marketing, information systems, organization, innovation, and accounting), we went through 4 days of digital training. We did so over a 1-month period to allow participants to work on their projects in between each session.

The sessions were a mix between inspirational (cases, tool sharing, and discussion) session, individual and team discussions on own projects in small groups, and presenting ideas & discussing across groups. In the digital sessions we used Mural, an online collaboration software, to facilitate the individual work and team discussions. Throughout the training, participants were given a set of tools and step-by-step approach, which they applied to generate and mature their own projects.


The train was a great success with average satisfaction across a variety of questions at 6.7/7.

We received feedback such as:

  • “Overall I really enjoyed the course and it helped me to create a better and clearer picture of my upcoming PhD study.”
  • “It was impressive that the professor was able to present also further studies that he had done himself on the theme.”
  • ” Teachers were very friendly and engaging.”

We are excited to run the 2nd edition of our training later this year at the University of Münster.

Delivering similar trainings internationally

We ran a series of similar trainings at top universities, focused on ‘generating more creative and impactful research ideas’. These included workshops for Ghent University, Hasselt University, UC Louvain, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and University of Namur in Belgium, University of Münster in Germany, Université Grenoble Alpes in France, and Ben-Gurion University & Tel Aviv University in Israel. Several workshops are already in their second and third editions.

The trainings covered similar topics, but had a different design based on the specific needs of each university. This ranged for a live 2-day training, to 4 x ½ day digital trainings, to 4 x full-day digital trainings (over a 1-month period with work in between each session).

Across all workshops, overall satisfaction averages at 4.5/5. Participants particularly appreciate a new way of thinking that we offer, the clear stepwise process, and specific tools. By the end of the workshops, each participants generates dozens of ideas, and generally matures 3-5 ideas to turn into research projects.