Language of instruction
The purpose of the course is to equip PhD candidates with problem solving methods that facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration with a strong focus on research impact. This will be achieved by working concretely with challenge-driven innovation related to sustainable development goals (SDGs), in teams consisting of PhD candidates with varied disciplinary backgrounds.
PhD candidates gain theoretical as well as practical experience in methods and ways to solve complex problems that are characteristic for sustainable development challenges. The course works with both, private and public sector institutions (problem owners; varying from one course to the next) who furnish PhD candidates with an applied context and specific sustainable development problems.
The course combines theory and application:
- Theoretical part: systems thinking; creative problem solving; R&D management.
- Practical part: work in interdisciplinary teams using the methods for solving concrete sustainable development challenges. Three days of the practical work will be conducted in the format of a hackathon.
Upon successful completion of this course the participants should be able to:
1. Express knowledge and understanding:
- PhD candidates have an overview of the most frequently used methods in systems thinking, creative problem solving and R&D management.
2. Apply knowledge and understanding:
- PhD candidates can apply those tools from systems thinking, creative problem solving and R&D management that are appropriate for the specific sustainable development challenge.
- PhD can candidates identify appropriate boundaries for the problem at hand.
- PhD candidates can adopt a problem owner's perspective to effectively summarize the problem, describe the methods for solving that problem and the implications of the proposed solutions.
- PhD candidates can translate technical information into language that problem owners understand and resonate with.
4. Learning skills:
- This course has a strong focus on communication and collaboration skills. In particular, PhD candidates should be able to
- organize efficient and effective communication with the problem owners;
- organize efficient and effective communication within interdisciplinary teams;
- engage in the co-creation process with a high degree of independence, responsibility, and reliability;
- function as a constructive member of a team;
- write and speak effectively about their work and relevant issues;
- adjust the way they write and speak to their target audience and their respective roles in the problem-solving process.
14 - 18 November 2022
Course registration and deadlines
Course dates: 14 - 18 November 2022.
Registration deadline 4 weeks prior to first course day, 14 October 2022.
Please use this application form.
The maximum number of participants is 20.
If the interest exceeds the capacity of the course, you may be asked to send in a brief letter of motivation (maximum 400 words). Participants will then be selected based on this letter and a consideration of their (disciplinary) backgrounds to ensure maximum diversity of skills and expertise.
For your letter of motivation, please tell us why this course is important for you. We need to know about your educational and professional background, about the skills and expertise you bring to the course and about the skills and expertise you wish to gain from this course.
Recommended previous knowledge
Specified reading prior to first course day as per literature list
Form of assessment
- Group based presentation on the last course day. The groups will present their project in front of all course participants, the problem owner and the evaluation committee (Birgit Kopainsky, Ingunn Johanne Ness, Hiwa Målen).
- All PhD candidates will submit an individual self-reflection log that documents their learning process. This will be assessed by the same evaluation committee. The log should be approximately 2500 words.
All components are graded with «passed/not passed».
The requirement for «passed» corresponds to the grade B. The course is approved if all two elements are passed.
Who may participate
The course is open to interested PhD candidates at the University of Bergen and other universities. The maximum number of participants is 20.
If the interest exceeds the capacity of the course you may be asked to send in a brief letter of motivation (maximum 400 words). Participants will then be selected based on this letter and a consideration of their (disciplinary) backgrounds to ensure maximum diversity of skills and expertise.
Birgit Kopainsky, Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences
Ingunn Johanne Ness, SLATE, Faculty of Psychology
Birgit Kopainsky, Ingunn Johanne Ness & Hiwa Målen
The course literature must be read prior to first course day.
Type of assessment: Gruppepresentasjon og refleksjonsnotat
Exam part: Group based presentation
Exam part: Self reflection log