What will I learn?


Cultivate clarity, be innovative, and make progress in your research journey.

Are you a PhD or post-doc who has always wanted to take a d.school class but you weren’t sure how what you learned would help your research? Come join us for this fun introduction to design thinking methods and techniques that focuses specifically on using them to help you do better research.

Creativity is the heart of research. No matter your field, scholarly work prizes novelty and innovation: identifying new problems worth solving, explaining unexplained phenomena and solving problems that haven’t been solved before. Our goal is to equip emerging scientists, scholars, and interdisciplinary researchers with tools, techniques, support, and inspiration to approach their research in an innovative and playful spirit of design.

In research, many times the big goal is clear: earn the PhD, write a winning grant, reach tenure, think up the next big thing in your field. But knowing which direction to go or how to move concretely towards that big goal is often not clear. In this class we will explore a variety of design abilities and mindsets you can use to build your creative competence and find effective paths towards your goal. We will focus on how to navigate ambiguity, how to build prototypes in the context of scientific research and especially on how being mindful of your own research process and emotional state, as well as sometimes-hidden assumptions can help you get “unstuck” when you face research bumps in the road. This class is designed for PhD students, post-docs and early career faculty without previous experience in design thinking (especially those who may have very little idea what “design thinking” even means!).

Teaching Team

Learn With

Anja Svetina Nabergoj, PhD
Lecturer Hasso Plattner Institute of Design & University of Ljubljana

Nicola Ulibarri

Amanda Cravens
Co-founder, Research as Design project

Lindley Mease, M.S.
Co-Founder of Blue Heart, Fellow at Stanford’s Effective Philanthropy Lab