Curiosity, Intuition and Passion: 3 guiding principles for original, impactful research

This workshop aims to respond to and counter the common belief among many PhD students that they are not doing their research in ‘the right way’. Instead, they will be encouraged to listen to and engage with their own intuitive research capacities, and to harness those impulses in useful, effective, productive ways.

This session will focus specifically on three qualities:

CURIOSITY – participants will be encouraged to allow curiosity to

  • inform and direct their reading (especially for those who are just starting their research)
  • direct them to develop questions/avenues of inquiry for their research
  • enable them to explore other possibilities and perspectives for approaching and designing their project
  • support their responses to challenges or problems during the course of their research.

INTUITION – rather than letting intuition be a hindrance (and rejected in pursuit of ‘objectivity’), we will discuss how to lean into first impressions and to learn to listen to and work with initial intuitive reactions in research. The workshop will then also offer practical suggestions for how to follow these impulses in ways that both respect and strengthen ethical, rigorous research practices.

PASSION – participants will be encouraged to reflect on their personal passion for and interests in their chosen subject or field. The session explores how we can draw on that passion at times when the research feels difficult, boring or ‘stuck’, and to use it to revive motivation, drive the research forward and, in turn, also deepen our curiosity and intuition.

Ultimately, this workshop strives to support PhD students to learn to trust in their own capabilities, discernment and reflections – even (or especially) if they look different than their peers’ and don’t follow conventional structures. To complement this, the session also offers practical suggestions for how to work with these qualities to develop, strengthen and enrich their research.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop, participants will have:

  • learned how curiosity, intuition and passion can make them better researchers and enrich their research work
  • learned how to allow and work with curiosity in their research
  • learned about the role that research intuition can play and how to harness intuitive impulses to guide their research
  • reflected upon their personal passions for and interests in their subject
  • learned how to draw from their passions and interests to sustain motivation and productivity in their everyday work

Workshop details

  • 1 hour 30 minute workshop
  • Maximum attendance: 30 participants
  • This workshop can be conducted in person or online

Back to all The Messy PhD workshops