‘The Creativity Initiative’ is a cross-cutting research area, initiated in 2010 at MSU, focused on a broad and distinctive range of creative processes:

  • research that connects the traditional creative arts with one another, and the social and natural sciences
  • research on creativity in approaches to teaching math, engineering, and other stem disciplines
  • research on teaching creativity, across the curriculum, focusing on groups and communities, in addition to individuals, and “at risk” students
  • research on creativity in everyday decision making, in multimedia composing and digital gaming
  • research on creativity within scholarly communities (especially in an interdisciplinary context)
  • research on creativity in the development of preventative health practices
  • research on creativity in newly evolving forms of entrepreneurial activity
  • research on creativity in the use and cultivation of space in community contexts.

The initiative embodies existing faculty research strengths, has broad and deep relevance across the university, has the potential to secure external funding and impact communities, and can enhance the role and reputation of MSU, and its partners, nationally, regionally, and locally.

The Office of the VP for Research has committed to funding a planning process to develop this initiative.  The intent of the planning process is to identify and develop distinctive areas of research concerned with creativity in which MSU can play a key role, as either a leader or significant partner. Engagement is also fundamental to this initiative. Along with identifying research areas, the planning process will develop models for disseminating research outcomes through innovative and productive use of new communication technologies and MSU’s broad network of social and community resources.

Goals for the initiative include the generation of a substantial body of research that contributes to a broad set of academic disciplines and professions. Just as importantly, the goals also include making a significant and sustainable contribution to the economic development of the state, and beyond, through initiatives related to creative processes.

Based on models of other cross-cutting efforts, the Creativity Initiative is adopting a hub and cluster structure for the planning year. The “hub” refers to a decentralized administrative core.  and five thematic research clusters that will identify an initial set of possible research areas. One of the clusters will have the added cross-cutting responsibility of prototyping innovative supporting technology platforms.   As the planning progresses, other clusters could be added, in connection with the development of the distinctive areas of research.

The planning year will conclude with the launching of a new journal, with  proposals for funding to external granting agencies and foundations, and with concrete research pilots to be initiated by each research cluster.