Postgraduate Research

Research is focused on two core areas. Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship.

Studying at the CfIE has allowed me become an expert in this field because it combines the very best of academic practices with the experiences of practicing entrepreneurs. Without question, working here, with this team academics and entrepreneurs, has built a foundation that will allow me to go in any direction I please.

Ben, Post Graduate Researcher, Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Centre

The Centre brings together a number of dynamics to create a positive and diverse environment.

  • Research at the Centre is focused on two core areas: 1) design thinking, and 2) broader entrepreneurship issues. Either of these research areas can involve start-ups or be in the context of established organisations. Our expertise covers a range of organisation types, from small scale social ventures to high growth commercial start-ups.
  • We welcome research students from a wide variety of backgrounds. We particularly value experienced candidates who have first-hand experience of the challenges that are faced by innovators and entrepreneurs. We look for students who have an interest in addressing real world problems through research.
  • Many of the staff are experienced professionals who have worked in senior roles outside universities. This includes entrepreneurs, designers and consultants. Consequently, the Centre’s research focuses on an addressing current issues being experienced in industry. We aim to have significant impact.

MPhil / PhDs are research led degrees and there is no taught programme to undertake. That said, we do ensure that our students receive support and training when undertaking their research programme. We expect students to be fairly self-directed in their day to day research, whilst supervisors are on hand to provide guidance and advice at regular intervals.

The expectations on potential research students are high, as are the potential rewards. We recognise that experience is valuable, and in many cases more than compensates for traditional academic qualifications. We receive a lot of applications for our PhD programme, so make sure that your achievements stand out in your application.

For more information contact


Design Thinking
  • Dr Malé Luján Escalante
  • BA (Hons) MA PhD (Lancaster) FHEA
  • Lecturer
  • Research interests: 1) Design Research 2) Ethics of Technology 3) Feminist Science and Technology Studies (FSTS)
  • Dr Don Parker
  • BA (Hons) MPhil PhD (South Wales) FHEA
  • Lecturer
  • Research interests: 1) Advertising 2) Design 3) Consumer Behaviour
  • Dr Keir Williams
  • BA (Hons) MA MSc PhD (Queen Mary) FHEA
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Research interests: 1) Participatory Design 2) Special Educational Needs (Education and Technology) 3) Media and Arts Technologies
  • Dr Gerasimos Balis
  • BBA MSc MRes PhD (Lancaster)
  • Research Director
  • Research interests: 1) Enterprise Education 2) Design Thinking 3) Service Design
  • Dr Tom Ellson
  • BSc (Hons) PhD (Cranfield) FCMI FRSA FHEA CMath FIMA
  • Director
  • Research interests: 1) Strategy 2) Entrepreneurial Behaviours 3) Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Mr Mark Neild
  • Lecturer
  • Research interests: 1) Entrepreneurship Education 2) Social Justice 3) Innovation Leadership and Culture

Why study Innovation?

Future-proof your career

In a changing and uncertain world, Innovation prepares you for anything - from running your own business to executing strategy at a large corporate.

Expand your horizons

Mix with students from different subjects and learn from industry experts. Set your sights on projects that will improve lives.

Careers and Employability

A Masters with Innovation is highly valued and will get you noticed. Top four targeted university by leading UK graduate employers (HighFliers Research 2020). 

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