The Lean Canvas for Invention: A Team-Based Framework for Research Development, Mentoring, and Career Readiness

By Cynthia Furse, PI

Developing a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) workforce is critical to our nation’s ability to compete with innovation and competition globally. However, graduate training programs in STEM are not preparing students for changes in the nature and availability of work, shifts in workforce demographics, rising competition, macro ethics, and unremitting and striking innovations in technologies and research methods. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recommends that STEM graduate education respond to workforce needs, connect theory to practice, utilize project-based learning, guide the exploration of diverse career paths, and develop core competencies as well as transferable professional skills.

The University of Utah is responding to these recommendations by examining the impact and feasibility of a bold, new, transformative, team-based approach to graduate research development and entrepreneurship for the College of Engineering students that optimizes the quality and consistency of mentoring interactions and relationships among members of the research team, and fosters graduate students’ professional competencies and workforce readiness. This project not only is helping graduate students develop the skills and knowledge to be successful in their discipline, but also enhancing the quality and effectiveness of peer and faculty mentoring relationships to create a more inclusive, supportive, and productive research environment. Results will inform the education community on best practices for training the next generation of STEM scientists.

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The LCI is a new framework to help research teams think through a key research problem and plan and implement individual and joint research projects that reach beyond traditional scientific literature and experience to include innovation triggers such as patent literature, business reviews, and personal interactions with stakeholders.
The LCI piloted in this project will help train the next generation of skilled STEM professionals.


Learn more about the Lean Canvas for Invention project