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PDF Scientific Work and Creativity: Advice from the Masters

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Staff members involved in MSc. A brief selection of examples is provided below. In collaboration with the Dutch Royal Football Association and Football Club Groningen, we are designing and testing new ways to select soccer players. The two most important aims of this project are: 1 Provide better, more systematic ways of scouting players, and 2 construct test environments in which important soccer skills e.

This national research project "Talentenkracht" in Dutch has been conducted by different researchers and PhD students of our department.

Curious Minds is focused on the measurement and stimulation of scientific talent in primary education. It started about years ago, and has resulted in a list of scientific articles, as well as teaching instruments for schools, coaching packages for teachers, and a handbook on talent development in primary education. The Dutch website is talentenkrachtgroningen. Currently, researchers and practitioners are extending the Curious Minds approach to other fields, including music and sports.

In collaboration with the Special Forces Unit of the Royal Netherlands Army, we are establishing a data platform to improve the development and selection of operators i. Key questions we are focusing on in this project are: What skills are needed to perform in exceptional circumstances? How can we develop such talents? What are the effects of psychological training on the skills of the operators? How can we improve the selection procedure for the Special Forces?

Results of this project will provide very relevant insights into the selection and development of talent in fields in which people need to perform under stressful circumstances. Selection of Academic Staff : Prof. Nico W. Research expertise: Competence and motivation across achievement settings, including work, sports, and education. Ruud J. Research expertise: Performance processes in sports and beyond, in particular talent selection and —development, psychological momentum, and resilience.

Marijn W. Van Dijk Research expertise: Talent development in teacher-student interactions, mostly in primary education and the arts. Prof dr. Rob R. Meijer Research expertise: Methods, measurements, and instruments in Psychology. Design of tests that optimally predict future performance in work, education, and sports.

Barbara Huijgen Research expertise: Talent identification and —development in sports from a multidimensional perspective. Susan Niessen, MSc Research expertise: Talent assessment methods in the context of higher education, work, and sports. Peter de Jonge Research expertise: The development of psychopathology and how this could be linked to special talents and creativity.

Tom Bergkamp, MSc Research expertise: Talent identification and predicting future performance in the domain of sports. In this Psychology talk, Dr. Ruud den Hartigh explores the development of talent in the specific case of excellent performers. I'm the first student to have completed this Master's programme. That's because it's new: officially the programme only started this academic year.

But I was allowed follow some of the course units last year, which explains why I have already completed the programme. In Talent Development and Creativity you learn how to bring out the best in others.

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You help them to discover and develop their talents. This topic has always interested me, which is why I chose the programme. In this programme, you learn about the development of various sorts of talent: in sport, in music, at school, at work… you name it. The best course unit that I took was the one on coaching. First you learn all the theories and models of coaching, and then you apply them in the practicals, by using role play. And then, and this was the part I liked best, you actually coach someone, a student assistant or PhD student.

This meant we could immediately apply what we had learnt, and in fact that was the case with all the course units. Although you can do a placement as part of the programme, I chose not to.

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I wrote an extensive thesis, which involved conducting research into affordances, the possibilities that people see to take action, and psychological momentum in a sporting event. The expectation was that a person who is in positive momentum — who has a lead over the opponent for instance — will see more affordances than a person who is in negative momentum. And that proved to be true. I came to Groningen because I had the opportunity to study Psychology here. I was fascinated by human thought and behaviour and I wanted to learn more about it.

Furthermore, Groningen is a picturesque city full of canals with sailboats and bicycle paths that get you across town. After my bachelor's programme I worked in Television Production in Germany for two years, before deciding to come back to Groningen for my master's degree. Currently, I am following the ' Talent Development and Creativity' master's programme.

We study the nature of talent, where talent originates, and how it can be developed. It is a unique study, with an approach to psychology that I think is revolutionary. Whereas most Psychology programmes only examine the development of large groups of people over time, the programme in Groningen also focuses on processes on the individual level. Iam very interested in that research angle - carefully studying someone's development and interactions and describing it in an almost mathematical way.

Another great aspect of the 'Talent Development and Creativity' programme is the way theory and practice are integrated. One course on talent development consisted almost entirely of lectures by practitioners: from the Conservatory, for instance, or from FC Groningen.

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These experts presented how they select and develop talent in their institution. Then they discussed their ideas with us and were actually interested in our input. Most courses I have in the 'Talent Development and Creativity' trajectory are structured into two components: initially building up knowledge and then applying it to a 'real world' case. This is challenging as you might have a great theoretical Idea which turns out to be impractical when transferred to a real case.

But it is also very gratifying: instead of cramming for an exam and forgetting everything the moment you exit the exam hall, you really get to put your knowledge to use. After my study, I think I would like to work at a talent development department at an international company, conceptualizing Talent Development programmes that help employees to get the most out of themselves and to perform optimally. Given my work experience in Television, I am searching for a Media Company, because I loved the creative environment it offered.

After I finished my Bachelor's degree in psychology at Leiden University, I wasn't sure which Master's degree I wanted to do and I decided to first travel for a year. During my trip I found out that I really wanted to learn more about creativity, but when I started looking for Master's degree programmes on that topic I only found programmes in the US and Scotland.

It seemed very interesting and it is the only Master's programme in the Netherlands that really focuses on creativity. I finally submitted my application during my yoga teacher training in Nepal. We learn a lot about how to recognize talent and creativity and how to encourage people. I'm very interested in coaching. We have a course unit in which we learn coaching techniques by practicing on each other and then actually applying them in practice. I still live in Leiden. After being away for a year, I wanted to be near my family and friends. I travel back and forth — fortunately, there is a direct train — and sometimes I stay overnight with my uncle.

Psychology is concerned with everything related to human behaviour. For me, clinical psychology means counseling people who need help. Helping people go from -1 to 0, so to speak. That is very important work, but I found myself much more interested in guiding people who are already doing well. Helping them to go from 0 to 1, to really achieve great things. At the moment, I work both as a personal trainer and I have my own business where I work as an independent sports psychologist. As the latter, I coach athletes, especially in the context of performance: how do you perform under pressure, how do you keep your concentration, and how do you deal with the thrill of competition?

As a personal trainer, I train people in a sports studio. That is very physical — I make sure they do all the exercises right — but at the same time, my education as a psychologist proves very useful. People get stressed, they want a lot. With my background, I can guide them well.

During my studies, I took quite a few courses in sport psychology, and I still use the theories I learned. The courses on performance and coaching, for example, where you are taught to talk about improving and changing behaviour in a one-on-one setting, have proven to be very useful. My work is all about turning theory into practice. In future, I would like to do a lot more in the field of achievement. I want to apply psychological insights to take sports in the Netherlands to a higher level. That is possible, if coaching and talent development are employed in the best possible way.

I would love to make a contribution to that, and to develop myself further as a psychologist. My advice for future students? Your university years can come with a lot of insecurity, especially towards the end. All of a sudden you are a graduate, and then what? If we all had our way, we would complete a study, get a job right after, and have everything go in a nice, straight line from there. But it never does, and that is all right. It is part of life, and it can teach you valuable lessons.

Above all, I would tell students to really treasure their time at university. It is a wonderful phase of your life, one in which you have a lot of freedom and the opportunity to figure out what really matters. I am interested in how companies and organizations can use talent in the best way possible. Do they have a statement of values? How do you reflect these things? The most important question to think about in relation to these things — why is it that you want to go here? Weaving your knowledge of these things into your letter is a great way to assure admissions tutors that your choice to study at their institution is an informed one.

Write a story: People love stories. They like to be taken on a journey, and brought to a satisfying conclusion. Like all stories, make sure your motivational letter has a clear beginning, a middle, and an end. These should all follow logically on from one another, so that the reader is left feeling convinced of the suitability of your chosen course and institution, to your skills, experience, and goals.

But furthermore, the interest you express has got to be personal, and it must relate directly to your motives. This is exactly what every other candidate will write, and for the most competitive courses, you will want to stand out. But the best way to do this is not to try to be someone else; be yourself. Mention the fact that you like juggling. Talk about how you felt when your father was laid off work. Begin from your earliest memory.

So long as what you say relates to what makes you the person you are, and then why that person has chosen to apply for this course, it deserves to be there. What underscores all these points is a simple, and very ancient, piece of advice; know thyself.

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But if you prefer to get some guidance, have a look at our motivational letter templates below. My name is [name] and most recently I have been working as a [job title] at [company name]. I hold a B. Sc degree in [subject] from [university name]. The undergraduate curriculum in [subject], [university name], introduced me to a wide variety of subjects in the field of [subject]. Various courses like [course 1], [course 2], [course 3] name all relevant courses provided me with a strong footing in [subject of the masters degree].

While offering both depth and breadth across this field, these courses put into perspective the importance and relevance of [subject] and the application of its fundamentals to the problems faced by the real world.


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I am much eager to adopt and know new technologies. I am really enthusiastic to attend a Master of [subject] at [university name] in order to understand different [subject] concepts and its applications to more complex real life situations. The good reputation of high-quality education standards, an extremely distinguished faculty members, and research facilities are the factors which have motivated me to apply for my masters studies at [university name].

Moreover, I feel I am responsible for making a big move in this field and this scholarship will give me a big chance to be one day someone who is remembered for his innovations. I think it is our duty as people sharing life in this world to make our future better because the future is not only ours. The next generation should be proud of us one day when they look back and find how hard we worked to make the world a better place. I believe my qualification and your needs would be an excellent fit.


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I will be happy to provide any further information or documents if required. I look forward to your positive response. Thank you for your time and consideration. I am writing to inform you of my interest in the Masters of Arts [name] program at [university name]. During my studies and internships I developed a deep interest in Italian Art, with a particular focus on artists form the 17th century.

Having worked under the supervision of Prof.