Research to the Real World – A Workbook for Grad Students

Research to the Real World covers


  • Collaborated with key stakeholders to plan content
  • Tested workbook questions with graduate students and asked for feedback on their experience using it
  • Designed and published the final document in digital fillable PDF


University of Alberta


Writer, Designer


A supplementary workbook for graduate students introducing them to design thinking principles that they could apply to their own projects


4 months, part-time

After finishing the Innovator’s Handbook, the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR) asked me to create a companion document to help graduate students even further. This led to the creation of a digital workbook entitled Research to the Real World – How Your Project Can Grow Your Entrepreneurial Skills.

The task

The goal of this worksheet was to help graduate students develop their entrepreneurial thinking skills. We wanted graduate students to build up their business acumen and learn some of the vocabulary and terms that are common in the business community.

By using their dissertation or capstone project as a starting point, we wanted to create a simple worksheet that would guide them through the early steps of ideation and customer discovery.

The solution

With the assistance and guidance of individuals at the Alberta School of Business, as well as Alberta Economic Development, Trade, and Tourism, we designed a short workbook. This workbook introduces some principles of design thinking methodology and asks some prompting questions to help students explore their ideas.

I wanted to emphasize the many alumni from the University of Alberta who went on to pursue entrepreneurship with their project ideas. We asked a few local startups and small businesses in Edmonton to help provide examples of value propositions. We also tested the workbook’s content on graduate students who participated in the 3-Minute Thesis competition. Their feedback helped shaped the content in the final version.

As with the Innovator’s Handbook, I took the lead in content creation, project coordination, graphic design, and publishing. As a companion document to the Innovator’s Handbook, I decided to keep the same aesthetic of bold colours and polygons to create a connection between the two documents. I also tried to keep the same tone in my writing.

The workbook is available on the University of Alberta website as a fillable digital PDF.