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The OpenThink Initiative

Nose up, a person with long black hair is in front of a tree with red leaves. The text "Great minds OpenThink" is seen above.

Dalhousie’s OpenThink Initiative gives PhD students the skills and platform to share their ideas with the world.

Applications for the 2024 OpenThink cohort have closed. If you are curious about applying for the 2025 cohort, stay tuned for updates on this page in late 2024.

A person looks upward with the text "Are you an OpenThinker?" written above. A brick wall is behind them.

Are you an OpenThinker?

Offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the OpenThink Initiative empowers a select group of PhD researchers to engage with communities beyond the university. Dal's OpenThinkers are equipped with the communication skills and platform necessary to inform public discourse and influence policy. 

What does it mean to be an OpenThinker?

Guided by communications experts from Dal, the University of King's College and NATIONAL Public Relations, OpenThinkers receive training in how to reach public audiences and share their knowledge. They will participate in a series of communications skill-building workshops during a one-year term from January to December.

In return, they become ambassadors for graduate studies at Dal and for their own work by sharing their research and ideas via social media, blogs, public speaking opportunities, media interviews, articles and op-eds.

Why it pays to OpenThink

First, it actually does pay. As an OpenThinker, you will receive a scholarship of $1,500 and are eligible to apply for OpenThink funding to travel to relevant conferences and workshops. And, because of the emphasis on actually creating products, you will graduate with rich experiences and hard skills you can take into your career.

Whether choosing a life in academia, industry or beyond, employers are searching for people with the ability to communicate complex ideas to the public. OpenThinkers build a CV and skills that get noticed.