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Frugal Innovation in Practice


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the LDE Minor Frugal Innovation for Sustainable Global Development.


The Frugal Innovation in Practice comprises of a field assignment which is conducted abroad during +/- 12 weeks. During their stay abroad students will work on a field assignment, which can be more research or more practically oriented. Students are divided into groups of three, ideally with one student from each participating university (Leiden, Delft, Erasmus). In this way, they bring together their knowledge base and integrate it with that of the others.
Field assignments will be arranged by the minor coordinators before students start with the minor, and will be allocated to students at the end of June 2019, before Summer holidays. This offers students the opportunity to contact field assignment providers and supervisors in an early stage to allow for proper preparation and arrangements. The field assignment to be allocated in June contains a general description and challenge. During the first part of the minor (Bootcamp, Field Assignment Preparation Course) the students will work themselves on making the field assignment more concrete, in collaboration with the assignment providers and the supervisors.
The students have to finance the internship (travel, accommodation and living costs) themselves, unless (part of) the costs is covered by the assignment providers. The costs involved during the stay abroad are to a large extent country and context specific but between 2,500 and 3,000 Euros is a realistic estimate of the costs involved. Students will be provided with suggestions on where to find opportunities to apply for subsidies.
In principle the field assignment will be abroad. In the previous academic year (2018-2019) field assignments were arranged in Uganda, Ghana, Cambodia, Surinam and Curacao. In the exceptional case that students do not want to do a field assignment abroad, the possibility for a field assignment in the Netherlands can be discussed. In such case students are requested to get into contact with the minor coordinator (Dr. André Leliveld, as soon as possible after they have been selected for the minor.

Course objectives

After the internship students are able to:

  • Apply and extend the knowledge and skills acquired in the theoretical part of the minor in a specific context and practical assignment;

  • Collaborate with other students with a different (disciplinary/study) background;

  • Clearly define and shape the contribution of their own field in solving a specific problem of frugal innovation (scientific or other);

  • Work in a different cultural environment from their own;

  • Show an open mind and attitude which is sensitive to different cultural contexts;

  • Communicate and present on frugal innovation to academic and non-academic audiences.


Between Wednesday 6 November 2019 and Tuesday 28 January 2020.
Mode of instruction
Individual supervision, global classrooms.

Course Load

392 total hours of study, fully spent abroad.

Assessment method

Evaluation of the output of the field assignment by the field assignment provider and supervisor. (Note: the output may differ per field assignment).


In this course, Blackboard and Global Classrooms are used to share information, and to make course materials available.

Reading list

Background materials that can help the students to gain a better insight in the context and background of the field assignments. These materials will be provided by the field assignment supervisor(s) and provider.


You can register for this course through uSis (Leiden University).


If you have general questions on this course, please contact the course coordinator Dr. André Leliveld, For specific questions concerning the field assignment, please contact your supervisor and field assignment provider (to be known by June 2019).