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FAQ X-Tutorials

Questions about the application process

No, this is not possible due to various legal and formal frameworks.

If you would like to offer your X-Tutorial in tandem and one of you is not available for two semesters, please indicate this in your project outline. Detail here how you plan to handle this, such as how you will find a replacement or if only one of you will continue the tutorial.

You can offer the same tutorial twice. However, you can also offer a tutorial in the second semester that builds on the tutorial from the first semester. It is your decision. The important thing is that you reflect and elaborate in your project outline which solution makes sense for your project. The timeline must be convincing to the reviewers.

An X-Tutorial initially runs over two semesters. An extension for one or two additional semesters can be applied for later. This application is informal, i.e. it is a simple request to the StuROPx coordination office. Whether an additional semester can be granted depends on the funds available in the respective funding year.

Yes, this is possible. However, due to the demanding nature of the task, we recommend that you offer the tutorial in pairs.

The funding includes the funds for two student assistants or two freelance contracts (40h/month each over 12 months). Therefore, only two persons can be employed. If you would like to offer the tutorial with more than two persons, please name the co-applicants in your project outline. Of course, you can then share the remuneration. And the co-applicants can of course also participate in the qualification program.

Yes, this is possible. However, you may not work more than a total of 80 hours per month as a student assistant.

The application for X-Tutorials is initially intended for students from the four partners of the Berlin University Alliance (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité). If you would like to offer your tutorial in tandem, however, it is sufficient if one of the two persons is enrolled at one of the partner institutions. If you would like to offer you tutorial as an individual, you have to prove a connection to one of the four partners of the Berlin University Alliance (Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité), e.g., if you are doing your Bachelor's or Master's thesis at one of the four partners

Please note: You must document the institutional link. Like the applicants from the partners of the Berlin University Alliance, you indicate the affiliation on the one hand in the online application form. On the other hand, please fill out the institutional affiliation form.

Yes, this is possible. Inter-institutional projects, especially between the partners of the Berlin University Alliance, are always welcome.

Yes, this is possible. Interdisciplinary projects are always welcome.

No, collaborations are not a requirement. However, collaborative projects, especially transdisciplinary projects, are always welcomed.

No, unfortunately this is not possible. The subject-specific mentor must be a tenured professor. This also includes junior or deputy professors. Guest professors, honorary professors or senior professors are not included. The reason for this rule is that you can - if necessary - get better support from a tenured professor in organizational matters (e.g. room booking, credit transfer).

Please note: You can, of course, obtain additional supervision from other persons (e.g. research assistants). You are welcome to include this additional supervision in your project outline.

Whether you have to submit an ethics application depends on your project. Please ask your subject-specific mentor about this.

You can apply for an X-Tutorial twice a year. In each semester there is a Call for Proposals for the following semester.

The professor who agrees to support the project in the application process will provide the tutors with professional advice on the implementation of the X-Tutorial. The professional supervisors are in close contact with the tutors about the project implementation and the processing of the research results of the project. However, the tutors carry out the tutorial on their own. The supervising professor also acts as the person responsible for the module: he or she confirms the successful completion of the X-Tutorial to the participants. In addition, the supervising professor assures the project of his or her support in organizational matters. This concerns the booking of a seminar room, the use of '(laboratory) technology, if applicable, as well as access to the setup of a course on a learning platform, if applicable. 

Questions about being a student assistant or a freelance contractor

X-Tutors are employed as student assistants or freelance contractors for 12 months with a monthly workload of 40 hours.

Per month you will receive about 640 Euro gross at 40h/ month in 2023.

Yes, employment as a student assistant is subject to social insurance contributions.

Please clarify this question yourself with your responsible Bafög office. As far as we know, you are allowed to earn about 5,500 euros per year. As a student assistant, you should be slightly above this amount, which will then be credited to your Bafög rate. But as we said, please ask your responsible Bafög office yourself.

Questions about material or travel funds

You can only apply for 750 euros once. However, you can already make a note in your application if you need more funds.

The calculation does not necessarily have to be very detailed. However, it must be plausible. Both the StuROPx coordinating office and the reviewers must be able to understand why and for what purpose you need which funds.

No, the material or travel funds are not provided to the projects as a fixed sum. The funds must be accounted for.

Yes, but it would be nice if you would visit the conference together with a group of students.

There are two ways to account for your material or travel funds:

(1) Invoice: You have an invoice issued to you, i.e. you purchase equipment or software, for example, and have an invoice issued for it. You forward this invoice to the StuROPx Coordination Office, which will initiate payment of the outstanding amount.

(2) Reimbursement request (in exceptional cases): you make an advance payment, i.e., you purchase equipment or software, for example, and pay for it yourself first. Then you submit a reimbursement request to the StuROPx coordination office.

Successful applicants will receive further information on the exact procedure for the accounting for material and travel funds at the beginning of the project.

Questions about the course type

The X stands for excellence.

X-Student Research Groups are led by junior researchers. X-Tutorials are led by undergraduate students.

The course type according to the capacity regulation is a teaching research project (“Lehrforschungsprojekt”).

X-Tutorials are implemented in the form of research tutorials. They are not capacity neutral, but they are low capacity: They are typically not credited in one subject, but in the elective area: überfachlicher Wahlpflichtbereich (üWP) / freier Wahlbereich/ Wahlpflichtbereich/ Studienbereich Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung (ABV). They are therefore not recognized for a specific course of study, but rather across the entire range of courses offered by the university. In coordination with the AG BUA Studierende and the BUA Büro, a specific module was developed for this credit.

No, this is not possible. The participating students receive credit points, the tutors are the teaching staff and are employed as student assistants or freelance contractors for this purpose.

Yes, this is possible. However, you must clarify everything else yourself (or with the support of your subject-specific mentor) with your respective examination office.

It is up to you to decide whether you conduct the X-Tutorial digitally, in a seminar room or in a hybrid format according to your didactic concept for the research tutorial. When planning your X-Tutorial, please take into account the current pandemic situation and the current protection and hygiene regulations of the institution at which you are offering your X-Tutorial as a course. 

Questions about conducting the X-Tutorial

No, the entry in the course catalog is made by the BUA Office for Teaching and Learning. The X-Tutorials are announced as BUA courses of the respective university that offers them, they are not assigned to a study program. Successful applicants will receive further information in the context of the funding information.

Please contact the institute/department to which your X-Tutorial is institutionally affiliated for room booking. The professor who signed the application form for institutional affiliation can probably support you here. The professor has agreed to support you in this context with his or her signature.

In any case, it is important that you tackle the question of room booking early on, i.e. ideally as soon as you have received your funding commitment.

Please use the platform that is used at the university where your X-Tutorial is institutionally affiliated (Moodle, Isis-Moodle or Blackbord). You may need assistance from the institute/department at which your X-Tutorial is professionally supervised to set up a course. Participants who are enrolled at another partner institution will also have access to this platform as BUA students.

Questions about participating students

Formally speaking, X-Tutorials are teaching research projects (“Lehrforschungsprojekte”). According to capacity regulations, a maximum of 15 students can participate in this course type. Should more than 15 students wish to participate in your tutorial, the decision will be made on a random basis. In order to avoid role conflicts, this random procedure is taken over by the StuROPx coordinating office.

For the course to take place, a minimum of 3 students should participate.

Students from all partners of the Berlin University Alliance (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité) can participate in an X-Tutorial. Participation is possible from all subjects and for both BA and MA students.

As an X-Tutor, you cannot define any admission requirements. Nevertheless, it is possible that you make clear in the description of your tutorial (e.g. in the course catalog) for which student groups your tutorial is more or less eligible. We recommend that you already think about this when submitting your application and reflect on possible student groups in your project outline (e.g., stage of study, subject background, prior knowledge).

The X-Tuturials are primarily intended for students from the four partners of the Berlin University Alliance (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité). However, if there are still places available, students from other universities are of course welcome to participate.

The X-Tutorials are announced by the StuROPx coordination office across the four partners (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, Charité) of the Berlin University Alliance (general student mailing lists, newsletters) and are also included in the course catalogs of the partners. However, we strongly recommend that you also advertise your tutorial yourself. You know best for which student groups of the four partners your project might be of special interest. Good possibilities here are, for example, the email distribution lists of the student councils, of the individual institutes or faculties.

If students are interested in participating in an X-Tutorial, they can sign up for it. Please refer to the further instructions for this registration process.

In coordination with the AG BUA Students, a separate module was developed for the X-Tutorials. For their participation in an X-Tutorial, students receive 6 credit points. These are creditable in the interdisciplinary or extracurricular area (üWP/Freie Wahl/ABV/Wahlpflicht) study area. This module also specifies what students must achieve in order to successfully complete the module. We will be happy to inform you about this in more detail once your X-Tutorial has been approved.

In addition, there is the possibility of credit for other structural areas in Bachelor's and Master's programs Students should clarify this possibility themselves with their examination office. 

No, students do not have to take any exams.

Yes, they can. However, students must then clarify everything else themselves (or with your support) with their respective examination office.

Questions about the qualification program

Before the semester begins, the qualification program starts with a kick-off meeting to clarify organizational issues as well as a two-day workshop on research-based learning and preparing the didactic implementation of your project. During the semester, two further meetings take place to exchange didactical questions and to prepare the end of the semester. The semester ends with a final workshop where the results of the projects are briefly presented and reflected upon.

The qualification program will take place in a digital format and on the campus of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Berlin Mitte.

Questions about the Berlin Conference for Student Research

Ideally, you will present the results together with the students participating in your X-Tutorial.

Usually, the results are presented in the form of short talks or as a poster presentation. However, other forms are also conceivable (e.g. exhibitions, video or audio formats), but must then be discussed with the program committee in advance.

The conference is held once a year in September.

That is not a problem. You can present interim results or, if you wish, describe initial ideas for your project.

Questions about the selection process

The proposals are reviewed by a specially established selection jury. The selection jury consists of 40 reviewers. They are distributed equally among the four partners of the alliance and take into account the different status groups (16 professors, 12 research assistants and 12 students). In addition, a balanced gender ratio and a diversity of disciplines among the members were taken into account in the composition of the jury.

The selection jury reviews the proposals on the basis of a set of criteria. Points are awarded for each criterion.

No, the review criteria are not published. However, they are implicitly included in the instructions for the project outline. So we strongly recommend that you read these instructions and consider them in your application.

An overall score is determined for each proposal. For each proposal, the points of the different reviewers are added up. Those proposals that have scored the highest number of points will be recommended for funding.

The selection jury makes a funding recommendation based on the points awarded. This recommendation is forwarded to the Steering Committee "Teaching and Learning" which makes the final funding decision.

Applicants are - in general - informed about the (non-) funding of their application in about ten to twelve weeks after the submission deadline.

8 X-Tutorials will be selected and funded per Call for Proposals. Due to the available funds, more tutorials cannot be funded or can only be funded in exceptional cases, i.e. if remaining funds are available in the respective funding year.