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From the Digitalization of Health Offices to Architecture with Mushrooms

In the winter semester, 40 projects for students will start as part of the Berlin University Alliance, combining research and teaching

News from Sep 29, 2021

A total of 40 research projects will be on offer in the winter semester 2021/2022 as part of the Student Research Opportunities Programx (StuROPx) of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA). As far as possible, students will work independently on research questions of their own choice in student-initiated and guided research tutorials. In research groups they will be involved in cutting-edge scientific projects. All students of the partner institutions – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – can participate in these X-Tutorials and X-Student Research Groups.

After a successful pilot phase, the X-Tutorials and X-Student Research Groups will enter the second round. Eight X-Tutorials from the summer semester 2021 will be continued, and eight new projects will be introduced from the winter semester. In addition, 24 junior researchers will offer X-Student Research Groups in the winter semester, in which students can participate in cutting-edge research projects. The projects reflect the diverse research landscape of the partner institutions and demonstrate the students’ creativity and great interest in research.

In the past summer semester, around 200 students took advantage of this new teaching offer. Almost half of them have taken the opportunity to work on projects at one of the other partner institutions in the alliance. The projects offered in the coming winter semester have been selected from a large number of applications and then evaluated and proposed for funding by the steering committee of the Teaching and Learning BUA cross-cutting theme.

Prof. Dr. iur. Eva Inés Obergfell, Vice President for Teaching and Learning at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and spokesperson for the steering committee "Teaching and Learning", is pleased about the cross-institutional participation in the formats: "The ‘Framework Agreement for Teaching‘ of the Berlin University Alliance concluded in July provides students with broad access to courses of all four partner institutions in the field of research-based learning. The superb response to our StuROPx call and the lively participation in the StuROPx formats during the pilot phase show that we are obviously hitting a nerve with the students and that there is a great willingness to participate in scientific projects in the Berlin research environment themselves."

Dovetailing research and social challenges

In their research projects, students often dovetail course content with questions about urgent globally pertinent social challenges: For example, the X-Tutorial by Nina Schlömer and Laura Welczeck, which is offered at the Institute of Business Administration at Freie Universität Berlin, focuses on the digitalization of public health offices – the Covid-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for action in this area. The project, professionally led by Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch, examines the digital transformation process and the tensions associated with it.

Within the framework of X-Student Research Groups, students are involved in cutting-edge research questions. Following on from the research project “MY-CO BUILD“ (Futurium), which investigates mushroom-based composites as alternative and sustainable building materials, Gudrun Rauwolf, research associate at Technische Universität Berlin, and the student research team are expanding the project to include an architectural psychological perspective: the X-Student Research Group at the Institute of Architecture is investigating how users experience this new and sustainable construction method, for example, in terms of sensory properties such as visual, haptic, olfactory or thermal quality.

Students of the four partner institutions of the Excellence Alliance can register for all offers in the program. An overview and brief description of the projects funded as well as further information on registration for students can be found on the website of the X-Tutorials and the website of the X-Student Research Groups. The next call for funding for an X-Tutorial or X-Student Research Group will be issued in mid-October.

Die Berlin University Alliance

Die Berlin University Alliance ist der Verbund der drei Berliner Universitäten Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin sowie der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin für die gemeinsame Gestaltung von Wissenschaft in Berlin. Die vier Partnerinnen haben sich zusammengeschlossen, um den Wissenschaftsstandort Berlin zu einem gemeinsamen Forschungsraum weiterzuentwickeln, der zur internationalen Spitze zählt. Im Zentrum der Zusammenarbeit stehen dabei die gemeinsame Erforschung großer gesellschaftlicher Herausforderungen, die Stärkung des Austausches mit der Gesellschaft, die Nachwuchsförderung, Fragen der Qualität und Wertigkeit von Forschung sowie übergreifende Vorhaben in Forschungsinfrastruktur, Lehre, Diversität, Chancengerechtigkeit und Internationalisierung. Die Berlin University Alliance wird gefördert vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) und dem Land Berlin im Rahmen der Exzellenzstrategie von Bund und Ländern.

Gemeinsame Pressemitteilung der Freien Universität Berlin, der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, der Technischen Universität Berlin und der Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Hans-Christoph Keller, kommissarischer Pressesprecher der Berlin University Alliance und Pressesprecher der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
E-Mail: medien@berlin-university-alliance.de 

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