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Do Your Own Research During Your Studies

Kick-off for 36 Projects for Students combining Research and Teaching in the Summer Semester within the Framework of the Berlin University Alliance

News from Mar 01, 2022

The history and present of the Gropius Building, waste prevention in the construction industry, or experiences with racism in the context of mental health – students are investigating these and other topics as part of 36 research projects during the summer semester of 2022. The offering is part of the Student Research Opportunities Programx (StuROPx) of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA). So-called X-Student Research Groups are offered by junior researchers. Students can participate in current scientific projects here. The X-Tutorials, which are also part of the program, are initiated and led by students. As far as possible, students will work with fellow students on research questions of their own choice.

All students of the BUA partner institutions – Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin – can participate in these research groups and research tutorials. Students receive credit points for their participation.

This is the fourth time the program has been offered. Last winter semester, around 300 hundred students participated. Almost one-third of them have seized the opportunity to work on projects at one of the other partner institutions of the alliance. The projects offered in the coming semester have been evaluated from a large number of proposals by an interdisciplinary committee and selected for funding by the steering committee of the BUA´s objective Teaching and Learning.

The funded projects X-Tutorials and X-Student Research Groups reflect the diverse research landscape of the partner institutions. The demand for the formats shows the great research interest of the students.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives are Required

Projects such as the X-Student Research Group “Reinventing plastic in everyday life” at Freie Universität Berlin are also on offer in cooperation between researchers from two partner institutions. Prof. Dr. Magdalena Buchczyk, junior professor of social anthropology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Dr. Sumati Bhatia, research group leader at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Freie Universität Berlin, will work with students to investigate consumption habits in dealing with plastic. They want to find out what more sustainable alternatives are available and how these can be implemented. The research question combines methods of social sciences with natural sciences. Accordingly, the two project leaders are looking forward to student participants from different disciplines.

This is also the opinion of Diana Martsynkovska, who is offering her X-Tutorial “Climate Change through a cultural lens” at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for the second time. So-called ‘climate fiction’ has long interested the tutor.

“The X-Tutorial has been very enriching for me,” says Diana Martsynkovska, a student of American Studies. “It was motivating to realize that so many students want to do research with me on this topic, which has fascinated me myself for so long. Participants came from a variety of disciplines and developed exciting perspectives and questions of their own. I am looking forward to that with new students in the summer semester as well.”

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 funded projects 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.

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