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Five Comenius Teaching grants for Leiden lecturers

Three lecturers from Leiden University have been awarded a €100,000 Comenius Teaching grant within the Senior Fellows programme. A further two lecturers have been awarded a €50,000 grant within the Teaching Fellows programme. The grants will enable the lecturers and their project teams to realise an innovation project in their own teaching.

The project leaders will join the national Comenius Network as a fellow. The teams share their experiences and innovations with the field so that others can also use these to improve higher education.

All projects fall within one of the four themes that the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) focuses on in the Comenius Programme. This year’s themes are: the first hundred days as a student, tackling social issues, successful graduation and the value(s) of knowing.

Hossam Ahmed - - lecturer at the Institute for Area Studies

Senior Fellowship Project: Digital Humanities for Digital Natives
Theme: The value(s) of knowing

Hossam Ahmed: ‘One of the Faculty Board’s aims is to highlight the digital humanities. Such techniques enable us to see new connections and process much more data. They are also useful for graduates because they are valued on the job market and show that the humanities contribute to society. I therefore want to find a way to integrate the digital humanities into the various programmes and streamline the programme standards in that area.’ Read the full interview with Hossam Ahmed here.

Bram Hoonhout - Honours College coordinator

Senior Fellowship Project: Designing your life - face the future with confidence
Thema: The value(s) of knowing

Hoonhout: ‘Career indecision is a common problem for students: they are busy boosting their CV with internships and extracurricular activities, but are still very anxious about the future. Although the university offers plenty of career planning activities, students seem to postpone this process somewhat bit. This project should help reduce this career indecision. This is a valuable life skill because the question of what you want to be or what the next step in your career is will keep coming back, even after you’ve graduated.’ For the full interview with Bram Hoonhout see here.

André Leliveld – lecturer at the African Studies Centre Leiden

Senior Fellowship Project: Learning globally, acting locally: co-creation of an international multidisciplinary online learning environment around ‘Frugal Innovation’
Theme: Tackling social issues

André Leliveld on his project: ‘The idea arose to create an international online platform that enables students here to become co-creators of knowledge about frugal innovation together with students in other countries, based in part on their own experiences in their own environment. Then you generate a greater diversity of ideas. Students and lecturers join forces to achieve this co-creation. We no longer say: this is your reading list; these are the case studies you need to study. Instead we turn it around: the lecturer doesn’t just lecture, but learns along with the students.’ Read the full interview with André Leliveld here.

Tsolin Nalbantian - lecturer in Modern Middle-Eastern Studies

Teaching Fellowship Project: Bridging the Gap Between Classroom and Society: Using Wikipedia to Make Students Public Actors
Theme: Tackling social issues

Tsolin Nalbantian on her project: ‘By integrating Wikipedia, the most important open-access encyclopaedia in the world, into the education of students studying the Middle East, my project links university education with society. Students acquire research, writing and digital skills with which they can make their knowledge directly accessible to a wide audience. And they create societal impact, while we make their education more dynamic. Contributing to Wikipedia is an ideal tool for creating an impact on society and educating students.’

Wendy Zondag – internist at the LUMC

Teaching Fellowship Project: Innovative future-proof solutions for Clinical Professional Education in the Bachelor in Medicine by means of a digital internship in Internal Medicine

Wendy Zondag on the project: ‘Patient contact is essential to the development of future doctors but finding patients for student education is challenging. COVID-19 has further complicated patient contacts for educational purposes. But it also offers opportunities through the online consultation structures that have emerged in clinical departments in the hospital. The ‘Digital Internship in Internal Medicine’ project aims to find sustainable and future-proof solutions to this clinical patient-related education. We will develop a course to bring students into online contact with doctors and their patients at the Department of Internal Medicine.’ Students will thus still be able to work on their patient-contact skills.

The Comenuis research grants are funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and implemented by the  Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO), which is part of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and also funds research in the field of education. By explicitly valuing excellent and inspired teaching, the government wants to help add more variety to the careers of lecturers and researchers at research universities and universities of applied sciences.

Every year, 40 ambitious lecturers in higher education are awarded a Comenius Teaching Fellowship of 50,000 euros. This enables them and their project team to implement a small-scale innovation in their own teaching practice.

The NRO also awards twenty-two €100.000 grants to lecturers for projects that go beyond their own teaching and four €500,000 grants to lecturers who are leading the way in higher education. All Fellows also join the Comenius Network, an inspiring group of leading educational innovators from all over the country.

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