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A call about: Comenius programme

The new Comenius Calls have been published. You can use a Comenius grant for innovation projects that help improve higher education. Associate Professor David Ehrhardt from Leiden University College (LUC) in The Hague received a Comenius grant in 2020 and is now implementing his Comenius teaching project on ‘learning journals’ . We asked him whether he had a top tip for the 2022 participants.

Why did you submit your project to the Comenius programme?

'Education and teaching give me energy. I wanted to bring some innovation to teaching, but didn’t really know how, or what I needed. Together with some colleagues, I worked out a tangible and concrete project: the ‘learning journal’. The goal is that students use this journal to make their learning process more effective and more fun. And we were actually awarded the grant for the project'. 

What challenges did you meet along the way? 

'The good thing about the Comenius grant is that the money gives you the scope to experiment together with colleagues and students. We piloted the ‘journal’ in a lot of subjects, and with the help of the students we developed a great website and Instagram account. We also worked with the Centre for Innovation on a booklet for first-year students, in which they are challenged to write every day in their journal about their introduction period. That gives you energy, but there were also challenges. How do you make sure that students keep up the journal? Should it be a compulsory part of studying? And what if my colleagues and I pay it less attention? How can we make sure the project carries on once the funding has come to an end? These are the questions we are struggling with at the moment'. 

Have you got a top tip for colleagues who also want to apply? 

'I do. Get help from your colleagues and students to develop your idea. That’s not just fun to do, but it also makes your proposal better. Make sure your proposal is something tangible, that people can actually visualise. And always think first about whether you really need the money. An earlier project proposal didn’t make it because the committee felt it was achievable without funding. And last but not least, I’d also get some advice from one of the subsidy advisers at Leiden University. They have a lot of experience with teaching programmes and are there to help you assess your proposal and guide you through the process. It’s really worthwhile and will improve your chance of submitting a clear and valuable proposal'.  

The calls for proposals for the Comenius Programme 2022 can be found on the NRO website, where you will also find further information about the programme. Also see the Comenius page on the staff members website for more information and the presentations from the previous information sessions. For more information on the internal deadlines and procedures and how to submit a proposal during this call or if you have any questions, contact Anna Terra Verhage (policy adviser at SEA).

There is a lot happening within Leiden University. The websites are filled with news on a daily basis. In the section 'A call about' we ask one of our employees to tell us more about a relevant and topical subject within the university. The answers give you more insight into the facts, but above all give you more personal background information. What was fun or frustrating? What was remarkable? What was good and what was bad? You can read all about it in 'A call about'.

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