February 21, 2023

Thinking outside the academic box

Cooperation between researchers from academia and partners from the non-academic sector – such as industry, public bodies, or cultural institutions – are highly valuable and usually of mutual benefit. This is why the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz launched an “Intersectoral Cooperation Programme” in 2015, which has been very well received ever since.

The Zukunftskolleg is one of the key projects promoting early career researchers at the University of Konstanz. The Intersectoral Cooperation Programme (ICP) – open to all Postdocs at the University – gives early career researchers the opportunity to develop innovative and interdisciplinary approaches in partnership with the non-academic sector. Grants are awarded to support cooperation and joint research projects with industrial partners, companies, social institutions, cultural institutions, archives, public bodies, or non-profit organisations.

One of the first recipients of ICP funding was psychologist Jennifer Randerath. Her project aimed to put theoretical knowledge into practice to “make sure that new treatments and research findings actually reach the patients and that they are implemented properly.” With the funding, she intensified a then ongoing collaboration with local psychotherapy outpatient as well as neurorehabilitation clinics and used the resulting synergy effects for her research in the field of health and well-being. What is more: The close collaboration made “on-site” dissemination initiatives possible. By approaching doctors, therapists and clinic staff directly, Randerath could more efficiently bring her research results to a non-academic audience and into application.

Since 2015, the Zukunftskolleg has issued ICP calls once or twice a year. Projects funded include cooperation between researchers and museums, art-design studios, filmmakers, and industrial partners. Projects that received funding in the latest call include the collaboration of a physicist from Konstanz with a company that focuses on material science and semiconductor technology and a joint project of researchers from Konstanz’s Department of Politics and Public Administration and the Brazilian Ministry of Health as well as the Criminal Investigation Department in the region of Ponta Grossa (Brazil).

You can find more information about the ICP and all the funded projects on the Zukunftskolleg Website.

Contact: Sigrid Elmer, Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz


Image: Zukunftskolleg of the University of Konstanz. Credit: Michael Latz / University of Konstanz

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