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Studierende in den Seminarräumen des O-Gebäudes, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft Show image information

Studierende in den Seminarräumen des O-Gebäudes, Foto: Universität Paderborn, Fotografin: Judith Kraft

Project Groups

1. Definition

In university "Project Groups", a group of usually 8-15 students works together over a period of one year (two semesters) on a research topic determined by the group organizer. The research topics for the new project groups are introduced in a general presentation in which the students can hear the conditions for participating in a project group, and sign up for a project group.

2. Goals

On the one hand, project groups aim to support the personal development of the participants; on the other, the groups also have research issue-related goals.In project groups, participating students gain first-hand practical experience in working in a team and organizing a project; in doing so, they become prepared for daily work in their later professions. The students personally experience how to carry out extensive development processes in a team. Since the tasks are divided among the individual team members, the participating students become skilled in reporting their progress and research findings to the other group members.

Project groups introduce students to current research topics that are usually related to the group organizer’s special area of interest. In this respect, the project groups also actively, but not primarily, contribute to university research. For the participating students, this means that after completing the project they are, in general, predestined to take on a Master’s Thesis in their project group’s research area.

3. Project Group Presentation

Every semester within the last week of lectures the new project groups for the upcoming semester are presented publicly by the project group organizers. After this presentation the students have time to consider the topics with respect to their interests and preferences, and subsequently can apply for one or more of the project groups. Following this step, a collaborative process of distributing students to the proposed project groups is performed. As a result, project groups who were chosen by too many students may have to reject some, or project groups with too few applicants may be cancelled. In general, a satisfying solution is found for all project group organizers and participants.

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