University Programs

Research learning

The program supports the development and/or testing of a teaching idea for implementing research-based learning in bachelor's and/or master's degree programs.

What is the goal of the program?

The program Research-Based Learning is intended to contribute visibly to the further development of tiered and state examination degree programs, in particular by increasing the degree of freedom and opportunities for students to participate in shaping the program, which result from the early introduction to research.

Who can apply?

Teachers from all faculties and institutes involved in degree programs can participate in the program. Applications can be submitted jointly by teachers and students; they must be supported by a positive vote of the respective student council. The institute management and the dean's office of the faculty should be informed about the application. If it is not only about the change of a single course, but also a curricular change in teaching, a co-signature of the application by the dean's office is required.

What are the decision criteria for funding?

The program line "Research-Based Learning" pursues the implementation of research-based learning at RUB on the curricular level of existing courses. The following criteria should be considered in the applications:

  • The projects should correspond to the essential characteristics of research-based learning, i.e.
    • they confront students with current or latest research questions and follow a research-oriented didactic principle,
    • they enable students to conduct their own research or to implement part of the research process independently or at least to be guided to do so,
    • e.g. students develop a research question, work on it alone or in a team, conduct research, develop survey and evaluation methods, prepare results, reflect on the research process, communicate results to the public ... .
  • The study program is to be individualized and made more flexible by means of special event formats with a higher proportion of self-study that are appropriate to the research orientation.
  • The projects are to implement the teaching concept of the faculties or to carry it out more broadly.
  • Above all, classic types of courses or compulsory courses should be redesigned so that as many students as possible benefit from the funded projects.
  • The projects should have a signal effect for the development of teaching in the faculty.
  • The projects should be linked to the existing research and/or learning infrastructure. In case of success, they should be continued after the end of the funding and be continued with the staff and resources of the teaching unit/faculty.

The object of the development project can also be the innovative use of digital technology to implement research-based learning.

What is funded?

The university program provides funding in three different lines:

  • Concept development: projects for the conception of new courses or modules at the RUB in the sense of research-based learning or their far-reaching further development are funded. The program aims to support teachers in the conception and testing of new forms of work, time rhythms or areas of guided student research at the RUB and to lay the foundation for a continuation of the project in the faculty beyond the funding phase. The period of the projects usually extends over two semesters and must include a convincing form of accompanying and final evaluation of the concept. Depending on the degree of innovation and the time required for the development of the concept, funding can be requested in the form of material resources (including auxiliary staff and teaching assignments), and in the case of far-reaching and/or particularly complex innovations, funding can also be requested in the form of an increase in the number of positions.
  • Concept transfer: Funding is available for projects aimed at transferring a concept for research-based learning that has already been successfully tested from one discipline/faculty to another or to an interdisciplinary project. The period of the project usually extends over two semesters and must include a convincing form of evaluation of the transfer. The funding aims at laying the foundation for a continuation of the project in the faculty beyond the funding phase. Depending on the amount of time required for the concept transfer, in-kind funding (including support staff and teaching assignments), or less frequently, job shares in the form of increases, may be requested.
  • Project Grant: Applications can be made for funds for material costs that are necessary for the implementation of research-based learning. This may involve, for example, a specific form of work in the field or with data, a special form of public discourse or presentation of results, or specific instruments or software. Depending on the size of the group and the project, up to 5,000 euros can be applied for.

Eligible for funding are also those measures that have already begun to be implemented. However, projects that have already been in practice in the applicant's teaching unit for some time in the form applied for or that have already been funded by the program are excluded from funding in the funding lines Concept Development and Transfer. The applications should make clear in which form the project, if successful, will be continued.

What is the procedure and who decides on the funding?

The award is made within a competitive procedure. To participate, please use the online application form, in which the project, its target group, the curricular integration into the teaching and the offered courses, a schedule, the resources brought in and applied for as well as continuation intentions are presented. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements of the application form will not be reviewed.
If necessary, an additional page with graphics, tables, etc. may be attached to the application form for further explanation. Additional attachment pages are not permitted, except for the statement of the student council.

The University Commission for Teaching (UKL), which is composed of interdisciplinary members with equal representation from the various groups, discusses the applications and makes a recommendation to the Rectorate, which then decides on the funding. For the evaluation of the applications in terms of didactics of higher education, the UKL may consult a representative of the Center for Didactics of Science for external advice.

What is the application deadline?

The program provides for one round per semester with the following deadlines: in the summer semester 01.04., in the winter semester 01.11. The submitted projects will probably be finally discussed until about the middle of the semester.
Submit your proposals by mail on the respective deadlines. Send them to with "Researched Learning" in the subject line. Please also inform your institute management and the dean's office of your faculty about your application.

Further information

Manual on research-based learning: The manual on research-based learning provides a brief insight into how exactly research-based learning is understood at the RUB and what distinguishes it. It describes the five design features, poses questions to support lecturers in designing their courses, and uses selected practical examples to show how the respective design feature can be taken into account in the implementation of research-based learning.

Teaching samples: The teaching samples are intended to be an inspiration for other teachers. These are examples of complete modules, events or individual event elements (online and offline) that have been implemented by teachers at the RUB.

We look forward to your concepts and will be happy to advise you in advance!

Bildliche beispielhafte Darstellung eines Doktorhuts
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