A new form of education
The initiative to launch the Corona Research Super Project was prompted by the demand for alternative education for research internships in the Nanobiology curriculum that could not be continued due to the closure of the laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic. What started out of necessity is now a great multidisciplinary project in which students from different educations programs work together to obtain information in the fight against COVID-19.
To best serve the students, six different research topics were proposed. Each topic is overseen by one or more staff members and students work in teams of five or six members. Teams fully operate remotely and have regular virtual meetings. The Corona Research Super Project runs for a total of 12 weeks from April to July 2020 with a concluding e-symposium in September. Each team will deliver a final report of their research which will undergo a round of peer-review by the other teams.
Students are encouraged to further develop and form the research topic themselves and thereby get a lot of freedom to pursue their curiosity in this project. This way of determining and forming topics strengthens the students’ project management skills and also forces them to collaborate with researchers and students from other disciplines and fields of study.
The practical and transdisciplinary setting provides a breeding ground for skills that are not often taught in traditional university education as the collaboration stretches not only beyond a student’s faculty, but even to other universities.
Outcomes of the project are expected to leave many options for further research into COVID-19. Furthermore, opportunities for a permanent educational program are already being explored. In these further runs expanding on the knowledge of this project, other interdisciplinary thematic projects will be generated.
This new educational format lends itself to many customisations and scales and for that reason the initiators of the Corona Research Super Project would like to invite researchers and teacher around the globe to develop their own interpretation of this method and keep inspiring young researchers.