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Comenius Teaching Fellow grant for Lerch and Bianchi

06 June 2024

Dr. Michael Lerch and Dr. Frans Bianchi of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (RUG) have received a EUR 50,000 Comenius Teaching Fellow grant from the NRO (‘Nationaal Regieorgaan Onderwijsonderzoek’). Lerch for introducing a more inclusive and cooperative learning approach and Bianchi for a new -  more motivating - type of practicums for first- and second-year BSc students.

The NRO  awards the annual Comenius grants on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. These grants enable teachers to bring their vision on teaching into practice.

Dr. Michael Lerch (Stratingh institute of Chemistry) | ‘Increasing Student Belonging Through Representation and Participation’

Traditional science curricula are too often not inclusive enough, discouraging students from bringing their diverse backgrounds into their learning environment. The premise of this project is for students to feel involved and represented, allowing them to identify more with course content. By developing a course that portrays chemists from non-traditional backgrounds, students have the opportunity to identify with chemistry role models. At the same time, they are challenged to work problem-solving in teams in the chemistry escape games offered.

Students at work during an escape game
Students at work during an escape game

Dr. Frans Bianchi (Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute) | ‘In charge of your own learning experience in skill-based practicums’

Course evaluations show that first- and second-year BSc students often find laboratory classes demanding, slow and exhausting. This can make these lessons demotivating. In this project, the traditional two-week first-year biochemistry practical is extended to a three-week format in which students take on a more active role in designing the practical and making decisions throughout the process. Not just in the lab, but also during planning, reporting, and reflection. Multiple experimental routes are available, allowing students to create and follow their own plan within set deadlines. Throughout the project, they will continually justify and evaluate their choices.

Comenius programme

The Comenius programme contributes to the innovation and improvement of secondary vocational education and higher education in the Netherlands. The programme includes three different grants: the ‘Teaching Fellow’, ‘Senior Fellow’ and ‘Leadership Fellow’ grants. The grants enable education professionals to put their ideas for educational innovation into practice.

Last modified:10 June 2024 11.48 a.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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