• Berlin University Alliance: Ideas wanted!

Teenagers aged 14 to 18 and researchers and students from Brain City Berlin are invited to submit suggestions to the Berlin University Alliance for its ‘Next Grand Challenge’. The ideas will then be discussed and evaluated at the Grand Final.

Berlin University Alliance (BUA) is currently looking for topics. They want suggestions for ‘Next Grand Challenge’ ideas as part of a collaboration between the research association and Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin), Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin), Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. As with the BUA’s first two Grand Challenge projects, ‘Social Cohesion’ and ‘Global Health’, the research for the next Grand Challenge should also find interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary answers to one of the biggest questions of the 21st century. In order to gather a wide range of ideas for the main topic, the BUA is now also appealing to people outside of the academic sector.

Next Grand Challenge – Who can get involved?

  • Teenagers in Berlin aged 14 to 18 can apply until 28 August 2022. During preparatory workshops, you’ll gain fascinating insight into the BUA’s research and will learn elocution, presentation and creativity techniques.
    More information and registration
  • Researchers and students can submit topics until 31 October 2022. Participants may include teams whose members are associated with at least one of the BUA partners: FU Berlin, HU Berlin, TU Berlin or Charité – Universitätsmedizin. Researchers from research institutes outside of Berlin or of strategic BUA partners (University of Oxford, National University of Singapore or University of Melbourne) including researchers and students from other Berlin universities can be incorporated into the team.
    More information and submitting a topic

The participation process is divided into four stages. It comprises the phases: collection of topics, grouping of topics, topic evaluation and topic selection.

Final evaluation in February 2023

The Grand Final of the participation process falls into the evaluation phase. Planned for February 2023, the BUA will invite you to the Next Grand Challenge forum, where teenagers, researchers, students and experts from the wider civil society and fields of economics, politics and management all discuss the topics submitted. The arguments provided at the forum should serve as a decision-making basis for the BUA to draw up a new research funding programme. The entire process from collection to topic selection is transparent and can be followed online.

Research for the selected Next Grand Challenge topic will begin in summer 2024 based on the current schedule. It’s going to be exciting! (vdo)




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