New Cooperation Projects between Heidelberg and North America
The second Research-Alumni Meeting took place in Boston, USA, in September 2012. One item on the agenda was to identify opportunities for a more intensive collaboration between Heidelberg University and North American universities. The meeting has already resulted in several new cooperation schemes, and more projects are in the planning stage:
Duquesne University in Pittsburgh/Pennsylvania has agreed to a cooperation scheme between its Department of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy of Heidelberg University. The two departments have now established an exchange programme for students and doctoral students, and the first participants have already stayed, or are currently planning a stay, at the partner university. The universities are also planning a 2015 "Spring Break Away" course that will allow students of Duquesne University to spend their spring break on a scientific excursion to Heidelberg University. An exchange programme for teaching staff of the two departments has also been arranged. Within the framework of this programme, Markus Hermann from Heidelberg will teach a seminar course on Kant at Duquesne University in the spring of 2014, and Associate Professor Lanei Rodemeyer will in turn come to Heidelberg in the autumn of the same year. Also, Prof. Dr. Anton Koch, Managing Director of the Department of Philosophy in Heidelberg, will give a guest lecture at the Department of Philosophy of Duquesne University in September 2014. The cooperation between the two departments was organised by Research-Alumni Ambassador Dr. Jennifer Bates of Duquesne University (see the interview in this edition).
In the spring of 2013, a delegation of the University of Notre Dame from Notre Dame/Indiana came to Heidelberg University at the Rector’s invitation in order to discuss a partnership between the two universities. The cooperation will include an exchange programme for students and cooperative projects between individual disciplines. “The idea is to enable exchange on all levels, both for students – BA, MA and doctoral students – and for teaching staff”, explains Prof. Dr. Robert Norton, Associate Vice President for Internationalization in Notre Dame. “In particular, we would like our pre-med students – BA students who already know they want to study medicine and have to take specific preparatory courses – to be able to attend these courses in Heidelberg as well.” The first tangible result of the cooperation between both universities is an international conference scheduled for March 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The conference is organised jointly by academics from Notre Dame and Heidelberg and will take place in London, in a building owned by the University of Notre Dame.
A number of attendees of the Boston meeting returned to Heidelberg for a research stay within the framework of the HAIreconnect programme. During their time there, they familiarised themselves with their tasks as Research-Alumni Ambassadors, i.e. relaying their experiences in their personal network and raising awareness among colleagues and junior researchers for the research and support programme offered by Heidelberg University:
- Prof. Dr. Petra Rohrbach, a parasitologist at McGill University in Montréal/Canada, visited Heidelberg University Medical Centre, the Faculty of Biosciences and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) from 12 to 17 May 2013. She wants to continue her scientific collaboration with Heidelberg institutions in the field of malaria research.
- Prof. Dr. Andrew Buchwalter, Professor of Philosophy at University of North Florida in Jacksonville/Florida, was a guest at the Institute for Political Science and the Department of Philosophy from 30 May to 7 June 2013. His purpose was to discuss a potential exchange of students and teaching staff between Heidelberg University and the University of Florida. During his stay, he also gave a lecture on political theory.
- Dr. Susanne Anderson-Riedel, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque /New Mexico, visited the Institute of English Studies and the Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) from 1 to 5 July 2013. Her aim is to extend the existing cooperation and possibly establish a student exchange programme.
- Prof. Dr. Panayotis Kevrekidis, a physicist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst/USA, was a guest at the Institute for Theoretical Physics and at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics (KIP) from 2 to 27 July 2013 to renew and extend the cooperation between the institutes and his university. Besides attending work meetings with his Heidelberg colleagues, he also gave a scientific lecture during his stay.
- Prof. Dr. Athanassios Vergados, a classical philologist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville/Tennessee, visited the Department of Classical Philology from 7 to 26 July 2013 to renew the contact with his colleagues. He accepted a four-year interim professorship for Greek literature at the Department of Classical Philology, and will take up this post in the winter term 2013/2014.
- Dr. Robert Renden, a neuroscientist at the University of Nevada in Reno/Nevada, visited the Medical Faculty from 30 September to 5 October 2013. He is part of a research group headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Kuner at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences. During his stay, he familiarised himself with the Heidelberg research approach, which he is now using in his laboratory in Nevada, and contributed his expertise in the field of neurosciences. Robert Renden wants to inform junior scientists at his home university about educational and research opportunities in Heidelberg.
- Prof. Dr. Hilda Amalia Pasolli, a cellular biologist at Rockefeller University in New York City, was a guest at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University Medical Centre and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) from 19 to 27 October. She gave a lecture at the BioQuant research centre, is planning a scientific exchange with Heidelberg institutions for her future work and wants to inform junior scientists about educational and research opportunities in Heidelberg.