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EUPeace Fund - Projects

Rolf K. Wegst

Fund Second Call: 10 Projects receive funding

Within the Second Call for Applications for the EUPeace Fund, 10 exciting projects have been approved for funding by the EUPeace Governing Board. All projects are collaborations of EUPeace institutions, bringing together researchers, administrative staff and students of the consortium.

  • International Perspectives on Inclusion

    In recent years, the concept of inclusion has become a key term in socio-political developments – both at national and international level. The project "International Perspectives on Inclusion" builds on these developments and aims to bring together theoretical, method(olog)ical and practical perspectives and discourses on inclusion at a European level. Together with researchers from the Università della Calabria, the Universidad Pontificia Comillas and the Philipps-Universität Marburg, an international presentation series dedicated to these efforts will be organized over the course of 2025. In addition to academic exchange, the project also aims to establish and strengthen network structures between the participating universities (and possibly beyond) and to explore opportunities for future collaboration in research and teaching, as well as to promote the internationalization of student life as a whole.

    Project Coordination: Dr. Michael Börner (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Marburg, University of Calabria

  • COILING Inclusion: Towards LGBTQIA+ Intersectional Teaching at European Universities

    LGBTQIA+ rights have advanced significantly over recent decades in many parts of Europe, but there is evidence to show that discrimination and homophobia are on the rise. A report by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (2019) found that LGBTQIA+ tolerance and perceptions about equality and discrimination have either stagnated or declined in recent years, raising concerns that the advances achieved may be threatened.   

    The issue of tolerance goes beyond just a rights question, however. Studies demonstrate that in countries with higher levels of national tolerance, overall levels of social well-being are improved amongst the entire population, towards a greater social cohesion and (Fischer et al, 2015).  While not necessarily a surprising outcome, the challenge lies in how to advance tolerance in European societies, especially as far right populist currents push back against gains achieved.  

    An abundance of literature demonstrates that educational spaces, including higher education, play an important function in helping to achieve this tolerance. Nuno Nodin, a researcher from the University of London who has written extensively on sexual minorities and behavior, notes about higher education that “for the wider student population diversifying exposure to varied identities and contents will challenge privilege and may also increase preparedness to the diversity that is expected to be experienced in future professional and life contexts (2022, p.23)” 

    While tolerance and non-discrimination are not something learned overnight, the university has a responsibility to prepare students not only academically and professionally, but also on a personal level to respect (and hopefully contribute to) the values of a diverse and pluralistic Europe.   The purpose of this project is to bring together partner schools within the EU Peace Initiative to create curriculum development initiatives for the advancement of LGBTQIA+ rights within our respective academic institutions. In particular, there will be three primary outcomes.  The first is a mapping of LGBTQIA+ curriculum and awareness at our universities amongst professors.  The second is a series of short one-hour online classes that discuss LGBTQIA+ within different disciplines, such as psychology, linguistics, law, politics, etc. These classes will be made available to faculty and students.  The third outcome is the development of model syllabi in each of these areas that includes a reading list and possible modules to explore on the topic of LGBTQIA+ rights within the disciplines discussed. The purpose of this outcome is to generate LGBTQIA+ academic resources at each of the participating institutions.

    Project Coordination: Adam Dubin (Comillas Pontifical University)
    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Marburg, University of Calabria, University of West Bohemia

  • Storytelling for Inclusive Education

    As signaled by the EUPeace alliance, teachers are responsible for equalizing inequalities and attending to diversity at school. Therefore, collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving are key competencies of future teachers and their students. The main objective of this EUPeace funded project is to offer a response to the limitations of teacher training for inclusive education, usually relegated to specific courses of the academic syllabus rather than offering a transversal and global perspective in inclusivity likely to be experienced in any subject of the degree (WP2). To do this, student teachers will develop a collective writing task aimed at creating children's stories in English based on inclusivity. The task can be developed virtually through digital tools, including hybrid online/face-to-face international meetings at the different stages. As a result of the experience, student teachers and their professors will collaboratively create digital stories in English, based on the School4All Concept (WP3). The experience will result in a collection of e-Books on inclusivity likely to be used at schools to promote the pedagogical integration of digital, cognitive and social skills necessary to face the challenges of the 2030 Agenda and the comprehensive training of future teachers on inclusive education.

    Project Coordination: Magdalena Custodio Espinar, Coordinator (Comillas Pontifical University), Leslie Amiot and Sandrine Simon (University of Limoges), Vaclav Stacke (University of West Bohemia Pilsen)

    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Limoges, University of West Bohemia

  • EuPaC: Unveiling European Past with Code - a transdisciplinary hackathon

    The EuPaC project aims to bring together students and researchers from EUPeace institutions in a hackathon event designed to analyze a selection of digitized historical datasets. Scheduled to take place in Plzeň in Spring 2025, the event will feature datasets such as a corpus of Eastern European “samizdat” literature from the communist period and Early Modern scientific literature. Participants will be recruited through an open call, seeking individuals with diverse disciplinary backgrounds—from history to computer science—with allocated seats for each involved institution. Over the four-day event, participants will work in stable groups on predefined case studies, culminating in the presentation of their findings via academic posters.The analyses will emphasize adherence to best open science practices, including the FAIR data principles. The primary goal of this project is to foster an international research community that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries, while promoting EUPeace values such as the free circulation of knowledge and inclusion.

    Project Coordination: Vojtěch Kaše (University of West Bohemia)
    Involved Universities: Justus-Liebig University Giessen, University of Marburg, University of West Bohemia

  • Legitimation/Deligitimation of War and Violence in Ancient Literature

    Can wars ever be just? Can the violence caused by them ever be accepted as legitimate? Questions like these have not only been asked in our time, but were also discussed in ancient times and answered in different ways. In addition to legal and political discussions of war, artistic and literary representations of armed conflict play an important role in debates about its justifications within ancient societies. Our project will focus on these representations across epochs and genres, ranging from the epic poems of Archaic Greece, to the tragedy and comedy of Classical Athens, to the Latin poetry of the early Roman empire, to the historiographical writings of Late Antiquity. Our guiding questions include the following: To what extent do works of ancient art and literature present wars and their declarations as just or unjust? How do wars conclude and how do literary texts envision the
    steps that lead to the end of war? Does ancient literature idealize the notion of a bellum iustum or call it into question? Are civil wars imagined in the same terms as wars with foreign adversaries? Do literary and artistic representations of wartime violence aim to fascinate and incite their audiences or horrify and deter them? And do we today see and understand the atrocities of war with the same eyes and instincts as people experiencing this form of violence thousands of years ago?

    Project Coordination: Prof. Dr. Dennis Pausch (Marburg University)
    Involved Universities: Marburg University, University of Calabria, Justus-Liebig University Giessen

  • Language Ideologies in the EU and wider Europe: reconsidering present and prognosing future

    English as a lingua franca, national languages, and minority languages play a crucial role in the complicated processes of transformation for peaceful and super-diverse societies in Europe.

    We will organize an introductory workshop in Giessen (September 2024) and a follow-up workshop in Calabria (February 2025). They are focused on the role of languages in university teaching and curricula. Through an interactive format, the workshops aim to analyze differing language ideologies, from national symbols to plurilingualism, assess language’s cultural role, and examine the impact of new technologies like AI on language education.

    The events aim to facilitate knowledge exchange, support multilingualism, and stress the development of state languages and the rights of minorities. They will describe and develop the educational mechanisms and strategies important for societal dialogue between different generations, cultural groups, and disciplines.  The preliminary description of the role of languages and language ideologies in societal transformation and peace-building will be the main result of the workshops.

    Project Coordination: Sergio Pizziconi (University of Calabria)
    Involved Universities: Cukurova University, University of Calabria, University of Giessen

  • Creating an Observatory of Places of Memory in the Euro-Mediterranean Area

    The Project aims to create an Observatory of places of memory in the Euro-Mediterranean area (inventory, typology, specificities of maintenance and evolution with exchange of practices). A research focus will include the place of justice in these high sites (exhibitions, speeches, specialized establishments such as the Nuremberg Tribunal). The establishing of the Observatory is not only meant to aid PhD students from relevant fields in their work, but also present a palpable and meaningful contribution to societal dialogue and quest for reconciliation in post-conflict societies.

    Project Coordination:
    Pascal Plas (University of Limoges)
    Involved Universities: University of Marburg, University of Limoges, University of Sarajevo

  • Language Centres of the Alliance: Interculturality, Language, Networking, and Engaging Staff

    This project aims to support university staff in life-long learning activities, promote the values of peace and inclusion upheld by the Alliance, foster language skills, and facilitate intercultural awareness among the partners. 

    The language centres of the Université de Limoges (UNILIM)/ University of Limoges, France, Západočeská univerzita v Plzni (UWB)/ University of West Bohemia (UWB) in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and the Philipps-Universität/Philipps-University Marburg, Germany, offer an intensive training programme for university staff. The training focuses on understanding and practicing Interculturality, enhancing language proficiency, and diversity and inclusion in European university contexts. In a first step, we will establish online exchanges among peers to discuss topics related to the topics of the training in relation to their respective workplaces. In a second step, the three-day on-site training at the Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, in early summer 2025, will offer language training, short lectures on diversity and inclusion at universities, workshop activities on intercultural topics, and a cultural programme. 

    Project Coordination: Dr. Fabienne Quennet (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: University of Marburg, University of Limoges, University of West Bohemia

  •  Our Cultural Heritage – The Basis of our House Europe 2

    In the first phase (2024) the individual capabilities of the consortium "OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE – THE BASIS OF OUR HOUSE EUROPE" were assessed, leading now to Step 2: the “Mostar-Spring-Field School”.
    This field school will be open to students from all EUPeace Universities in 2025, and it will engage in student participation through module design. This academic field school, will be a test-pilot for how the integration of cultural heritage and research can be implemented as a sustainable teaching programme. This is based on the idea, that cultural heritage, enriches the  individual lives of citizens and is a driving force for social cohesion. On this basis, the consortium of the EUPeace Universities of Marburg, Giessen, Comillas, Mostar and Sarajevoa launched this joint cooperation initiative for 2025. 
    The future Step 3 will see the members design a research and education programme, which could foreseeably bloom into an international Master’s degree.  

    Project Coordination:
    Prof. Felix Teichner (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: University of Marburg, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Comillas Pontifical University, University of Sarajevo, University of Mostar

  • Gender in Higher Education in Times of Uncertainty

    Although promoting gender equality and inclusion is a priority of European Union policies and programmes, significant gender gaps remain in research and innovation. Various global crises such as climate change, pandemics, global conflicts and anti-feminist movements have exacerbated the situation of gender equality. Even though universities are hubs for innovation and progress on gender issues in terms of pedagogical mastery, research opportunities and strategic sustainability initiatives, the leaky pipeline and the glass ceiling for women researchers, especially at the professorial level, still exist. The project therefore consists of three parts. 

    Firstly, the research on gender perceptions among students and top management, based on interviews with professionals and a student survey, and its reflection in the internal legislation of three participating European universities will be completed. 

    Secondly, the preliminary results of the research on mentoring for female researchers, academics and leaders in times of uncertainty will be presented at the symposium within the European Conference on Educational Research "Education in an Age of Uncertainty: Remembering and Hoping for the Future" (University of Nicosia, 2024).

    Thirdly, the publication of the results of the two research projects mentioned above as two open access articles in Q1 journals will be a milestone in the strengthening of the scientific cooperation between the three participating universities and the exchange of good practices in the promotion of women in higher education.

    Our research enriches and strengthens the European Research Area with a transdisciplinary (sociology, law and education) approach to justice and inclusive societies with a focus on women scholars and leaders in higher education. In particular, our research promotes excellent early career researchers (doctoral and post-doctoral level) to maximise their employability in academic and non-academic fields through research on mentoring. In the future, we plan to pilot mentoring initiatives in consortium members.

    Project Coordination: Dr. Giovanna Vignelli (University of Calabria)
    Involved Universities: University of Calabria, Comillas Pontifical University, University of Marburg

Projects funded in the First Call

  • The EU as a Global Governance Actor

    The "EU as a Global Governance Actor" project aims to analyse the evolving approaches of EU external policies. The original contribution of the project is an understanding of recent inter-institutional dynamics with both the European Parliament and the European Commission trying to renew their understanding of the EU external actorness. Thus, the project looks at how the European Parliament stresses the need to keep promoting EU values, and the European Commission intends to renew its budgetary instruments, going beyond a geographical focus to account for the complexity of ongoing global debates on sustainability and development. Through this approach, the research team explores the evolving EU actorness and its contribution to global governance efforts.

    Project Coordinator: Dr. Ileana Daniela Serban (Comillas Pontifical University)
    Involved Universities: University of Calabria, Comillas Pontifical University, University of Limoges, University of Marburg 

  • Current Challenges to European Security and Defence Policies: A Summer School

    Building on an already established framework for summer schools at Comillas University, the project brings together practitioners from EU institutions, scholars from Comillas, the University of Marburg, and the University of Mostar as well as students from the participating institutions for an integrated course on European security policy in Madrid in 2024. The project intends to contribute to a sharing of mutual perspectives on teaching and to ensure that the potential for future in-depth cooperation will be explored and possibly institutionalized. In addition, the participating scholars will investigate the potential for research cooperation, a widening of the network on EU studies within the EUPeace community  and the addition of more partners from the EUPeace network.

    Project Coordination: Prof. Jose Manuel Saenz Rotko (Comillas Pontifical University) and Prof. Hubert Zimmermann (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Marburg, University of Mostar

  • Water4All

    To maintain inclusive societies, governments have to ensure primary needs among which a sustainable access to potable and drinkable water. Considering a unique vision for providing water for all would be a mistake. It engages more forces dealing with engineering, ecology and ecosystem management, regulations and policies together promoting innovation through an innovative networking strategy to provide relevant solutions. Universities can enter in this global process and take benefit of it by sharing experiences, points of view and competences to complementarily propose new schemes and solutions. Such process can boost sustainability for the education community, promoting more transversal joint curriculum with a more global vision for novel approaches, sharing of teaching competences, common research approaches and projects, the installation of better administrative facilitative practices to the services of justice and equality for societies. This is the aim of the Water4All proposal, a relevant transversal multi-layer cooperation plan between engineering and ecosystem sciences through solutions for sustainable access to water.

    Project Coordination: Virginie Pallier and Laurent Billonnet (both University of Limoges)
    Involved Universities: University of Giessen, University of Limoges, University of Marburg

  • Challenges for the future: Kick-off WP Mobility

    The project “Challenges for the future: Kick-off WP Mobility” aims to bring together representatives from each partner university of the EUPeace consortium for a kick-off meeting of work package 4 at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic. During the meeting from 17th to 19th of January 2024, EUPeace partners will establish the steering committee of work package 4, the Facilitating Mobilities Group (MoG). Additional aims of the meeting are to initiate a repository of basic information from each partner university to exchange students and staff, to plan joint Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP) or Staff Training Weeks as well as to exchange experiences on the digitization of processes in line with the European Student Card Initiative.

    Project Coordination: Sigrid Jost (University of Giessen)
    Involved Universities: All EUPeace member institutions

  • Flagship-Blended-Seminar-Concept “Blended International Exchange: Interculturality and Inclusion in Educational Contexts"

    The seminar "Blended International Exchange: Intercultural Learning and Inclusion in Educational Contexts" is a flagship project that will enable first experiences of a joint exchange and a joint teacher training of the JLU, the UMR and the University of Limoges. The seminar will take place from March to June 2024 and will include a virtual preparation, a one-week intensive face-to-face exchange in Germany and a virtual follow-up and reflection. The shared experiences of students and lecturers as well as the evaluation of the event can provide important impulses and information for the design of long-term exchange formats within the EU-Peace project and can be expanded and developed from bilateral to multilateral formats.

    Project Coordination: Anja Seifert (University of Giessen) and Dr. Annika Brück-Hübner (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: University of Limoges, University of Giessen, University of Marburg

  • EUPeace Teachers Onboarding

    The Kick-off meeting, which will take place in Limoges, in January 2024, will be the occasion for all participants to share important information regarding each school system specificities like curricula, school year organization, diplomas, holidays, teacher training, school partners in and outside school and, more specifically, each country’s needs as far as inclusion, diversity and education for peace and sustainability are concerned …. The aim is to be aware of major differences and similarities between each country, a first step towards a better mutual understanding and acceptance but also a way to be able to organize the international teacher training module in a more precise manner. Moreover, it will provide the opportunity to get to know each other, before taking further steps on this exciting adventure.  

    Project Coordination: Prof. Jill Salamon and Sandrine Simon (both University of Limoges)
    Involved Universities: Cukurova University, University of Limoges, University of Giessen, University of Marburg, University of West-Bohemia

  • Language Centres of the Alliance: Improving, Networking, Engaging Staff

    The project “Language Centres of the Alliance: Improving, Networking, Engaging Staff has several aims: to learn from each other, to collaborate and to meet in a training model that could be held in the various partner centres in the future. 

    A staff week on the theme of interculturality, diversity and inclusion will provide an opportunity to reflect on cultural uniqueness of each individual and the challenges that this implies in terms of communication when interacting with other cultures. 

    More precisely, we want to encourage mobility for staff members who do not get mobility opportunities easily and will benefit from new perspectives in the field of interculturality, diversity and inclusion. 

    Project Coordination: Pascale Sageaud (University of Limoges)
    Involved Universities: University of Limoges, University of Marburg, University of West-Bohemia

  • Conflict Resolution Through International Understanding: A Cross Disciplinary Approach

    Inspired by the values of peace, justice and social inclusion driving EUPeace, our project brings together colleagues from across disciplines – political science, international relations and social work – and countries – Spain, Germany and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

    The project is built on two pillars. First, for lecturers, to share and exchange teaching approaches, knowledge and techniques on conflict resolution and mediation. Second, to offer students the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom to practical exercises, fomenting cultural exchanges, international dialogue and understanding and intercultural communication and problem-solving.  

    We envisage this project to be a stepping stone towards building an international network of specialists working on conflict resolution and mediation that would involve teaching and research outputs within the EUPeace initiative. 

    Project Coordination: Prof. Mario López Areu (Comillas Pontifical University)
    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Marburg, University of Mostar

  • Communication Strategy for EUPeace

    In order to guarantee a smooth implementation of EUPeace, as well as a sustainable working relationship between all member institutions, and successful activities in education, research, and outreach, communication is the absolute key. This involves various levels, e.g. alliance-wide, member-internal, target-group-specific, external representation of EUPeace.

    The project “Communication Strategy for EUPeace” aims to increase the quality and efficiency of administrative communication for the entire network. 

    In a 2-day workshop with parallel working sessions, we will bring together coordinators and students from all EUPeace member institutions with external experts for informational sessions, roundtable discussions, feedback rounds and best practice examples.

    Project Coordination: Dr. Imke Polland-Schmandt
    Involved Universities: All EUPeace member institutions

  • Our Cultural Heritage – The Basis of our House Europe

    “Europe’s cultural heritage is a rich and diverse mosaic of cultural and creative expressions, an inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and a legacy for those to come”. According to this self-image of the EU, set out in the policy “Creative Europe”, the common cultural heritage represents one of the decisive foundations of our future peaceful and equal coexistence. Especially the cultural heritage enriches the individual lives of citizens and is a driving force for social cohesion. 

    The starting point of this project is the PI’s experience with the summer school “Archeology for Peace” in Kosovo. Central subject were cultural diversity and gender equality. 

    The aim of the first phase of this project is to explore the possibilities of taking up this structure of bringing people together and to sound out the individual capabilities of the consortium in carrying it forward. The members will design a research and educational program including the capabilities of the participants and the possibilities they offer. 

    Project Coordination: Prof. Felix Teichner (University of Marburg)
    Involved Universities: Comillas Pontifical University, University of Giessen, University of Marburg, University of Mostar, University of Sarajevo

Cooperation Partners

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