What is EPICUR?
EPICUR is one of currently 41 European University Alliances that have received funding from the
European Commission as part of the initiative to establish a European Education Area (EEA) by 2025.
What partners are involved in EPICUR?
EPICUR comprises eight partner institutions from across the European Union. The eight partners have committed to developing innovative learning and teaching opportunities for their students and staff, as well as to working together to tackle global problems of societal relevance with collaborative, inter- and trans-disciplinary programs of research.
Who funds EPICUR?
European University Alliances are funded through two grants from the European Commission:
- At the end of 2019 EPICUR received an initial five million Euros from the Erasmus+ scheme in order to start planning joint teaching and learning initiatives.
- In January 2020, the Alliance received a further two million Euros under the Horizon2020 scheme in order to develop a joint research agenda. In addition, EPICUR has received generous funding from national and regional agencies (e.g., BMBF, MWK).
The EPICUR team has also contributed to winning additional funding for innovative teaching projects at the University of Freiburg (e.g., IVAR). If you have an application for teaching initiatives that you think would benefit from association with the European University Alliance, please get in touch:
firstname.lastname@example.org — we are very happy to support funding applications in any way possible!
What has been done in the EPICUR project so far?
EPICUR Teaching and Learning initiatives have been in preparation since January 2020. Please see below for more information about ongoing projects and how to get involved.
EPICUR Research initiatives will be starting in early 2021. Please see below for more information about ongoing projects and how to get involved.
Who is involved in EPICUR?
The EPICUR Project Team is spread across multiple administrative and academic units within the
University of Freiburg. See below to find out who is responsible for what, and for information on how to become part of the growing community of EPICUReans.
The EPICUR Alliance aims to support and promote multilingualism as a core strength of European higher education. Researchers, teachers, administrators and students across our partner institutions use a rich variety of European languages to engage in academic affairs. Across the Alliance, it is our aim to recognize the benefits of multilingualism, and to support our institutions in maintaining effective multilingual academic communities. Some of the ongoing projects in this area include:
- The Rektorat (former Prorektorin Besters-Dilger and Rektorin Krieglstein) signed a Letter of Intent, signalling the University of Freiburg’s intention to support a multilingual academic community.
- We contributed to the development of the EPICUR Model Language Policy Framework, which provides stakeholders within higher education institutions with practical advice on supporting multilingualism.
- Professors and lecturers from the University of Freiburg are active contributors to a pilot scheme in which language instruction classes are shared across partners. In Spring Semester 2021, students from EPICUR partners will be able to take courses in Slavonic and Scandinavian languages virtually at the University of Freiburg, options which are not readily available at their home institutions. In return, University of
Freiburg students will have the opportunity to study i.a. Modern Greek.
- The EPICUR Alliance aims to enhance the provision of each home institution by providing new opportunities for staff and students to come together in innovative, joint teaching and learning experiences. EPICUR aims to provide learning experiences that go beyond what can be provided by a single institution: we therefore support workshops designed to improve collaborative teaching and develop educational initiatives that boost mobility between partners. Some examples of ongoing projects include:
- Development and delivery of collaborative courses across our partners. The first EPICUR pilot courses were run in the Winter Semester 2020 at the University of Freiburg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. See here for a list of current course offerings. For information on how to get involved in joint teaching, please contact Dr. Steven Randall: email@example.com
- Workshops for instructors at our partners to enhance interculturality in the classroom (Feb 2021), digital learning design (September 2020), and interdisciplinary, student-centred approaches to teaching (July 2020). For more information about upcoming workshops and events, please contact Katharina Kiefel: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student-run workshops and events on current European Commission educational tools, such as the European Degree and Microcredentials. To get more information about how to get involved as a student, please contact our student board members at email@example.com or feel free to get in touch with other students in the virtual ILIAS-room.
During the pilot phase (2020-2022) the EPICUR partners are developing shared learning and campus management platforms to support joint teaching initiatives, and to reduce the administrative burden of participating in mobility offerings. Our digital Community of Learning and EPICampus are currently in development; we will announce developments here as soon as possible! If you are interested in getting involved with the creation of shared learning platforms, please contact Dorthe Hutz-Nierhoff: firstname.lastname@example.org
EPICUR Research starts in early 2021!
Under the motto “Shaping European Society in Transition” especially the early career researchers from our universities are invited to get involved, to team up and to apply for EPIClusters. The key elements of the new programme will be:
- The recognition of research, teaching, innovation and interaction with society as interdependent dimensions of the “European Knowledge Square”, and EPICUR’s anchoring in its EPICentre
- Promotion of early career researchers (ECRs)
- Challenge-based research and focus on inter- and trans-disciplinary research with partners from outside academia
- Opening and sharing the partners’ research infrastructures and core facilities
- Offering information, service and support to the research initiatives in order to turn the experimental formats into successful features of the University of the Future
- Preparing and selecting EPIClusters for joint research of ECRs from at least three different countries of our consortium
EPIClusters will be identified and promoted in the course of an iterative bottom-up process. It will start with the invitation of ECRs to EPICamps that will be a low-threshold (barcamp) format allowing for flexible and short-term funding decisions, swift organisation and easy participation. EPICamps will allow for the formation of networks of like-minded researchers who identify potential for concrete collaboration.
Based on more solid ideas of such informal networks and upon a short proposal, up to five members from partner universities from at least three different countries will be invited to build EPICradles. This will be joint research sojourns at one of our Institutes for Advanced Studies or at a research facility, where the researchers will set the scientific foundation and design PhD and postdoc projects for an EPICluster.
EPIClusters will be new, trans- and interdisciplinary, challenge-oriented research formats which will also include stakeholders from other sectors like business, industry, politics, NGOs, public services, townships or regions. At the same time, EPIClusters will inspire sharing infrastructures and respective resources all over our network in order to create up-scalable best practices of joint research and innovation.
The EPICUR Project relies on contributions from staff and students across the entire university. If you are interested in more information about any of our initiatives, or would like to get involved yourself, please contact one of the following staff members to find out more:
- Dr. Shirley-Ann Rüschemeyer: Shirley-Ann.Rueschemeyer@zv.uni-freiburg.de
Project Co-Ordinator at the University of Freiburg
- Dr. Verena Kremling: email@example.com
Project Officer for EPICUR Research
- Dr. Steven Randall: firstname.lastname@example.org
Project Officer for EPICUR Teaching & Learning
Do you want to be kept up to date on what’s happening in the EPICUR-world? Then subscribe to our EPICUR mailing list at myAccount (category “European University”), which will regularly provide you with information.