The iCSL module consists of two courses. The first course (iCSL1) focuses on the definition of societal challenges together with community members and partners. In the second course (iCSL2) you address those challenges through a collaborative research project. Both courses can be followed as an elective (if the structure and exam committee of your own program allow for that) or as an extracurricular activity besides the mandatory components of your program. In both cases, credits are awarded upon completion of the courses. You can enroll in both courses, or in either one of the two.
The iCSL1 Course (AM_1254)
The iCSL1 course centers around the definition of challenges that are current in society and would benefit from scientific research. To do so, you engage in dialogue with the residents and organizations of the city. The event at which this dialogue takes place, is the climax of the course. The six weeks leading up to the event are used to prepare for this moment. You learn – among others – about multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity, complex systems and persistent problems, and participatory approaches. More practically, in preparation of the event you will go into the field and reach out to, and interview various actors to gauge their opinions. The execution of the event will be in your hands, and you and your team mates will facilitate group discussions with all the attendees.
The course runs in period 2 of the academic year (November-December) and is 3 ECTS. Weekly face-to-face meetings are scheduled in the evening hours to prevent interference with other courses. These weekly meetings are highly interactive, including mind-mapping exercises, group reflections, project work, and preparation of the event. The remaining study time you spend on self-study of literature and online lectures. More information about this course can be found in the study guide here.
The iCSL2 Course (AM_1253)
The iCSL2 course is about addressing large societal challenges. As an interdisciplinary team, you research one of the challenges defined in the first iCSL course. Each team member devotes their own thesis, research project or internship to a sub-question of this challenge. In parallel to your thesis, you follow the iCSL2 course, in which you integrate the insights from the different individual projects. As such, the second iCSL course adds extra inter- and transdisciplinarity to your research project. In interactive workshops you exchange knowledge, integrate the insights from the different projects to synthesize a systematic view of the topic, and discuss the implications of those findings. The course ends in a large meeting (similar to a conference) at which you present your findings back to a scientific as well as societal audience. One of the key questions during this event is: what’s next?
The iCSL2 course runs the entire second semester (period 4-6, February-June), and completion will award 6 ECTS. More information about the course can be found in the study guide here.