Aspiring researchers are budding – University of Copenhagen

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11 April 2016

Aspiring researchers are budding


246 upper-secondary-school students participate in this year’s Junior Researcher project. Emphasis is on academic virtues and bridge building in UCPH's only cross-disciplinary talent development programme.

Method, research process, brainstorming, time estimation and scientific articles are some of the tools and concepts which the more than 240 upper-secondary-school students from all over Denmark will be working with over the next months, as part of their enrolment in the Junior Researcher project.

Ninety Danish upper-secondary schools are represented, and this year's junior researchers have already submitted their ideas for projects they will be working with in the coming months. The projects are divided into four categories: Humanities, social sciences, health and natural sciences - with research subjects ranging from gobbledegook to artificial moons.

“The project is interesting because it’s about giving young students with academic competences an opportunity to develop their talents. They come up with a research idea, which they will then develop and grow with the help of researchers from all over the country. It takes time to learn something in depth, and many of the students are very pleased with the opportunity in an otherwise busy schedule at school,” says Junior Researcher Coordinator Marianne Bjerregaard.

The project runs for 10 months and ends with the finals in November. Here, the winners within each category are announced and receive DKK 20,000 each as well as the possibility to carry out their own research projects.

Inter-disciplinary talent development

It is the ninth time that the University of Copenhagen is in charge of the talent development programme which, as the only of its kind at UCPH, stretches across all research disciplines.

“The strength of the talent development programme is that it has a broad scope. The junior researchers inspire each other across research areas and they learn what it’s like to work as a researcher. This boosts their talent and can contribute to their motivation to study at the university,” says Marianne Bjerregaard.

Academic methods must be taught

At the meeting in Copenhagen this past weekend, and in the coming months, Marianne Bjerregaard and consultant Linda Greve will focus on making sure the junior researchers learn to work academically. They must learn to read scientific articles and to work in depth with their ideas.

“We introduce the students to select concepts, theories and methods that they’ll have to use to turn their reasearch idea into research projects. The knowledge we give them builds on what they bring with them from school and can ease the transition from upper secondary school to the university,” says Linda Greve, who already this past Sunday gave the junior researchers tools to work with different scientific methods.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science as well as the Ministry for Children, Education and Gender Equality is jointly financing the project, which is anchored at the University of Copenhagen. Aarhus University is a collaborating partner.

Junior Researcher coordinator
Marianne Bjerregaard
Tel.: 9356 5395

Communication consultant
Rikke Bøyesen
Tel.: 2875 0413