Freie Universitšt Promotes Interdisciplinary e-Research Projects

Initial Funding for Expansion of Research Supported by Information and Communication Technologies

Freie Universitšt Berlin is promoting interdisciplinary projects, in which ICT-based research methods are employed or developed. A total of ten e-research projects were selected for initial funding. As so-called "bridge projects" they all include researchers from various disciplines. For example, mathematicians and psychologists are designing a smartphone application that through targeted data collection would facilitate the development of more accurate models for recognizing the origin of depressive episodes. Computer scientists and communication scholars are creating an instrument for measuring media use in the Internet. In addition to testing and implementing e-research, the projects serve to facilitate interdisciplinary networking at Freie Universitšt. The projects will be funded for six months with 30,000 to 35,000 euros each.

Many different disciplines are included in the selected projects: in the area of digital humanities, for example, a project on digital art research is being funded. Political scientists and geographers are working on a project intended to link residents’ perception of change in landscape with geographical data. A project in the fields of neuroscience and applied statistics focuses on the analysis of large samples in cognitive-functional brain imaging.

Besides the project funding, Freie Universitšt Berlin has set up the E-Club, an interdisciplinary forum for researchers at the university to exchange ideas about issues, methods, and opportunities in e-research and digital humanities. The next meeting of the E-Club will take place on October 13. Researchers interested in attending should the Center for Research Strategy ( crs [a] fu-berlin (p) de ).

Supporting e-research is part of the development strategy of Freie Universitšt Berlin, with which the university won funding in the German Excellence Initiative for universities in 2007 and 2012.