Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - bologna.lab

Call for applications - Q-Teams

Information on applying for a Q-Team


Applications for winter semester 2022/23 are accepted until 24 August 2022


For the winter semester 2022/23 we welcome applications, where the planned project will be in English, held digitally and has thematic ties to one of the topics of the Circle U. Knowledge Hubs: Climate, Democracy and Global Health. 

The interdisciplinary selection committee will evaluate the HU-Q-Team applications according to guiding questions. You can download the criteria of the selection committee as a PDF


What is a Q-Team?
Q-Teams are seminars in the format of research-based learning (“Forschendes Lernen” [1]), initiated by junior researchers (usually doctoral students or post-docs). The role of these Q-Team leaders is to initiate the project, select the participants and inform, supervise, coordinate, and support the team of students throughout the research process. In exchange, they gain experience in teaching and sharing knowledge, skills and research experience in the context of leading a research team. Ideally, discussions in the Q-Team will also inspire and challenge their own research.  

Q-Team leaders receive a supplementary teaching contract for the semester from the bologna.lab. The bologna.lab offers a didactical training on research-based learning from concept to realization, which is free of charge for all Q-Team leaders (two one-day and two half-day workshops). To apply, Q-Team leaders have to find an institute/department at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin prepared to host the Q-Team. A professor in the institute must agree to the Q-Team taking place and its support from the institute (e.g. with rooms, equipment, etc.).

Q-Teams consist of a minimum of 5, usually up to 10 students who should independently (individually or as a team) carry out work on a particular aspect of the Q-Team leaders’ current research project. The aim is for them to gain initial experiences in a research context and in collaborative team work. For their participation in the project, the students may receive study credits (ECTS). Ideally, the Q-Team should be open to Bachelor and Master students from different disciplines, thus providing an interdisciplinary perspective on the topic.

[1] See our guide to research-based learning (german):


Who are we looking for?
We are looking for junior researchers (doctoral students or post docs) interested in opening a particular aspect of their research project to collaborative work with a team of student researchers. Researchers from all disciplines, scholarship holders or employees at research institutes, or doctoral students/Post docs from one of the Circle U. Partner Universities may apply. Research assistants employed by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin are only eligible for supplementary teaching contracts if the existing contract does not include any teaching.

The applications received will be assessed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Among other things, it pays attention to the coherence and relevance of the higher-level research question, the involvement of the students in the ongoing research project, the didactic implementation of the research-based learning, the feasibility of the Q-team and the motivation of the applicants.

Possible Projects
Q-Teams can be attached to the following types of research:

Research projects at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin or at another University (incl. SFBs, excellence clusters, etc.),
Research projects based at research institutes outside a University,

Individual research by postdocs and doctoral students, as long as there is a clear distinction between the dissertation/publication topic and the (sub-) questions handed over to the Q-Team.


What is the role of the Q-Team-Leaders?
The junior researchers must initiate the project and see it through to its completion. This involves:

Getting in touch and negotiating an agreement with the respective faculty or department at HU; where you may find disciplinary exchange, interested students and organisational support for your Q-Team - e.g. support with importing the course catalogue entry, how to advertise for students, etc. Please check the hosting department’s position on English as the course language. The agreement with the department at HU is confirmed by the signature of the respective professor on our “Formblatt”.
Note: The bologna.lab’s contract does not count towards the institute’s overall teaching capacity (it is “kapazitätsneutral”)

Advertising the Q-Team and managing organizational issues with HU and possible other universities. Supervising and supporting the student researchers throughout the research process; guidance in subject related and methodological issues; supporting the students in finding and producing a suitable format for presenting the research results.

Evaluation of the process
Reflecting on the research process and stimulating feedback on the realisation of research based learning and the cooperation with the students. Supporting the students in wrapping up and presenting their research results.


What do you have to submit with the application?
You can submit your proposal online.

You can find the „Formblatt“ (bilingual ger/eng) here. It asks for your personal information and the affiliation with an institute of the HU. Please fill in the form and have it signed by a professor supporting the Q-Team.

Information for the institute:
The supplementary teaching contracts are assigned by bologna.lab and thus do not count towards the institute’s overall capacity for teaching.

The bologna.lab will put the course on the digital lecture directory AGNES and makes it available for import by other institutes. In the Modul „Q-Team-1“ students can be credited 5 ECTS.

2. Project proposal (max. 3 pages on the following aspects)
Research project and the particular question(s)
What research project will the Q-Team be linked with? What is the title of the proposed Q-Team? Please make it clear where the links and distinctions lie between your own research and the Q-Team’s research question (esp. relevant for doctoral students applying with a topic related to their dissertation). Be advised that your application will be read by an interdisciplinary committee.

Time schedule
How will you organise and manage the project? What steps and milestones have you planned? Since the Q-Team is a research-based learning seminar, the schedule should include not only time for discussing the research question and informing students about relevant content and methodologies but also enough time for the students to conduct their own research and reflect on the research process. You can find an example in our "Leitfaden" on page 59.

Student group
Whom is your project aimed at, who might be interested in it? What skills or subject knowledge do you expect your student researchers to bring to the project? Is the Q-Team open to Bachelor and/or Master students?

Final product
what results or findings do you expect/hope for? How will the outcomes of the project be documented and presented (e.g. project report, scientific article, presentation, poster, exhibition, film, webpage, blog,…)?

Personal motivation
Why do you want to offer a Q-Team? How do do you plan to work with the students during the Q-Team?

3.brief academic CV
table, 1-2 pages


Accompanying programme for the Q-Team leaders
In the Q-Programme, the teachers of the Q-Teams receive a qualification programme. This consists of various formats to support them in the implementation of research-based learning in university seminars:
Before the semester, we offer 3 workshops on the introduction to research-based learning, methods of university didactics and methods of digital didactics.
During the semester, all Q-Team leaders meet once a month to exchange challenges and ideas how to deal with those.
At the end of the semester, you will have the opportunity to reflect on the research process and your experiences with the format of research-based learning in a last workshop. 


Do you have further questions?

We are happy to discuss any queries via e-mail, on the phone, or personally.

For an appointment contact us at


We look forward to your application!


[1] Vgl. „Forschendes Lernen im Seminar. Ein Leitfaden für Lehrende“ (bologna.lab, 2. überarbeitete Auflage 2017):