Community Based Reseach

„a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change.“(Strand, Marulle, Cuthford, Stoecker, Donohue 2003: 3)

CBR is a collaborative research project between academic researchers (teachers and students) and members of civil society. CBR aims at social change and a balance between scientific research and societal benefit (cf. Anderson, Thorne, Nyden 2016: 24ff.) In CBR, collaboration between stakeholders should take place in all research phases: From the identification of a research question to the presentation of results, scientists, community partners, and other stakeholders should be involved.

More on this in:

Altenschmidt, Karsten; Stark, Wolfgang (2016): Forschen und Lernen mit der Gesellschaft: Community Based Research und Service Learning an Hochschulen. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is an innovation method that focuses on complex issues and their solution development in heterogeneous teams. The process consists of three steps: understanding, developing and testing. The individual phases can be continuously fed back and repeated. At the University of Duisburg-Essen, Design Thinking is used in seminars and in the program Connect – Researching and Developing together to address civil society issues. Participants are given the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams, to get to know other disciplines and subject cultures, and to test scientific methods in an action-oriented way.
Uniaktiv offers customized design thinking workshops for members of the University of Duisburg-Essen. The thematic orientation as well as the length of the workshop depend on the respective problem. Design Thinking elements can also be integrated into individual seminars. Please contact us!


Plattner, Hasso; Meinel, Christoph; Weinberg, Ulrich (2009): design THiNK!NG. Innovation lernen – Ideenwelten öffnen. FinanzBuch Verlag GmbH, München.

Brown, Tim (2008): Design Thinking. In: Harvard Business Review. S. 84-95.

Campus Community Partnerships

Collective term for different forms in which universities (campuses) and civil society actors (communities) work on (practical or research) problems of the community for mutual (operational) benefit and act jointly in the process of working on them (partnership). Prominent CCP methods are service learning and community-based research.

More in:

Stark, Wolfgang; Miller, Jörg; Altenschmidt, Karsten (2013): Zusammenarbeiten – zusammen gewinnen: Was Kooperationen zwischen Hochschulen und Gemeinwesen bewirken können und was dafür nötig ist. Universität Duisburg Essen, Essen.

Service Learning

More information on service learning seminars can be found here.


Service Learning