Opening Academic Year

Call for proposals: action research competition

This year, the theme of UM's opening of the academic year will be 'Can academics change the world?' Leading up to the event, the university will be organising an action research competition with the same theme. This means you will have the opportunity to play an active role and win one of the two awards worth € 3000 each for your Action Research project.

What is action research?
Action research is research designed in such a manner that it does not only enhance existing knowledge, but also brings about positive transformation to the context of the subject that is being studied, however small it may be. The conclusions and results of this type of research should lead to improvement of the studied context and the betterment of society as a whole. You can learn more about this type of research by reading the article "Go for action research", an interview with Prof. Shyama V. Ramani, one of the pioneers of Action Research at UM. Why action research?  and What is good action research? provide helpful points of orientation as well.

About the theme
The theme Can academics change the world? builds on UM's new strategic programme, Community at the CORE. It is part of UM's longstanding commitment to play an active part in society. In addition, the university would also like to actively contribute to the goals of the UN Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, in particular target 4.7, which aims to

…ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture's contribution to sustainable development by 2030.

..but research can also help meet sustainable development goals in other areas such as climate change, food security, nutrition or renewable energy.

About the competition
Through this competition, the university would therefore like to invite UM's academic community to put research and knowledge into action to help meet the sustainable development targets. We would like to ask UM students, stakeholders and staff to reflect on what we have achieved in the past, and how we can further amplify the impact of our work.

Your submission
Your proposal must reflect the characteristics of action research described above and in the referenced articles. The proposal can be an entirely new activity, but it can also study and improve the impact of an ongoing project. The proposal must be between 3-10 pages long and must at least include the following elements:

  • the overall objective of the action
  • the objective of the research
  • the relationship between the objective of the action and the objective of the research
  • the action methodology (simple steps of the process)
  • the research methodology (simple steps of the process)
  • the expected impact of the action
  • the expected contribution of the research

If the implementation is planned in a location outside the Netherlands, we would like to ask you to also write a brief section on the financial and logistical feasibility of the action.

Please submit your proposal to before 21 July 2017, 23:59hrs.

The competition has been divided into two different categories: a UM bachelor's and master's students category, and a category for PhD students of both Maastricht University and the Brightlands Campuses. This award is sponsored by the Brightlands Campuses.


Eligibility criteria
The bachelor's and master's competition is open to bachelor's and master's students at Maastricht University. The PhD competition is open to PhD students at Maastricht University and the Brightlands Campuses. You may participate individually or as group, and on behalf of an organisation. In order to participate in the competition, each of the submitting applicants must be enrolled at Maastricht University or in a Brightlands programme on 31 July 2017. If you win the competition, you are obliged to use the award money for the implementation of the project, as outlined in your submission.

The three best submissions in each category will be selected to participate in the final on the morning of Monday 4 September 2017. Finalists will pitch their proposal to a jury during the morning symposium of the opening of the academic year. The winners will receive the award of € 3000 each for the implementation of their research and will receive the invaluable mentorship of Prof. dr. Ramani in the process of implementation.

The six finalists will be notified by 21 August 2017.