Research Grants for Master Theses — Call 2019

The inter- and transdisciplinary project YEEES is looking for Master students interested in a research stay in one of our partner universities: university of vechta, university of oldenburg, nelson mandela university, university of namibia or University of Pedagogica Moçambique.

Our project especially elaborates on the resilience of cities and peri-urban areas, while focusing challenges in the different aspects, e.g. agriculture, education, health and transport/mobility.

Are you a student at a German, Namibian, South African or Mozambican university and interested in writing your thesis in English on an international topic in one of the following areas? Be part of our project by applying for our Master Grant.

Deadline: May 19th 2019

Topics for the Master Grants 2019

1) Computing with a Cause
The coding game BOATS was developed to not only introduce kids to coding, but also educate them about Plastics in the Ocean. The question is whether this tow-angle approach really works. What are the advantages / disadvantages of adding an additional educational aspect to coding? Can this approach really add to increasing kids’ environmental awareness? Or we trying to reach two different target groups with one app?

2) Conception and Implementation of a data Product with Public Healthcare and Sustainability Data Sources
The major task of the thesis is to Identify and classify public healthcare and sustainability data sources. Design and implementation of a data product based on the identified data sources.

3) Conception and Implementation of a Knowledgebase for Public Sustainable Data Sources
The thesis should foster on the Identification of relevant data sources related to sustainability. Development of a knowledge graph and integration of the identified data sources.

4) Corporate Environmental Management Information Systems – Integration and Use in Practice GIS and Dimensional Planning
This topic aims to bring practical solutions of emerging problems in Mozambique and in the world. In addition, this topic is based on Green Information, Communication Technologies, Corporate Environmental Management Information Systems. The research on this topic aims to develop information systems for public and business environmental management.

5) Developing a Concept for Enabling Open Innovation Mechanisms in the Context of Big Data
The idea is to innovate new business models, products, services & product-service systems while turning data into innovations. Open Innovation data are useless unless they are transformed into usable knowledge and value. The focus of the thesis is to exploit the data gathered from different sources and stakeholders and translate them into initiatives.

6) Education and Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa
Education is both an indicator as well as a motor of development (economic and human). Sub-Saharan Africa failed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 2015) but went forward with very ambitious substantive development goals for the MDG 2030. The question is how the educational policies adopted in the last two decades in southern Africa are theoretically aligned with the global objectives for sustainable development at the regional level through an analysis of the main indicators of education in Mozambique and South Africa, relating them to the human development index of each country.

7) Educational Game as a Job Creator
For the past 12-18 months the project TANKS, an educational game to learn how to code, has been successfully going as a small startup / business. On the other hand there is also a lot of awareness on the fact that basic education fails in mainly disadvantaged areas – especially in disciplines such as mathematics, problem solving and logical thinking. Can an educational game such as TANKS be a tool for small educational startups? Is there a commercial way to address the educational needs by presenting coding workshops? Can the people who need it most, pay for the services? Is there a specific economic group that needs educational intervention and can pay? Is there a way that a richer group could cross-subsidize the educational needs in the poorer communities, by also presenting workshops in the richer schools?

8) Energy and Resource Efficiency
This topic is intended for the elaboration of basic or advanced scientific research on the production and sustainable distribution of electricity and its sustainable use in homes, private and public institutions.

9) Enhancement of Innovation Capacity in Water Management
Evaluation of effective methods for finding ideas and evolving innovations in the field of water supply and distribution.

10) Entrepreneurship Training in Mozambique: STEP
The Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) is a collaborative project of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg and different partner organizations around the world and a partner project of YEEES. It develops young people’s skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue an entrepreneurial career. During the training, the students learn step-by-step to start their own businesses, thereby learning effective means of creating jobs for themselves and other people in the community. Students participating in the training receive a starting capital which is to be paid back at the end of the training. They are thereby given the chance to start their own business and gain real life experience as entrepreneurs during the course of the training. Every STEP training is being evaluated using randomized controlled trials (RCT). Data is collected for both groups before as well as several times after the training period to also assess the long term impact of STEP. The STEP Training will be implemented at the YEEES partner university Universidad Pedagógica in Maxixe (Mozambique). The training will take place between July and November. Therefore, a research stay in this area is only possible during this time-frame and for at least 3 months. This gives you the opportunity to get in contact and work with local students, as well as tocollect the data for your thesis within an international transdisciplinary project and work in close cooperation with an international team in Maxixe. Part of your tasks will also be recruiting students to join the STEP program and supporting, preparing and implementing the STEP training.

11) Intercultural Training – How are Employees Prepared for their Work Abroad?
In large corporations as well as in start-ups or NGOs and research projects, employees sometimes operate in an international context and have to adapt to other cultural circumstances. But how are they optimally prepared for this? The task is to find out which measures are available and which are particularly promising on the basis of existing literature, web research / document analysis and interviews with organizations that work internationally.

12) Investigating the Complexity of the Entrepreneurial Support Network for Small Scale Entrepreneurs
There is a worldwide agreement that entrepreneurship in Africa is essential if there is to be balanced and inclusive economic growth on the continent. The support of networks might play an essential role for supporting entrepreneurial idea generation, implementation and start-up success. Literature on if, how and which network support can be helpful for different kinds of businesses delivers mixed results and especially remains scarce for the African context. Thus, this topic deals with an analysis of entrepreneurial support networks in South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia. The focus should be on what support for entrepreneurs are in place and how this effects the implementation of sustainable entrepreneurial initiatives.

13) Photovoltaic Solar Energy and Food Production (Agriculture)
In this topic, research should bring new scientific results of improving the efficiency of solar-photovoltaic systems, improving agricultural methods and materials for increasing food production and productivity. In general, technical-scientific solutions are sought for the sustainable food production and consumption.

14) Rolling out a Tangibleiconic Programming Tool in a “Western” Country
TANKS has obviously been developed for a developing country where learners do not have access to computers, and where only cell phones are needed to provide them with an understanding of what coding is. The question such a research topic could try and address, would be around the relevance of such a tool in a developed country such as Germany where kids and schools have easy access to computers. Do the other features of TANKS play a role to make it also relevant in Europe?

15) Social Identity
Entrepreneurial activities involve a lot of people working together and are therefore social activities. As soon as the enterprise is founded many different stakeholders keep the business running. Consequently, enterprises are social constructs themselves. Therefore, it is useful to consider the social perspective of entrepreneurship and founder identity through the lens of social identity theory (Tajfel, 1972; Tajfel & Turner, 1979). The aim of the research is to achieve a deeper understanding of the processes of entrepreneurial social identity development and different types of founder identity.

16) The Contribution of Education in the Creation of Human Capital in Mozambique
As Mozambique strives towards development, the need for a qualified and competent labor force is increasingly important. The goal is to investigate the current educational curriculum in Mozambique and its role in the creation of Human Capital. Is the educational system producing a work force that can confront the challenges that Mozambique faces going forward?

17) The Management of Teacher Training Academies
Still dominated by traditional teaching methodologies, Mozambican Teacher Training Academies refuse to implement 21st century teaching methodologies. The result is an educational system still based on rote learning methods, memorization and a noticeable absence of the soft skills as well as creative and critical thinking skills needed in a modern society. Goal is to explore the current teacher training methodology in Mozambique in relation to its regional neighbours who are adopting innovative ways to approach education that provide students with 21st century skills in an inexpensive and feasible way given the challenges of the African Context.

18) The Role of the Christian Church in African (Social) Entrepreneurship
Taking into consideration different studies linking religion beliefs and entrepreneurship, this master topic deals with the question of the role of the Christian church as institutions that engage and or promote in (social) entrepreneurship as a form to help with needs in their communities.

19) What Role do Networks Play for Social Entrepreneurs?
(Specific types of) networks are shown to influence the idea generation and development process of businesses. Studies on the role of networks for social businesses, however, are scare. Thus, the research question in this project is how different types of networks do have an impact on the idea generation process of social entrepreneurs in Southern African countries. We suggest a mixed method approach consisting of semi-structured interviews and egocentric network analysis (introductional training on methods available).

Apply now for the master grants

The application is closed. Thank you for your applications.

*As a master scholar you will be awarded funding for up to three months for a research stay in Germany, Namibia, South Africa or Mozambique, including flight expenses.