James Cross awarded Jean Monnet Chair for EU data laboratory project
Dr James Cross has been awarded a Jean Monnet Chair grant from the European Union for his 3-year project entitled 'The EU data laboratory: Bridging the student-researcher divide using a project-based learning approach'.
This project aims to bridge the gap between the research expertise and practice of faculty, and the student learning experience, by providing a role for students in the research process. It moves beyond the passive student learning experience and builds student involvement in large-scale research projects into the EU curriculum at UCD. The goal is to educate a new generation of students-as-researchers, who co-create rigorous new research insights into EU politics, work collaboratively across disciplinary boundaries, and place engagement with broader audiences at the centre of their education. To achieve these goals, the Chair shall introduce innovative project-based learning (PBL) methods to new multidisciplinary EU politics modules at UCD. With PBL, students take a leading role in the research process, directly engaging with policy-makers and civil society in a collaborative manner when completing module assessments. Student-generated research outputs include online data visualisations and exploration tools, an active blog describing ongoing research efforts, and a student research symposium, academic publications, and iterative research datasets made available for future research. Most importantly, students who take the planned modules will have a much stronger awareness and understanding of EU politics as a result of contributing to cutting-edge research projects that they themselves helped design and implement.