Priorities:FH Salzburg Faculty Project

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Project Name: Center for the Curious / Exploratorium

Project by Faculty Innovation Fellows Candidates Rishelle Wimmer and Thomas Grundnigg

Why is this project important to you, your department, & your Fellows?

The CfC establishes an interdisciplinary general studies program, which currently does not exist at our university and has been a topic of our UIF cohorts’ project roadmaps and of interest to our Rector. It brings together students and faculty from all departments and offers the chance to redesign education in a form that is innovative and learner centered.


The CfC will offer courses and projects in: digital literacy, language competences (first and second languages), scientific writing, social competences, presentation techniques, entrepreneurship, economics and political education, innovation and entrepreneurship, gender and diversity, as well as other subjects that will be determined through stakeholder interviews.

It will build upon existing programs and allow for the creative input of students, faculty and integrate expertise from the public and private sector.

The CfC is a student-centered learning program developed with our UIF cohort and faculty champions, which will be used by the entire university ecosystem.

This project not only aims to create a centralized program of courses, but can also be seen as an impulse for the expansion of existing interdisciplinary resources. The program has two aspects: the on-campus learning experience and the online learning experience. It is our goal to implement innovative methods in both settings.

Stakeholders served

  1. Students
  2. Faculty/Department Heads
  3. Academic Administration; University Management
  4. Partner public and private industry and institutions

Key Milestones

  • December 2020/Jan 2021:
    • Preliminary data collection
    • Map existing programs offered to students from a variety of disciplines on campus (Start up center; Ethics for Grad students) and identify possible synergies; Explore financial resources
  • Jan-Feb. 2021: Prepare interview tools - semi-structured interviews
  • March / April 2021:Interview SMEs/Department Heads/Students
  • July/August 2021:
    • Data evaluation, analysis (quantitative & qualitative) and interpretation of results.
    • Determine what resources (persons and events/formats) are already available.
    • How does an appropriate offer fit into the existing structures (curriculum, scheduling, budget).
    • What resources are necessary to develop a prototype.
  • September/October 2021: Present results to stakeholders, assessment of feasibility and resources
  • January 2022: Test Prototype for online and on-campus Center for the Curious
  • March-May 2022: Launch program

An Innovation Portfolio

Program curriculum, educators' guidelines, activities, interview data analysis, stakeholder presentation, prototype documentation