German-Israeli Young Researchers' Exchange on Diversity

16 young academics are confronted with the subject of diversity in their individual research undertakings, both in working towards their masters’ or doctoral theses as well as at a personal level. Gender, social status, cultural background, migration experience, religious affiliation – alongside academic perspectives, this research subject also demands that the researchers themselves reflect upon where they feel that they belong and where they feel excluded, where the familiar ends and the “other” begins.

This is exactly where the German-Israeli Young Researchers' Exchange on Diversity project comes into play: 16 young men and women from Germany and Israel work together in small learning groups and research tandems in order to develop new perspectives on living together in plural societies. What diversity narratives exist in the two countries at a social, academic and personal level? What importance is attached to each of these and how are they handled? What similarities and differences exist between Germany and Israel? The answers to these questions will be as diverse as the group itself, whose range of different research proposals and personal backgrounds already reflects the heterogeneity of the societies it is seeking to investigate. 

Academic supervisory teams support these young participants both during phases of shared theoretical exploration within intercultural research workshops as well as during periods of empirical field research in Germany and Israel. On the one hand, the journey is its own destination here: intensive reflection upon different theories and use of methods, comparisons between different academic cultures, shared personal and academic development, with the academic networks being created forming a basis for a potential German-Israel graduate school. One the other hand, the two-year project work is also aimed at obtaining clear results, which are to be published in a joint brochure and publicly presented on research posters in both universities. As such, the participants will be making an important contribution to a pressing question: how does living together work in diversity?

The German-Israeli Young Researchers' Exchange on Diversity is an academic exchange project between the University of Hildesheim Foundation and the University of Haifa that takes place between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2015. The project entails 16 young academics from Germany and Israel carrying out joint work on their masters’ and doctoral theses on the subject of diversity in bilateral tandems. A support team accompanies the project, which also includes intercultural research workshops and fieldwork research in both countries. The results of the project will be compiled in a joint brochure and research posters by the participants, which will be on public display at both universities.