Teaching Award symbol: a golden paper plane flies ahead of three white paper planes

Teaching Award

Friedrich Schiller University Jena annually rewards excellent teaching concepts with Teaching Awards..
Teaching Award symbol: a golden paper plane flies ahead of three white paper planes
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The Teaching Award of the University of Jena

The teaching award is to recognize special commitment to teaching and make exemplary teaching concepts visible. All professors and academic employees at the University who are involved in teaching can be nominated. In addition to individuals, teams can be nominated as well. Direct applications are also accepted.

An award is presented for the best course concept. Since 2015, an additional award has been presented in a thematic priority area that changes every year.

The concepts of the teaching award winners are presented on the pages of the Service Centre for Higher Education Didactics (LehreLernen) as Good practices de— together with a selection of other examples of innovative teaching design.

The call for nominations for the Teaching Award is supported by the Sparkassenstiftung Jena-Saale-Holzland.

Who selects the award winners? Show content

The panel of experts of the Academy for Teaching Development selects the award winners on the basis of the nomination documents received.

What are the selection criteria? Show content

Teaching concepts rated as outstanding in at least one of the following criteria can receive a teaching award:

  • innovative teaching methods and learning materials are used in a target group-specific manner
  • the didactic design of the course supports the learning process and success of the students in a special way
  • exemplary forms of interaction between teachers and students are used.
Who can be nominated? Show content

All professors and academic employees working in teaching at Friedrich Schiller University Jena can be nominated. In addition to individual teachers, teams can also be nominated.

Who may nominate? Show content
  • students (a minimum of five)
  • subject-specific student representative committees
  • academic staff
  • professors
How can nominations be submitted? Show content

In addition to nominations by students and/or other teachers, direct applications are also possible.
A nomination form is available which must be completed in order to submit a nomination. The completed form, together with the other necessary nomination documents, must then be sent by email to the Academy for Teaching Development (ale@uni-jena.de) by the application deadline.

Teaching Awards 2021 and LiP Awards

This year, too, the nominations received for the university's teaching awards stood for outstanding quality in teaching and examples of very good university teaching that make the high commitment of good university teaching visible. The ALe expert committee therefore once again had a difficult time selecting the courses to be awarded this year. In the end, two outstanding teaching concepts were selected from the nominations received for the 2021 teaching awards:

Dr Nils Töpfer of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has won the award for the best course design (2,500 euros) with the seminar entitled “On the scientific foundation of psychotherapy: a somewhat different introduction to effectiveness and process research”.

The selection statement says: The seminar addresses a strategic challenge in teaching at our university, the "promotion of academic independence among students". In particular, it succeeds in an outstanding way in enabling students to critically engage with subject-specific questions in a science-led manner. Psychotherapy is treated as a field of application of evaluation research, in that students understand the systematic application of social science research to evaluate the conception, design, implementation and benefit of social intervention programmes using the example of psychotherapy research. On the one hand, meta-models are used here as a frame of reference for assessing the effectiveness of psychotherapy procedures, by means of which the students repeatedly and systematically work out questions and critical points in the course of the seminar. On the other hand, despite the research-methodological focus, detailed practical references are established through several group works. Through the combination of different didactic methods, the teacher succeeds excellently in stimulating the students to re-enact and, if necessary, to re-enact the professional discourse in an argumentative way. It should be particularly emphasised that the students themselves explicitly recognise their progress in competence with regard to scientific approaches as well as their associated gains in knowledge and experience in the scientific-critical discussion of professional practice.

The prize in the priority topic area “Dealing with diversity” (2,500 euros) goes to Prof. Michael Wermke, Dr Sophie Seher and Fahed Al’Janabi for the seminar “Cultural and religious sensitivity in work with parents”.

Here, the selection is justified as follows: The award-winning seminar is embedded as a course at the University of Jena in the project "Strengthening Us Together" (funded in accordance with the directive on the granting of subsidies by the Free State of Thuringia for the promotion of people with a migration background (01.01.2020 - 31.12.2022)) and deals with culturally sensitive parental work. The course content itself addresses the thematic focus of "dealing with diversity", as it enables students to deal with and pedagogically deal with religious and cultural diversity. In addition, a variety of teaching and learning methods are used for the acquisition of competences by the students and an interlocking of teaching, research and transfer is achieved in a special way: a scientifically guided examination of the experiences gained in practical events takes place, whereby the knowledge gained in this way in turn flows into the methodological-didactic preparation of further practical project work. Last but not least, it should be emphasised that this course transports a fundamental understanding of diversity of our university teaching to the outside world through cooperation with urban social and educational institutions and thus serves to open up university teaching and research to society in an exemplary way.

Both Teaching Awards will be presented on 23 November 2021 at the DIES LEGENDI (Day of Teaching).

LiP Awards

This year, the jury of the Academy for Teaching Development presented one-off “LiP Awards” for “teaching in a time of pandemic”. From a total of 39 applications, one course per faculty was honoured with the award. “All teachers who receive a LiP Award are representative of many other teachers who, under the conditions of the pandemic, successfully converted their teaching to an online format at short notice or found other convincing solutions for delivering their courses,” says Prof. Siebenhüner.  

Faculty Course
Faculty of Theologie language course “Greek 1” - Dr Susanne Kochs
Faculty of Law examination revision course “Public Law” - assistant professor Dr Anika Klafki
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration a number of lectures - Prof. Armin Scholl
Faculty of Arts seminar “Diagnostic language tests in German as a second language” - Dr Britta Hövelbrinks
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences lecture “Learning, development and socialisation: an introduction” - Dr Julia Dietrich
Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science lecture “Analysis 2” - Ben­jamin Hinrichs
Faculty of Physics and Astronomy lecture “Experi­men­tal Physics 2“ - Prof. Gerhard G. Paulus
Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences a number of courses on geoinformatics - Prof. Alexander Brenning
Faculty of Biological Sciences biochemistry practical course for biochemists - Dr Maren Godmann and associate professor (PD) Dr Christian Kosan
Faculty of Medicine practical course “Rheumatology” - associate professor (PD) Dr Alexander Pfeil


Announcement of the Teaching Award 2022

In 2022, in addition to the teaching award for the best course concept (€2,500), an award (€2,500) will be given in the following thematic priority area: ‘Qualifcation of students for independent study and scientific work research’.

This thematic priority area is aimed at courses that, for example,

  • provide offers that facilitate the development of independence, support that process tailored to the students’ learning level and embed it in social contexts;
  • gradually enable students to solve subject-related problems independently;
  • are characterized by special concepts for the supervision of students’ term papers, seminar papers and theses;
  • support the development of competences for individual scientific research;
  • have a special way of teaching students structured scientific work;
  • are oriented towards research-based learning;
  • provide a variety of methods for solving subject-related problems;
  • provide support and, if applicable, freedom for students’ self-organization and development of structures.

Previous Teaching Award winners

Teaching Award winners 2020:

Dr Stefan Fedtke
Jun. Prof. Dr David Löwenstein
Teaching award winners Friedrich Schiller University Jena 2020
Teaching Award winners 2019:

Dr Carina Giesen
Dr Fabian Pettig
Teaching award winners 2019

The Teaching Award of Friedrich Schiller University Jena is presented with the kind support of​

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