The University of California, Berkeley and the University of Regensburg signed a cooperation agreement in 2017 with the aim of strengthening research cooperation, including at doctoral level. The University of Regensburg and the Leibniz Institute of East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), as coordinating partners, have established a doctoral exchange program with the Institute of European Studies (IES) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Each year, one Regensburg-based doctoral researcher may spend up to five months as an IES Visiting Student Researcher as part of the program. IES offers Visiting Student Researchers a workspace, the opportunity to engage with its outstanding network of collaborating scholars, and access to library and research facilities offered by UC Berkeley. Visiting researchers are expected to participate actively in research-related events at IES. Information on applying to IES is available here.
In 2019/20, Verena Baier (American Studies, UR) visited Berkeley as part of the doctoral exchange program. She managed to conduct an impressive amount of archival research and field research on the Nicaraguan solidarity movement of the 1980s before her stay was disrupted by the COVID pandemic.
Eva-Maria Walther (Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies, UR) received the award for 2020/21, but owing to the COVID pandemic could not travel to the US.
Franziska Mair (Comparative Cultural Studies, UR) will hopefully be able to travel to California later in 2021.
In autumn 2021, we will launch a call for applications for 2022.
The Regensburg University Foundation funded visits for two visiting doctoral researchers in 2019. Their profiles are available below. We hope to welcome another visiting researcher later in 2021, once conditions allow.
Amélie’s stay in Regensburg allowed rapid progress on a collaborative chemistry research project involving the Tilley group at UC Berkeley and the Scheer group at Regensburg. This collaboration matches the longstanding interest of the Scheer group in phosphorous and arsenic chemistry with the Tilley group's focus on transition metal reactivity, and falls within Amélie’s thesis research on the synthesis and reactivity of novel copper-containing bimetallic complexes. This project’s initial phase, performed in Berkeley, yielded very promising results: Amélie’s bimetallic complexes react with adamantyl phosphaalkyne (a specialty phosphorus-containing chemical mailed to Berkeley by the Scheer group) and with white phosphorus (P4), to bind to a dicopper(I) core in a bridging fashion.
During her stay in Regensburg, Amélie was able to study the reactivity of her dicopper complexes with other phosphaalkynes, which was critical in determining how this class of compounds adopts different binding modes to copper in response to subtle structural differences. The phosphaalkynes she used for this study degrade rapidly at ambient temperatures, therefore performing experiments in Regensburg was key to the success of this project. Moreover, the Scheer group in Regensburg is one of the few groups in the world with the capability of synthesizing yellow arsenic (As4), a significantly less stable analogue to P4. Amélie was also able to gather preliminary results about the reactivity of As4 with her complexes, which show that arsenic binds to her dicopper core in a similar fashion to phosphorus.
The collaboration between the Scheer and Tilley group on this project is still ongoing. Visit of Scheer group members in Berkeley is planned for August and October 2019, and Prof. Scheer himself is coming to Berkeley in October 2019. Moreover, the results Amélie gathered during her stay in Regensburg will lead to two co-authored publications between Berkeley and Regensburg, expected for the 2019-2020 academic year.
After graduating from UC Berkeley and a year of studying German language and literature in Berlin, Amin completed his first master’s degree in Philosophy at Oxford University and his second master’s degree in Classics at Cambridge University. He then returned to Berkeley to pursue a joint JD-PhD degree at UC Berkeley School of
Law. After his stay in Regensburg, he will be a visiting PhD student at the University of Cambridge.
During his stay Amin worked most closely with Prof. Dr. Weyma Lübbe at the chair of practical philosophy. He also held a CITAS Brownbag Seminar where he discussed the intersections of law, ethics and machine learning in the global context.
Email: am1n [at] berkeley.edu
Tel. +49 (0)941 943-5964