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CAS program

More time for research

Munich, 05/16/2013

LMU‘s Center for Advanced Studies (CAS) has selected three new Senior Researchers, who will thus have the opportunity to focus their attention on a specific research project for a year.

cas_senior_260Professors Jonathan Harrington, Martin Kocher and Beate Sodian have been appointed as Senior Researchers in Residence at LMU’s Center for Advanced Studies for a year, beginning in the autumn. This will enable each of them to concentrate on a specific research project. Economist Martin Kocher’s project looks at the role of “Time as Determinant of Individual Decisions”, phonetician Jonathan Harrington will investigate “The Relationship between Sound Change, Language Acquisition and Prosodic Weakening”, and psychologist Beate Sodian will study the process of “Progression from an Implicit to an Explicit Understanding of Mental States in Childhood Cognitive Development”.

The Senior Researcher in Residence Program at CAS makes it possible for LMU faculty members to devote their time, for a full year, to a particular research topic. For the duration of their appointment, Senior Researchers are relieved of some, or all, of their normal teaching load, as they wish. “Sabbaticals are the only opportunities busy faculty members get to focus fully on their own research. Their normal academic duties often leave too little time for this during term,” says Sonja Asal, who is in charge of the program at CAS. This assessment is borne out by the high level of interest in the program among LMU faculty. Since the program began in 2011, six LMU professors have carried out projects as Senior Researchers at CAS.

Promotion of junior researchers
Senior Researchers at CAS work together with groups of up to three juniors (graduates or senior undergraduates). “Close interaction with leading researchers can have a decisive influence on a student’s personal and professional development. So, in selecting Senior Researchers, we consider not only the quality of the proposed project, but also the roles of the junior members of the research team involved in getting it done,” says Asal.

The roster of previous Senior Researchers at CAS lists the following names: Ulrich Derenthal, Professor of Mathematics, Burcu Dogramaci, Professor of Art History, Hans van Ess, Professor of Sinology, Tobias Döring, Professor of English Literature Studies, Barbara Vinken, Professor of General and French Literature Studies, and Friedrich Vollhardt, Professor of Modern German Literature Studies.

The Center for Advanced Studies at LMU is a forum for interdisciplinary exchange and interaction. CAS promotes cooperation among LMU faculty and fosters wider collaborations by inviting visiting scholars from Germany and abroad to participate in research and academic life at LMU. Its Junior Researcher in Residence Program is specifically designed to advance the careers of talented young scholars, which is one of the Center’s major goals. CAS was set up in 2008, with the help of funding from the Excellence Initiative.

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