The Corona Research Super Project: A Virtual Transdisciplinary Research Project

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Daniël Sommers
Willy M. Baarends
Johanna C. Colgrove
Inês Chaves
Maarten C. A. van der Sanden
Julie Nonnekens


During the COVID-19 pandemic, laboratory research was not possible in different educational programs at Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Medical Center due to the taken measures. Therefore a team of faculty from both institutions developed an alternative transdisciplinary research group project that was fully performed online. The overall project was named the Corona Research Super Project. This project provided an opportunity for students to fulfil the requirements for their degree while complying with the guidelines of the University, Medical Center and the government. It also gave them an opportunity to participate in something that felt meaningful during a stressful time since all sub-projects contributed to developing knowledge on the current COVID-19 pandemic. This article will describe the process of setting up this educational project, the resources provided to the students and the format of transdisciplinary working. Furthermore, it will also provide a theoretical view on how to think about research projects when you cannot be side by side in a laboratory and how to make this into meaningful research education. By sharing our experience of setting up this program in unprecedented times and providing a format, we hope that other universities will use this to develop comparable transdisciplinary educational programs. We believe that these sorts of programs are essential for in depth transdisciplinary training of the scientists of the future.

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