11/12/2023 - 08h42

PUCRS students go to France, Spain and Germany for Sandwich PhD

Lucas Weschenfelder, Ana Clara Elesbão, Julia Melgare and Carina Schroder are some of the students in foreign universities through the PrInt Program

With the strategic goal of developing, strengthening and integrating the international and intercultural dimensions in the teaching, research, innovation and extension areas in the University, the Institutional Project of Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt) promotes connections with universities, researchers and foreign academic practices in graduate programs. Get to know some of the students with study grants from the project:

Research at Goethe Universität

Photo: personal archive

Complementing his PhD studies at Goethe Universität, in Germany, Lucas Weschenfelder is a student in the Graduate Program in Law. The student carries out research on the sociotechnical effects of the digitalization and the dissemination of Artificial Intelligence, regarding the reflexivity of Law, Technology and Politics in dealing with these challenges. In this search, being in a university that is one of the main knowledge-building centers in Europe boosts his academic journey. “This maximizes your wish to improve, not only regarding the broad access to material that is correlated to the intended work object, but also the interdisciplinary atmosphere the university offers to students and teachers,” stresses Weschenfelder.

Furthermore, the university’s structure provides an exchange of intercultural and plural knowledge in the relationships with colleagues and teachers. “The university’s social spaces encourage the relationship between students and teachers, in a cosmopolitan context. I was able to connect with people from various countries, such as Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Italy, Croatia, India, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Argentina and Colombia,” says the PhD student.

Experience in Spain

Photo: personal archive

Carrying out research on racial bias produced by Artificial Intelligence and the different regulatory initiatives, Ana Clara Elesbão, student in PUCRS’ Law School’s Graduate Program in Criminal Sciences, is taking her sandwich doctorate in the University of Seville, in Spain. Established, in its over 500 years of history, as a reference in the Spanish educational scenario, the university features a rich and diverse bibliographic and documentary collection, offering a complete infrastructure for the development and enrichment of research.

Ana Clara has been developing and strengthening institutional ties between the Brazilian and the Spanish universities. “Being here has been an opportunity to continue a series of recent bilateral projects involving PUCRS and the University of Seville, of strengthening the institutional partnership ties that have been created and established in recent years between both Universities,” stresses the PhD student.

The internationalization of knowledge has been one of the great highlights of her time in Spain. “An unquestionable impact of the internationalization experience in my academic journey has been the expansion of the contact network with researchers interested in similar topics, and the opportunity of creating new research networks with common goals and efforts in the production of knowledge on Technology and Society. This exchange of knowledge has provided academic exchanges and discussions capable of enabling the conceptual, theoretical and methodological maturing of the thesis, especially through the input of professor Manuel Jesús Sabariego Gómez and the colleagues from the Interdisciplinary Study Group in Communication, Politics and Society, which whom I keep close contact,” says Ana Clara.

Communication in focus

Carina Schroder, student from the School of Communication, Arts and Design’s Graduate Program in Communication is taking a Sandwich PhD at the Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, in France. In her thesis, the PhD student seeks to understand the female representation in the North-American horror cinema in the 21st century.

“I am trying to understand how these characters navigate through the limit between being seen as victims and as monsters based on the way in which the woman herself is understood and, sometimes, stereotyped, by our capitalist and patriarchal society, and how this influences the way in which they are presented on screen,” explains Carina about her work.

Being in one of the most prestigious universities in France, the student says that the opportunities of contact with different intellectuals are motivating for her research. “Taking a Sandwich PhD in France, one of the homes of feminism and cinema, has been a highly enriching experience, where I have access to great research archives, seminars, and debates with sociologists who work in various fields and who allow me to broaden my horizons towards further developing my research,” she explains.

New connections with the world

Photo: personal archive

Studying in the Polytechnic Institute of Paris, in France, Julia Melgare carries out her Sandwich PhD aiming to understand how we can simulate vision, attention and facial expressions in virtual agents. The institution was created in 1794 and has since been a reference in the distribution and research of multidisciplinary knowledge.

The PhD student from the Graduate Program in Computer Science has been working in research groups on the simulation of mobility of agents in natural and dynamic environments, and this exchange of information and perspectives promotes the development and improvement and international relations. “This program has been extremely important for my academic journey, because I am having the opportunity of collaborating with a new research group, with new perspectives and connections. In addition to enriching and contributing to the research in Brazil, I am also creating important ties and connections with these international institutions which may help us further collaborate in the future,” says Julia.


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