10/04/2024 - 14h15

Sandwich doctorate: learn about the international research experience of PUCRS students

Austria, Germany and Barcelona are some of the destinations of doctoral students from the University’s Graduate Programs

Through the Institutional Project of Internationalization (PUCRS-PrInt), funded by Capes, Master’s and Doctoral students have the opportunity to carry out international activities, such as sandwich doctorates abroad. Check out the destinations chosen by some of PUCRS’s Graduate students and how this experience has contributed to the advance of their research.

Governance of reception and integration of refugees

Photo: personal archive

Between September 2023 and February 2024, doctoral student from the Graduate Program in Business Administration of the Business School, Rosiane Alves Palacios, carried out her sandwich doctorate at the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK), in Austria. Her research focuses on analyzing the governance of reception and integration of refugees in the context of smart cities. With that goal, Rosiane is collecting data in different cities.

In addition to the research activities, the student participated in the NASA International Space App Challenge, a global innovation event promoted by NASA. Her team developed a prototype of an educational platform whose character was Lucy, a climate refugee who teaches children about environmental issues. The team won locally and, as an award, had the opportunity to visit Hydronaut, an experimental research station at Czech Technical University in Prague, in Czech Republic.

The doctoral student believes her research is important so that results may be used by the community, by policy makers, local authorities and humanitarian organizations. “My main goal is to contribute with material that can support decision-making based on evidence and improve efforts of reception and integration of refugees in the cities,” highlights Rosiane.

Theory of feminist justice

Photo: personal archive

The student from the Graduate Program in Philosophy from the School of Humanities, Rafaela Mallmann, was at Universität Bonn, in Germany. For her doctorate, she continues the work she began during her Master’s, seeking to develop a theory of feminist justice, but with a special approach regarding the use of artificial intelligence. With that goal, she establishes the use of Machine Learning as focus, in order to understand how this technology is used and how it impacts the lives of women, as well as how to mitigate the risks of its use.

The reality experienced by women in various areas of life involves conditions of inequality, sexism, racism, among other forms of violence. “The central problem is that the machine does not have the discernment to understand what kind of data will be discriminatory or not, which is why it is necessary to think of mechanisms that help prevent the technology from reproducing the existing social inequality. Based on that, my main idea is to develop feminist ethical principles for the process of creating and using Machine Learning,” explains Rafaela.

Carrying out research in Germany is an opportunity to understand other realities and contexts. “The direct contact with professors and colleagues in the University of Bonn provides an opportunity to understand how philosophy has been approached in Europe, and how, for instance, Latin America and especially Brazil are perceived here,” she says.

General theory of jurisdiction and procedure

Photo: personal archive

Until May, the student from the Graduate Program in Law, Hannah Pereira Alff, will be in the University of Salzburg, in Austria. Her doctoral research is on the General Theory of Jurisdiction and Procedure.

In Austria, she seeks to gather information for her analyses. “My focus on this sandwich doctorate program has been to structure a good project and collect bibliographic data that will bring substantial theoretical foundation for the evolution of my paper,” explains Hannah.

Her multicultural routine, with colleagues and professors of different origins and fields, has been a unique opportunity to acquire knowledge. “It is highly interesting as a researcher to be able to experience a reality of development of scientific research beyond Brazilian borders. Understanding the European, specifically the Austrian and a bit of the German work style thanks to the department colleagues, has been enriching to also understand different writing styles, ways to carry out research and the work structure itself,“ she says.

Dentofacial deformities

Photo: personal archive

In Spain, the student from the Graduate Program in Dentistry, Bibiana Mello, is carrying out her sandwich doctorate at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. Her research is on oral and maxillofacial surgeries and orthodontics, focusing on dentofacial deformities. In the university, she seeks to assess different ortho-surgical techniques.

Bibiana considers the opportunity given to her by PUCRS-PrInt as an expansive experience of academic practices. “The PrInt Program has been the greatest experience in my academic journey so far. Without a doubt, this period has had a great impact on my professional growth. I am having the opportunity to learn a lot from high-level professionals, who are a world-reference in my field, and their work,” highlights the student.

In addition, the opportunities of international interactions create a scientific relationship for future partnerships. “It has been very interesting to see how professionals from other cultures work, every day we have an extremely enriching exchange. In addition to coexisting with professors and colleagues from Spain, I am having the opportunity to get to know professionals from other countries, enhancing this exchange of knowledge and culture. In fact, this whole network of contacts is excellent to develop future research,” she says.


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