In May 2023, the online courses «Microscopy and instrumental methods in biology» and «Tools for improving teaching and outreach in life sciences» were launched as part of a project to support Ukrainian biology students. The project was developed by the team of teachers and scientists from Ukraine and Germany, with the financial support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The project was initiated by Prof. Olga Garaschuk, Director of the Institute of Physiology at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and Prof. Volodymyr Lushchak, Professor of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University (Ukraine).
More than 150 participants from different regions of Ukraine registered for the course. Most of the participants are from the universities of Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. There are also students from the universities of Uman, Kherson, Odesa and Khmelnytskyi. In total, students from 20 universities have registered for the course Microscopy and instrumental methods in biology and 13 universities for the course Tools for improving teaching and outreach in life sciences.
The course Microscopy and instrumental methods in biology explores modern measurement and imaging techniques used in biophysics, molecular and cell biology. Its main goal is to teach students about the capabilities and limitations, and to teach them how to choose the simplest and most effective approaches to answering specific experimental questions. During the practical works, students have the opportunity to independently carry out the full process of processing real experimental data sets from fluorescence and CD experiments, learn how to plan chromatographic experiments, and advanced work with fluorescence microscopy images using ImageJ and Pyton.
The aim of the course Tools for improving teaching and outreach in life sciences is to acquaint students with the basic and innovative forms of full-time and distance learning. In particular, to provide in-depth knowledge of the principles, methods and organizational approaches in teaching the biological sciences; to develop practical skills, general and special professional pedagogical competences of students.
The courses are conducted remotely by lecturers who are specialists in their respective fields: Volodymyr Shvadchak (PNU, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, Spectral Methods); Yuriy Kovalchuk (University of Tübingen, Germany, Microscopy of Cells and Organisms); Petro Khoroshyy (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Prague, Czech Republic, Microscope Design, Image Processing in Python); Nina Bondarenko (Medical School of Hannover, Germany, Electron Microscopy); Halyna Mykhailyshyn (PNU, Ivano-Frankivsk, Tools for improving teaching and outreach in life sciences).
45% of the students in the main groups who are most affected by the war and successfully pass the final exam will be able to receive financial support in the form of a scholarship.
More information is available on the project website.
We are grateful for the financial support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)