About the Project

General project information

PROMISE - Promotion of Migrants in Science Education - is a Specific Support Action within the FP6 of the European Commission, Science and Society, Restructuring the European Research Area. The project is a cooperation of 6 partners in the countries in Austria, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey.

PROMISE was developed in 2004/05 by Tanja Tajmel, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and Klaus Starl, ETC Graz.

Since October 2005 the project is implemented by the ETC Graz as the co-ordinating organisation, the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Didactics of Physics, as the scientific project leading organisation and University of Vienna, University of Sarajevo, the Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul and the Gesamtverband der deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände der Metall- und Elektroindustrie.

PROMISE is funded by the European Commission, DG Research, within the 6th framework-programme of the EC and co-funded by the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the Gesamtmetall Arbeitgeberverband Initiative THINKING.

PROMISE started on October 1, 2005 and will run for 24 months until September 30, 2007.

Complete description in pdf.


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Project idea and project design: Tanja Tajmel, Dr. Klaus Starl

Coordination: Dr. Klaus Starl (European Training and Research Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Graz, A)

Scientific management: Prof. Dr. Lutz-Helmut Schön, Tanja Tajmel (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, D)

Project partners: European Training and Research Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Graz (A),  Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (D), University of Vienna (A), Yildiz Technical University Istanbul (T), University of Sarajevo (BiH), Intitiative “Think Ing.” der Deutschen Gesamtmetall Arbeitgebervereinigung (D)

promise is funded by the European Commission, Initiative “Think Ing.” der Deutschen Gesamtmetall Arbeitgebervereinigung, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Website: www.promise.at

Steering Committee: Dr. Klaus Starl, Tanja Tajmel, Dr. Helga Stadler, Prof. Dr. Lamija Tanovic, Prof. Dr. Münire Erden, Wolfgang Gollub.

Contact and further information: klaus.starl@etc-graz.at; tajmel@physik.hu-berlin.de


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European Training Center for Human Rights and Democracy Graz (coordination)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (content management and scientific implementation)

University of Vienna

University of Sarajevo

Yildiz Technical University of Istanbul

Deutsche Gesamtmetall Arbeitgebervereinigung der Metall und Elektroindustrie e.V.

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The project PROMISE was proposed and is now coordinated by the European Training Centre for Human Rights in Graz, Austria. PROMISE is scientifically and substantially implemented by the Physics Education Department, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

The objective of the project is: Promoting migrants in science education and in choosing science careers.

The target groups are children of immigrants. There will be a focus on intense cooperation between countries of origin and countries of residence, in order to harmonise the different methods and standards in science education, as these differences, beneath linguistic and cultural communication problems, are considered to hamper a successful integration of migrants.

The goal is followed by a threefold package of activities:

1) Direct promotion of migrant girls at universities by establishing Clubs Lise, a girls working group on topics of science, to promote the choice of science studies for migrant girls as they are the most underrepresented group in science. Considering very well the gender dimension in science as a male-dominated field the girls work together with female scientists and science students with background of migration as role models for their own science careers.

2) To affect a medium term promotion of migrants in science education PROMISE-teams consisting of teachers and education scientists cooperate with experts of migration, language and intercultural research in order to collect and develop new methods and best practices in science education considering the lingual and cultural diversity of classes.

3) To establish a long term promotion of migrants specific teacher trainings will be institutionalised. For the purpose of harmonisation of methods and standards of science education a dialogue between countries of origin and residence, universities and schools, will be established.


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Focuses of work of the promise-teams


Language problems of non-German-speaking students in German science lessons

The work of promise team Berlin is focused on an intense cooperation of experts of science education and language education (“German as second language”). All teachers with experience in teaching migrants identified the language problem as the main problem, which hampers the success of teaching. Therefore, the work of promise emphasizes the consideration of the principles of second language education in science classes. Within the promise-teamwork science teachers modify their own teaching material by considering thouroughly the language aspects. Consequently new science teaching material is going to be developed. The personal and everyday experiences of teachers are considered to be essential and of highest importance for the success of the work. The strategies to resolve the problems are transmitted directly into the science classes to make it an immediate profit of teachers and pupils.


The work of the promise Team in Vienna focuses on identifying good practice and on linking experiences on the one hand, on the other hand on broadening the teachers’ experiences through scientific approaches as well as through the views’ of students. The first phase provides exchange and discussion with experts. In addition to that the teachers scrutinize the experiences of their students concerning science education and migration using a questionnaire. Moreover science lessons will be observed and documented in written form and/or by video. As a next step, the teachers will then review their own methods relating to teaching students with migration background and create new examples of good practice.


Project PROMISE wants to promote the study of science, particularly physics, among young girls. The exchange between four universities participating in the project is a very important part of the project. That is because Austria and Germany have one kind of experience (the lack of girls choosing science study and careers – particular lack of girls having migrant background) while in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey that problem does not exist. Girls make the large percentage of total number of science students.


In Istanbul, the focus of the promise project will be raising the teachers’ awareness of the problems in teaching science and the situation of girls in this field and by finding solutions to the problems, developing good examples in teaching science. Also, the Turkish promise team will work on determining the topics that cause Turkish immigrant girls to have learning problems because of cultural and linguistic differences. In order to find appropriate solutions for the problems, the promise team will cooperate with the other promise teams.

The role of the other promise partners:

The European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Graz, Austria functions as the project coordinating organisation and is in charge of all communication tasks with the European Commission, the media and other institutions interested in or cooperating with the promise project.

As a Human Rights institute, the ETC brings an ethic and an interdisciplinary aspect to promise. Equal opportunities, non-discrimination and social diversity are the main issues contributed by ETC.

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The participants in the Start up meeting, Oct 2005, in Vienna:

Prof. Erden, YTU Istanbul; Prof. Schön, HU Berlin; Dr. Starl, ETC Graz, Mag.a Tajmel, HU Berlin; Mag.a Neumann, Uni Vienna; Prof. Tanovic, Uni Sarajevo; Dr. Stadler, Uni Vienna; M. Bayir (with the ETC).