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Interdisciplinary Community Service Learning

Enrich your Master’s learning experience with an inspiring, hands-on iCSL course. In iCSL2, you complement your academic knowledge with real-world insights by collaborating with societal organisations and communities.

✓ Get more out of your Master programme and participate in real-world experiences with local communities and external partners

✓ Cross the boundaries of your discipline and the walls of the university

✓ Be better prepared for your career after graduation

✓ Make societal impact before you even graduate

✓ ICSL2 is also open to students from other universities (register here)

Q&A sessions

Do you want to know more about iCSL? Sign-up for one of the online Q&A sessions

Sign-up now!

The course Interdisciplinary Community Service Learning: Addressing Challenges Through Transdisciplinary Research (iCSL2) welcomes master students from any disciplinary background to engage in inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge co-creation, and experience real-life research. You are challenged to step out of your bubble and collaborate across and beyond the campus: you’re part of a cross-disciplinary student team, but also work together closely with communities, companies, organizations, and governments to make an impact in one of the following challenges: 

In iCSL2, students collaborate in cross-disciplinary teams. Each team member devotes their own thesis, research project or internship to a sub-question of one of these societal challenges. Thus, in parallel to your thesis, you collaborate in the iCSL2 course, to integrate the insights from the different individual projects and consider the wider implications for the broad societal issue. 

For the iCSL2 course, you can define your own research topic or you can take one of the topics that was defined by the iCSL team and external partners. For instance, in collaboration with our partners, we have are looking for students to work on Energy Transition Challenge De Pijp and on the Bionutrition metre challenge.  Check our brochure for more options and ideas of thesis topics that you can work on. 

Students present their finds back to a scientific as well as societal audience in a Public Dialogue Event, which is part of the NWO funded project Science with the neighborhood.  

  • About the iCSL2 Course (Period 4-6, February-June)

    The iCSL2 course (AM_1253) is about addressing large societal challenges. As an interdisciplinary team, you research one of the challenges defined in the iCSL1 course. Each team member devotes their own thesis, research project or internship to a sub-question of this challenge. In parallel to your thesis, you follow the iCSL2 course, in which you integrate the insights from the different individual projects. As such, the second iCSL course adds extra inter- and transdisciplinarity to your research project. The course ends in a large meeting (similar to a conference) at which you present your findings back to a scientific as well as societal audience. This meeting is part of the NWO funded project Science with the neighborhood.  

    One of the key questions during this event is: what’s next?

    Weekly face-to-face meetings are scheduled to coach students in the collaborative process. 6 ECTS are awarded upon completion. More information about the course can be found in the study guide.

  • Online Q&A sessions

    You can also sign-up for an online Q&A session, which will take place on the following moments:

    • Monday 12 December 12:30 (CET)
    • Friday 16 December 15:30 (CET)
    • Tuesday 20 December 17:00 (CET)
    • Thursday 22 October 12.30 (CET)
    • Tuesday 10 January 17.00 (CET)
    • Thursday 19 January 12.30
    • Tuesday 24 January 17.00 (CET)
    • Thursday 02 February 12.30 (CET)
  • Partners

    In order to identify the current issues that are urgent in the real world, the iCSL2 course highly depends on collaborations at and beyond the VU Amsterdam. Among others, the program is shaped together with the city district Amsterdam Nieuw-West, with the VU Green Office , Duurzaam in de pijp,  Green Business Club Zuidas, Gemeente Amsterdam, VoorUit,  Hogeschool van Amsterdam, .Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, and Food Council Metropoolregio Amsterdam.

  • Admission

    So, have you gotten interested in the iCSL2 course? You can enroll for the courses on VUweb, where you can find it through the course code AM_1253. Any master student from any program is eligible for the course. If your own programme’s curriculum and exam board allow, you can take up the iCSL course in your study plan as electives. Otherwise you can take the iCSL extracurricularly. In either case you receive credits upon the successful completion of the courses and the courses can be added to your master diploma. We highly recommend that you contact your own programme’s coordinator or study advisor to discuss what is possible within your programme and what administrative steps need to be taken.

    Students from other universities can also participate in iCSL. They should contact the iCSL coordinator Eduardo Muniz Pereira Urias considering enrollment.

More about Community Service Learning


Contact the iCSL Coordinator