Research at EDU



Knowledge of research methodology and criteria for the critical evaluation of reported evidence often remains poor among students worldwide. Among other things, research teaches discipline and responsibility and improves competences required in all aspects of training, such as public speaking, literature searches and evaluation. Progressing through the steps in research and publication in a mentored setting facilitates the continuous practice and improvement of the ability to formulate hypotheses, conduct literature searches, understand research techniques, collect data, and critically evaluate the literature. All are practices that teach students to stay current with the latest in science and medicine and this will lead to future physicians who will be able to provide the best patient care. Thus, comprehension and practice of research principles should be a priority during medical school.

Therefore, our students will tackle the following topics throughout their medical study course at EDU:

  • Basics of clinical research
  • Ethical and medicolegal aspects of clinical research
  • Introduction to epidemiological research
  • Structured literature search
  • Study design of clinical studies
  • Monitoring, data acquisition, data documentation
  • Biostatistics

These topics provide our students with a solid basis for writing their bachelor’s and master’s thesis, demonstrating that our students have achieved the necessary academic competence.


In addition, EDU strives for national and international research co-operations in the field of clinical research and medical didactics. EDU is involved in a research project DID-ACT, which is tendered and financed by the EU. The aim of the project is to develop a curriculum for Clinical Reasoning and a Train-the-Trainer Course and to assist in the implementation of the curriculum in existing medical curricula.

EDU has also entered into a research collaboration with the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), which funds clinical research to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and other poverty-related infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.


The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Mannheim collaborate with EDU on a research project around learning analytics and learning physiolytics. Learning physiolytics can enable new forms of individualized learning, personalization, and adaptive learning environments. The proposed project utilizes a combination of behavioural data and physiological data with advanced data analytics and machine learning applications to support students learning processes and performance in the context of online medical education.

This interdisciplinary, collaborative research pilot project aims to provide a foundation for designing advanced learning physiolytics. Specifically, it establishes a conceptual model for collecting and combining behavioural (learning) data and physiological data in a medical digital learning platform. Furthermore, it establishes and tests the required infrastructure to collect physiological data from medical students. Finally, field study on the basis of the medical learning platform using the experience sampling method (ESM) is performed. The project has the following objectives:

  • Establish a conceptual model for collecting and combining behavioural (learning) data and physiological data in the medical digital learning platform.
  • Perform a pretest in a lab environment in order to test the physiological measurement
  • Provide an appropriate field experiment infrastructure in order to be able to collect physiological data from medical students.
    Run a field study on the basis of the medical learning platform using the experience sampling method (ESM)
Li, M. X., Nadj, M., Maedche, A., Ifenthaler, D., & Wöhler, J. (2022). Towards a physiological computing infrastructure for researching students’ flow in remote learning – preliminary results from a field study. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 27(2), 365–384. 

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