Carolien, a third year student at UCG, about her third year project.
Doing interdisciplinary projects is a part of the study programme of UCG which is coming back every year. Whereas in the first year the focus was on Creating Horizon, the second year was about Creating Scholarship (doing research so to say). For the third year, Creating Leadership is the central theme. The idea is to do one large project which takes half a year. The guidelines are loose, it actually means that you can do whatever you want. The only strict requirement is that it should be a group project. Your members can be UCG students, but also outside students or professionals working at a company are an option. The same holds for the topic. Although it should be an interdisciplinary project, you can decide yourself on the topic of the project.
After coming up with several ideas, I found a health centre which is offering an obesity intervention programme. Although the programme is very successful in the short run, long-term effects could be improved. I have worked with a team of professionals who were working at the health centre. Since obesity is a very complex problem, since so many different factors are involved, designing a successful long-term intervention programme is also very difficult. Besides a healthy diet and regular exercise, environmental factors, psychological, and social factors should be taken into account. We have tried to come up with solutions to make the programme more successful in the long-run. By doing this project, I could combine and use all the disciplinary knowledge which I have learnt in the last three years. Besides, I have been able to experience how practical issues can impact certain strategies. It is important to keep practicalities in mind when designing a programme.