Completed Projects

A final report has to be written once the stay abroad has been completed. This report involves the host institution abroad and the responsible institute at the University of Bern. The corresponding form for the report is provided by the Vice-Rectorate Research.

Zolboo Sandagjav, Institute for the Science of Religion

1st. of January 2023 – 31st of December 2023
Host Institute: Department of Mongolian Studies, University of Bonn, Gemany

Mongolian Nationalism: Past and Present

Designed at the intersection of historiography, political science, and Mongolian studies, my research project uses the example of an intellectual network of early socialist Mongolia, whose importance in the modern history of Mongolia has yet to be explored, to examine the genealogy of Mongolian nationalism, which has played an increasingly prominent role in Mongolia's political, academic and public sphere in recent decades. With the support of the UniBE Doc.Mobility Fund, I had the privilege of being mentored by Prof. Ines Stolpe, the head of the Department of Mongolian Studies at the University of Bonn. Under her exceptional supervision, I was able to pursue my microhistorical investigation into the Mongolian revolutionary nationalists of the early 20th century. Through this research, I have made a significant progress in examining the concept of “Greater Mongolian Nationalism” as it has been “imagined” by the Mongolian historians and nationalists across different time periods.

Théoda Woeffray, Institut für Politikwissenschaften

1. Januar 2023 – 31. August 2023
Host Institution: European University Institute (EUI), Fiesole, Italien

Explaining Migration Politics and Policies

While immigration remains a crucial topic in European politics, I aim to shed more light on the preferences of different actors (mass public, political parties, and national authorities) regarding various aspects of asylum and migration policies and politics in my dissertation. The first study focuses on European identity and whether it shapes preferences regarding different types of immigrants. The second study aims to understand whether the dominant intergovernmental conflicts at the elite level are also apparent in public opinion. The third paper focuses on political parties as actors and investigates whether mainstream left-wing parties’ positions on immigration correlate with the composition of their electorate. The fourth paper finds that efficiency considerations by national authorities influence Dublin procedures. Overall, my research stay at the European University Institute has allowed me to discuss different aspects but also the overall contribution of my dissertation and to extend my network by regularly interacting with fellow political scientists at the SPS department and members of the Migration Policy Group.

Karen Poertzgen, Institut für Philosophie / Praktische Philosophie

01. September 2022 – 31. August 2023
Host Institution: Department for Politics and International Relations, Oxford University, England

Individual Responsibility for Structural Injustice

During my visit at Oxford University’s Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Daniel Butt I examined in which basis, how, and how much a person might be said to benefit from race- and gender-based structural injustice and whether benefiting thusly grounds special obligations for relatively privileged persons to rectify such injustices. I argue that benefiting from such an injustice means to benefit from being in a relatively structurally privileged social position, which results from the interaction of a person’s multiple social group memberships and contingent factors about the person and their circumstances. I further argue that in order to make sense of how much persons benefit from their social position we need a notion of benefit that can accommodate the causal complexities of the structural processes involved in structural injustice and that a non-comparative notion of benefit, according to which to be benefited is to be caused to be in a beneficial state, is the most promising option. The content of structural benefits importantly includes rights-protection, which implies that several accounts concerning the normative force of benefiting cannot be meaningfully applied to structural injustices, leaving accounts that see benefiting from injustice as causing the beneficiary to be complicit in the injustice. Moreover, it implies that a duty resulting from such benefits cannot be a backward-looking duty to disgorge the benefits, but rather a forward-looking duty to work against the very structures and processes that re-distribute benefits to structurally privileged social positions.

Shera Malayeri, Institute of Psychology/ Division of Social Neuroscience and Social Psychology

1. September 2022 – 31. August 2023
Host Institution: University of South Florida (USF)

Married or on a Date: Cultural Norms and Gender Differences in Rape Perception in an Iranian Sample

My research stay in the GID lab (Gender and Interpersonal Dynamics Lab) at the University of South Florida under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Joseph Vandello enabled me to expand my research networks and exchange novel scientific ideas. My collaboration with Prof. Vandello contributed to the scientific understanding of the impact of the victim-perpetrator relationship (married vs. dating) on rape perception in the specific social context of Iran. Our findings indeed showed that stronger beliefs in religious fundamentalism and honor norms, two dominant socio-cultural norms in Iranian society, were associated with lower certainty of rape and less punishment for the perpetrator in cases of marital rape compared to date rape. Moreover, both Iranian women and men tended to blame the married victim more and were less certain about considering the marital incident as rape, although men were more likely to exonerate the marital perpetrator (husband) than women. This study highlights the importance of acknowledging rape across different victim-perpetrator constellations beyond stranger rape and addressing the social context in which sexual violence against women is condoned and maintained in Iran.

Sandra Gloor, Psychologie / PDD / Team Morf

01. October 2022 – 31. July 2023
Host Institution: Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA

Narcissism and Relationship Maintaining Processes

Narcissism has consequences for intimate relationships, yet the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. In two studies, I aimed to shed light on the complex dynamics between narcissistic self-regulation tendencies and relationship-maintaining processes. In the first study, I used a daily diary approach - in which both romantic partners reported specific situations and reactions on a daily basis over a 14-day period - to investigate whether narcissism is associated with self-protective regulation strategies when faced with interdependence dilemmas in partner-interactions. The second study examined associations between narcissism and partner-perceptions and -idealization. The results challenge the notion that narcissism is generally related to partner derogation, but simultaneously show patterns of self- and partner-perceptions that contribute to a better understanding of similarities and divergences in interpersonal self-regulatory strategies of different narcissism manifestations.

Marco Hostettler, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften und Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research

01. May 2022 – 20.June 2023
Host Institution: Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden


In my thesis I aim to better understand and to quantify the dynamics of land use and human[1]environment interactions in prehistory (i.e. ca. 7000–800 BC) in the Southern Balkans (Albania, Greece, North Macedonia). My methodology is based on archaeological data, i.e. radiocarbon data, site counts, site surveys and archaeobotanical legacy data and attempts to summarise the datasets in a diachronic way. Thanks to the Unibe Doc.Mobility funding I had the possibility to join the host institution at Uppsala University. My host-research group researches land use in Bronze Age southern Greece and in reconstructing past climate in the Aegean from speleothem research. This gave me the opportunity to enhance my toolkit for the reconstruction of prehistor[1]ic land use and to refine the interpretation of my results and their comparison to paleoclimate records from the Mediterranean. Our interdisciplinary collaboration resulted in an interdiscipli[1]nary workshop on Climate and Society held at Uppsala University in September 2023.

Kelly Bishop, Institut für öffentliches Recht

01.September 2022 – 31. August 2023
Host Institution: University of the Western Cape, Dullah Omar Institute, Socio-Economic Rights Project

Human Rights and Gender-based Poverty: What are the Legal Obligations of States within the United Nations Human Rights System in relation to Gender-based Poverty in Urban Areas?

It is estimated that one in seven people live in deprived urban areas today and there is evidence that poverty disproportionately affects women in the global South. While other disciplines frame poverty as a social or moral issue, law’s potential lies in the implementation of legal obligations to combat poverty. The research visit enabled an in-depth examination of the current human rights approaches as well as the unique approach towards economic, social, and cultural rights within the South African context and how it addresses gender-based poverty in urban areas.
By arguing for immediate obligations derived from substantive equality, the thesis offers an avenue to overcome the limitations of the current human rights approaches. The research contributes to[1]wards a proactive human rights scheme with transformative potential that addresses the structural inequalities underlying gender-based poverty in urban areas.

Mirjam Kolev, Klinik für viszerale Chirurqie und Medizin

1. August 2022 – 31. July 2023
Host Institution: Service d'Hepatologie, Centre de Reference Maladies Rares: « Maladies lnflammatoires des Voies Biliaires » Filiere Maladies Rares du Foie de l'Adulte et de l'Enfant (FILFOIE), Höpital Saint Antoine, Paris, Frankreich

Primary sclerosing cholangitis with features of autoimmune hepatitis: phenotypic characterization, management and prognosis

"The primary aim was the comparison of the time from diagnosis to listing for liver transplantation or primary sclerosing cholangitis-related death (composite primary endpoint) in patients with primary biliary cholangitis with features of autoimmune hepatitis (OS) and patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) only. Compared to patients with PSC, OS patients display a younger age at diagnosis and a less common association with inflammatory bowel disease. Although they display a more advanced liver disease at diagnosis, OS patients treated with immunosuppressive treatment have a survival similar to the one of PSC patients."

Sina von Aesch, Institut für Historische Theologie

1. September 2022 – 31. May 2023
Host Institution: Pontifico Ateneo Sant’Anselmo, Roma, Italien

Weisheiten und Widersprüche – Ambiguitäten in den Apophthegmata Patrum

"In der Spätantike erblühte das Wüstenmönchtum in Ägypten und Palästina und erste Mönche reisten bis nach Rom. Sowohl in Gemeinschaften als auch in der Abgeschiedenheit der Wüste suchten die Asket:innen den Weg zum Heil, indem sie arm, bescheiden und in Demut lebten. Ihre Nähe zu Gott fanden sie im Gebet und in der Gastfreundschaft. Sie standen vor der Herausforderung, dass die Weisheiten, die sie von Abbas und Ammas erhielten, oft widersprüchlich waren. Wie konnten sie diese dennoch befolgen? Wie fanden sie einen Umgang mit Ambivalenzen und wie konnten sie umstrittene Themen im Alltag bewältigen? Mit diesen Fragen beschäftigt sich meine Dissertation, die in Rom – eine der wichtigsten Städte zur Erforschung antiker Christentumsgeschichte – einen entscheidenden Schritt für Analyse, Verständnis und Kontextualisierung der Apophthegmata Patrum machte."

Sandro Truttmann, Institut für Geologie

1. November 2022 – 30. April 2023
Host Institution: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Perth, Australien

The Role of Fault Architecture in Earthquake Processes: Multi-Physics Numerical Modelling to Understand Seismic Fault Interactions

"In meiner Dissertation im Feld der Seismotektonik befasse ich mich mit den geologischen Hintergründen zum Auftreten von Erdbeben. Im Rahmen meines Forschungsaufenthalts konnte ich in die Welt der numerischen Modellierung eintauchen und untersuchte mit diesem Werkzeug «langsame» Erdbeben in Neuseeland. In Kombination mit innovativen GPSDatenanalysetechniken konnten wir mit unseren Modellen zeigen, dass das unregelmässige Auftreten dieser langsamen Beben durch Bruchinteraktionen erklärt werden kann und dass diese langsamen Beben womöglich sogar vorhersagbar sind. Dank dem UniBE Doc.Mobility Aufenthalt erhielt ich die einzigartige Möglichkeit, mich sowohl persönlich als auch wissenschaftlich zu vernetzen und weiterzuentwickeln."

Sophia Marxer, IAW, Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie

1. October 2022 - 31. March 2023
Host Institution: Philipps Universität, Archäologisches Seminar  – Marburg, Deutschland

Der Übergang der späten Eisenzeit zum Hellenismus. Die LCI 1-zeitliche Keramik in Sirkeli Höyük

"Mein Thema der Erforschung der Orients in der Zeit des Hellenismus befindet sich an der Schnittstelle des Fachgebiets der Klassischen Archäologie und der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie. Das Fachgebiet der Klassischen Archäologie beschäftigt sich mit den antiken materiellen Hinterlassenschaften im Mittelmeerraum, insbesondere zur Zeit der Griechen und Römer. Dagegen beschäftigt sich das Fachgebiet der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie mit den materiellen Hinterlassenschaften des Alten Orients. Mit meinem Gastaufenthalt am Archäologischen Seminar an der Philipps Universität in Marburg konnte ich mich ausgiebig der Methoden und Theorien der Klassischen Archäologie in Bezug auf den Hellenismus, Hellenisierung oder die Hellenisierungsprozesse widmen."

Jonah Garde, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geschlechterforschung (IZFG)

1. January 2022 – 31. December 2022
Host Institution: Chair in Transgender Studies, University of Victoria, Kanada

(Un)timely Bodies. Trans* Subjektivierungen und die Paradoxien der Europäischen Moderne

"Die Idee, dass Geschlecht wandel- und formbar ist, hat eine Geschichte und diese ist nicht nur zutiefst mit der Geschichte der Moderne verbunden, sondern ebenso durch koloniale Fantasien und koloniale Gewalt konstituiert. Anhand des Werks des Wiener Biologen und Endokrinologen Eugen Steinach, der zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts die Idee der Wandelbarkeit von Geschlecht durch Drüsentransplantation in Tierversuchen etablierte, sowie deren Rezeption innerhalb der modernen Sexualwissenschaft und der Populärkultur zwischen 1910 und 1938 zeigt meine Arbeit auf, dass «Geschlechtsumwandlung» gleichzeitig als Errungenschaft moderner Wissenschaften gefeiert wurde und als Gefahr für die bereits als krisenhaft verstandene Geschlechterordnung gefürchtet wurde. Die Körper rassifizierter Anderer und vermeintlich «niederer Tiere» boten dabei einen Container für diese kulturellen Ängste. Gleichzeitig zeigen sie, dass Kolonialismus und die damit verbundenen Arten, die Welt zu verstehen und zu ordnen, keine Fußnoten sondern zentraler Bestandteil einer trans* Geschichte der europäischen Moderne sind. Mein Forschungsaufenthalt am Chair in Transgender Studies an der University of Victoria hat mir dabei geholfen, mein Verständnis für trans* Geschichte und ihre mannigfaltigen kolonialen Verwobenheiten zu vertiefen."

Amie Wallmann-Jones, Institut für Sportwissenschaft

1. February - 31. August 2022
Host Institution: University of California – San Francisco, USA

Autonomic correlates of socio-emotional processing in children and adolescents with autism-spectrum disorder

“This project used a multi-method approach to measure the neurophysiological basis for socio-emotional processing strengths in developmental dyslexia. Facial emotion behavior during emotion-eliciting film clips was coded and analyzed to calculate an individual facial emotion variability score. Results indicated that facial emotion variability is higher in children with dyslexia, which was also positively related to parent-report measures of functional communication and leadership. We speculate that these findings are indicative of adaptive emotion reactivity in this population, warranting further investigation into the underlying influences of autonomic variability.”

Raquel Adaia Sandoval Ortega, Institut für Physiologie

1. February – 31. July 2022
Host Institution: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University – Nijmegen, Niederlande

The Neural Dynamics of Chronic Pain in Sleep and Wake

"In my PhD projected I want to evaluate the bidirectional influence of pain and sleep. Thanks to the DocMobility of the University of Bern I could join the lab of Prof. Cohen at the Donders Institute where I learned and applied advanced analysis methods on a data set, I collected at the University of Bern. Using the new analysis methods, I have shown that the sensory and affective-motivational components of pain seem to be processed during sleep. Furthermore, the new analysis allowed me to propose a novel method to disentangle pain processing responses from saliency and attention and to study the scale-free dynamics of cortical brain areas during the evolution of chronic pain."

Manuela Hugentobler, lnstitut fur öffentliches Recht / Graduate School Gender Studies

1.September 2021 – 31. August 2022
Host Institution: Universiät Kassel – Kassel, Deutschland

(Un-)moglichkeiten politischer Partizipation

"Aus dem verfassungsrechtlichen Rahmen demokratischer Partizipation ergibt sich nicht ohne Weiteres, wie es um die konkrete Verwirklichung der Rechte politischer Mitbestimmung in der Schweiz steht. Die Dissertation geht deshalb der Frage nach, inwiefern rechtlich determinierte Deliberations- und Entscheidstrukturen mit den Diskriminierungskategorien des Art. 8 Abs. 2 BV interagieren. Mit einer Verknüpfung von politischer Partizipation und Diskriminierungsbegriff wird es möglich, eine kritische Einordnung des juridischen Verständnisses demokratischer Gleichheit zu leisten.

Der Forschungsaufenthalt an der Universität Kassel bei Prof. Buckel eröffnete mir ein vertieftes Verständnis der rechtstheoretischen Vorbedingungen meiner Dissertation und damit erst die vollständige Durchdringung meiner Forschungsfrage."

Lukas Mürner, Institut für Pharmakologie

1. August 2021 – 30. July 2022
Host Institution: Harvard University / National Center for Functional Glycomics, Harvard Medical School – Cambridge, MA, USA

Single-cell Glycomics in Pancreatic Cancer Progression

"All mammalian cells are covered by a highly diverse repertoire of glycans (complex sugars), which are central for biological processes. While cellular glycosylation is known to be significantly altered in various diseases such as cancer, current studies of cellular glycosylation in health and disease are limited by the availability of glycan-specific reagents and the absence of methodologies to study glycans at single-cell resolution. To address these limitations, the UniBE Doc.Mobility fellowship supported my visit of the National Center for Functional Glycomics (NCFG), Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, where I generated unique glycan-specific reagents and established a novel single-cell glycomics methodology. Subsequently, these new tools have been applied to study changes in cellular glycosylation and gene expression between healthy and cancer tissues. Altogether, this research will help to understand how specific glycans are regulated, identify their potential biological role and involvement in the development and progression of cancer, which might lead to new therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers." 

Andrej Maczkowski, Institut für archäologische Wissenschaften

1. January 2022 – 31. December 2022
Host Institution: LTRR, University of Arizona – Tucson, USA

Dendroarchaeology of the prehistoric pile-dwellings from the southwestern Balkans

"My stay at the “cradle” of dendrochronology in Tucson, Arizona, was a great professional and personal experience. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from many specialists in different subfields of dendrochronology, as well as to explore the LTRR’s large tree-ring database. This contributed to the identification of new correlations between tree-ring chronologies from different parts of the Balkans and Anatolia, which will improve the dating of some archaeological sites. I was also able to learn about the different aspects of contemporary archaeology in North America, most notably the consideration and involvement of Native American communities. Finally, I also greatly enjoyed exploring the enchanting landscapes of the US Southwest."