The previous two Teaching Awards of Freie Universität went to innovative teaching projects that were "research-oriented and international" (2013) and "research-oriented and regional" (2014).This year's invitation is looking for projects that are "research-oriented and sustainable." Proposals for projects from all the disciplines represented at the university may be submitted: from the humanities and social sciences to natural and life sciences, and business and economics. The proposed teaching projects should deal with sustainability-oriented issues or bear some connection to research projects based at Freie Universität that investigate individual aspects of sustainability. Courses that would incorporate actors from non-university institutions or employ innovative forms of work, such as technology- or media-based formats, are particularly welcome.
During 2015 sustainability is being integrated as one of the key concepts in the profile of Freie Universität Berlin. An overall concept was developed that is currently being discussed internally. It covers energy efficiency and the use of environmentally friendly materials as well as the consideration of sustainability in research and teaching.
The Teaching Award is presented annually within the framework of Freie Universität's future development strategy that won funding in the German Excellence Initiative, and implements the university's emphasis on research-oriented teaching (Forschungsorientierte Lehre, FoL). In contrast to the personal teaching awards that various departments at Freie Universität Berlin present to individuals, the Teaching Award of Freie Universität is intended for innovative teaching concepts and formats. Last year's winning project, for example, Trans Pro Idee, was proposed by Rainer Haag, a professor of chemistry at Freie Universität, and one of Haag's students working toward his master's degree, Leonhard Urner. The prize money was used for practical testing of three student projects designed to translate research findings to business models. In 2013 the Teaching Award went to a German-Israeli exchange project for history education students under the direction of Martin Lücke, a professor of history education at Freie Universität. By later winning other funding, this project on Holocaust Education was able to be implemented for the second time now.