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The University of Lisbon Interdisciplinary Studies on Sustainable Environment and Seas (ULISSES) is a project that will provide students with a deep knowledge of ocean related problems. The participants will be challenged to solve a pressing real life problem while working together in an interdisciplinary and international team. English will be language used in ULISSES.

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The ULISSES Project is divided in two phases. 

Preparatory phase

The Preparatory phase corresponds to a ten-week introductory course (via e-learning). In this preparatory phase, ULISSES offers a wide range of online lectures and materials via the Moodle open-source learning platform. These sum up the fundamentals and core competencies of the disciplines involved in the project, giving participating students with different academic backgrounds an overview of all the relevant fields of study. This will ensure that all participants will be able to engage in discussions during the Team Project phase.

Team Project Phase

In the second phase (the Team Project phase), interdisciplinary and international groups will be set up and students will be required to work together for a period of three weeks in order to solve a challenge related to ocean sustainability.

The University of Lisbon will welcome all students participating in the Team Project phase for a summer face-to-face event in Lisbon. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, this face-to-face event will most likely be impossible to organize in the current year. An alternative fully digital program is therefore being organized, following the example of the INSPIRED project promoted by TU Darmstadt. For this Virtual Team Project phase, a comprehensive set of digital tools will be used to ensure smooth communication and a user-friendly virtual teamwork environment.

To provide students with optimal guidance and didactic support, a mentor will be assigned to each team. All mentors will receive appropriate training to ensure the pedagogical leadership of their teams and to ensure that all participants will be able to share in a positive group atmosphere. To ensure the scientific support for the disciplines not covered by the mentor, each group will have access to a group of scientific advisors. During the first two weeks of the Team Project phase, all participants will also have the opportunity to meet experts (professors and senior researchers at the University of Lisbon) in the scientific areas related to the challenge they will have been asked to address. For all questions related to the virtual tools to be used, the team will have the support of a set of IT advisors. 

At the end of the three-week Team Project event, students will present the results of their work to all participants and a to panel of jurors. Based on the jury's assessment, the winning team will be announced.

Note: Although the prospects for the evolution of the pandemic seem to indicate the impossibility of organizing a face-to-face Team Project phase, a final decision thereon will be taken by the University of Lisbon in early May. If it is then deemed possible to ensure adequate and safe sanitary condition, the face-to-face summer event will be held in July, replacing the virtual teamwork.