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ERASMUS+ Virtual Exchange

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We are looking for facilitators! Facilitators are an important part of virtual exchange programmes. Different programmes use facilitators in different ways.

Facilitators are third parties who help a group have a constructive, respectful and authentic dialogue on various topics of (mutual) interest. Facilitators are multi-partial and neutral process leaders in that they do not participate in the content of the conversation but do their best to ensure all participants feel free to express themselves and be heard by others, respecting certain agreed upon ground rules and following the indications of a curriculum as well as the group’s needs and interests.

Facilitators seek to elicit self-group awareness and understanding, by providing a safe (albeit challenging) and effective learning environment. As facilitators it will be your aim to arm participants with tools to hold an effective cross-cultural dialogue where participants learn about one another and themselves are inspired to take this understanding beyond their participation in the project and into their communities. Facilitators are trained in utilizing facilitation tools such as active listening, summarizing, reframing and making us of observations to foster such awareness and address group dynamics.

As a facilitators you will engage in reflective practice where it is hoped you will actively strive to improve your facilitation skills and knowledge. In order to become a facilitator, one has to have a certain level of knowledge about current events and the general context of the groups and identities represented in dialogue, as well as a certain level of cross cultural sensitivity. They also need to be good listeners, multi-taskers and team workers.


The next training sessions will run as follows:

Introductory Facilitation Training 12 August to 9 September 2018 - Deadline to apply : 23 July 2018

Advanced Facilitation Training 12 August to 20 September 2018 (intensive) - Deadline to apply : 23 July 2018 7 October to 13 December 2018 - Deadline to apply : 17 September 2018

French/Arabic Facilitation Training FRENCH: 11 June to 22 July 2018 - Deadline to apply : 31 May 2018 ARABIC: A training session will be organised during the fall

Facilitation Training Length - Advanced Facilitation Training is 20 hours long - Introduction to Facilitation Training is 10 hours long

The Facilitation Training was developed with the expert contribution of various conflict resolution, mediation and facilitation practitioners, invested in 21st century education and in broadening knowledge and use of peacebuilding methodologies in a diverse and global landscape. Successful completion of training qualifies trainees to UN endorsed certificates.

Through the Facilitation Training participants will enhance key 21st Century Skills including:

If you are interested in qualifying to be a facilitator and are a resident in one of the programme countries , please click here .

Leadership and initiative:

Ron Breslow had broad interests, with projects ranging from developing artificial enzymes, to novel anti-aromatic compounds, to remote C–H activation of steroids, to determining hydrocarbon p K a values using electrochemistry. The lesson learned, and one I tried to put into practice in my independent career (see below), is that it is very much possible to run a research group focused in quite different areas of chemistry. With an NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship, I spent just under two years with Sir Alan Battersby at the University of Cambridge where we completed the total synthesis of sirohydrochlorin, an intermediate in the biosynthesis of vitamin B12. Then in July 1985, it was off to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Developing molecular tweezers was one of the main projects I started in my independent academic career at Illinois. The idea originated at Columbia when I began to teach myself the biochemistry and biology lacking in any of my formal coursework. For example, one summer that process involved taking J. D. Watson’s “Molecular Biology of the Gene” [5] on the subway to a Long Island beach on weekends. The beautiful structure of DNA and its intercalation complexes of aromatic dyes were especially intriguing. In broader reading, I sought to understand better the so-called nearest-neighbor exclusion principle (NEP), wherein intercalators at full saturation of a DNA helix bind every other site (i.e., one intercalator per two base-pairs) [6] .

Figure2a schematically shows how insertion of monointercalators at full saturation leads to a DNA helix with intercalation sites only half occupied. Le Pecq and coworkers studied bisacridines such as 1 ( Figure2b ) [7] . Consistent with the NEP, 1 formed a very tight bisintercalation complex with its spermine-derived linker chain spanning two base-pairs ( Figure2c ). However, with shorter linkers that can only span a single base-pair, a monointercalation complex forms ( Figure2d ). In fact, with bisintercalators the situation is considerably more complicated with the apparent width of the intercalator determining whether the nearest neighbor exclusion principle is obeyed. Although the principle remains poorly understood even today, my idea as a graduate student was to make a bisintercalator that was so rigid it could not form the mono-intercalated complex in Figure2d . The ultimate goal was to develop a small molecule ligand that might intercalate at sites that lack a conventional neighboring intercalation site, for example, the ends of DNA double helices, replication forks, or abasic sites.

Figure 2: (a) Schematic double helix fully saturated with intercalator (in purple) according to the neighbor exclusion principle (NEP). (b) Bisintercalator with spermine linker. (c,d) Bisintercalator with long linker spanning two base-pairs and short linker preferring mono-intercalation to obey NEP. (e) Whitlock’s “rigid” molecular tweezer.

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