Over the past 15 years, research activities at universities of applied sciences have been steadily growing such that they are now increasingly considered the norm. Today, in fact, research contributes significantly to both the attractiveness and to the quality of universities of applied sciences.
At the Catholic University of Applied Sciences Freiburg (KH Freiburg), the terms research and development are associated with knowledge transfer to the region, with close cooperative efforts combining partners from both business and local municipalities, as well as with collaborative projects involving other universities at both national and international level.
Research at the KH Freiburg is best characterized as interdisciplinary in nature with a strong focus on future-oriented research fields. The spectrum of scientific activities at the KH Freiburg is distinguished by the high degree of interdisciplinarity among the researchers involved as well as by the fact that no specific research approach is favoured. Indeed, different research methodologies and approaches are routinely combined with each other to characterize what constitutes the broad understanding of research at the university, and thus, the activities at the IAF.
Such varied research approaches may include:
- Empirical research – development of a research question, answering it empirically, and presenting/publishing the results,
- Intervention research – development of an intervention design, evaluation of the intervention, presentation as well as publication of the results,
- Accompanying research and implementation research – consulting and accompanying processes of organizations including their evaluation, presentation/publication of the results,
- Basic research – theoretical examination in individual disciplines, presentation/publication of results,
- Literature research and publication – systematic literature and case law work, presentation/publication in the form of review and meta-analysis.
Research activities at the IAF are thus carried out within a range of different disciplines using a broad spectrum of scientific approaches gathered from the broader areas of the social sciences and the humanities.