Here you will find the most important information about the research project “Together for tolerance – with each other, for each other” to help you decide if your child should participate.

General information about the project

Brief description of the project

“Together for tolerance” is a project that focuses on social relationships in schools. In the project, we would like to explore the following: What is everyday life like for children and teenagers inside and outside of school? To what extent do classmates influence each other in terms of their behavior, but also in the way they form their opinions? For example, to what extent do classmates influence each other in social and anti-social behavior and what they think about social issues? In order to find out more about these topics, we come to the school and ask the children and teenagers to fill out a questionnaire three times in total. We invite all students to participate! In order to be able to answer the questions, your child’s participation is very important to us.

Who we are and how we work

We’re a group of developmental psychology researchers at the University of Osnabrück. The direct contacts on site are Wilma Middendorf and Malin Kleuker. They work in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. Maarten van Zalk and Dr. Maor Shani. This project is not being conducted by us alone, but in collaboration with the European Commission’s Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN); the Lower Saxony State Prevention Council (LPR); and the Association of Lower Saxony Educational Initiatives e. V. (VNB). We follow the regulations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Society for Psychology (DGPs). The project has been reviewed by the ethics committee of the University of Osnabrück and has been declared ethically acceptable.

How the project proceeds

This project will take place at your school from February to November 2023. In this project, there are two parts: the surveys and the prevention.

Course of the project

The procedure described here will also be explained to the students by our team in the classroom ahead of the data collection, together with a teacher – in an easy way and with concrete examples.

The students will also have time to ask us their questions!

The surveys

If your child takes part in the project, it fills out a total of three questionnaires on the mobile phone. In order to conduct the interviews, we go to the school of your child. The questionnaires are provided in German. Our team will be there to clarify your child’s questions if they don’t understand something. Each survey lasts about one lesson and takes place during class time. This has been agreed with the school management, which supports the implementation of the project. In order to be able to answer the questions above, we ask the participants questions on various topics in the questionnaires. Among other things, we use it to research the social network of the school, i.e. the relationships among the students. We also ask questions about the relationships among the participants (e.g. who they are friends with or who they avoid). If your child participates, in some (not all!) questions they can select names of other participants (students who also participate in the project and agree) from lists. All names in the lists of names are replaced by pseudonyms (substitute names) after the surveys. After the end of the project, these are also deleted and the data is thus made anonymous (made secret). We explain more about this in the “What happens to my child’s data?” section.

The prevention

In addition to the surveys, we carry out a prevention program, which is a program designed to prevent conflicts between groups and to promote a positive school climate. For this purpose, students participating in the project will be invited to attend a total of 10 sessions. In these sessions, the invited students talk about what problems there are at school and what they would like to change in the school. Then joint school-wide activities are planned and implemented. The whole school can take part in these activities.

More information on the prevention here!“


You and your child can opt out or withdraw your participation at any time before or during the project, without giving a reason. Your child’s name will then not (or no longer) appear in any lists of subsequent questionnaires and data that has already been collected can be deleted. Deleting the data cannot be undone and is only possible before the project is fully completed.

You and your child can object and opt out or withdraw your participation independently. To do this, we need the following information: (1) your child’s first name, (2) last name, (3) class and (4) message stating that you do not want to participate in the project The objection to participation can reach us in several ways. It is sufficient if the objection is received in one way:

1. via e-mail to “”;

2. via this online survey:

3. by post (the enclosed, prepaid envelope is addressed to the researchers);

4. via a teacher;

5. through the school management and/or

6. Your child tells one of the team members at the university of Osnabrück that they do not want to participate (anymore) when they are at school, e.g. during data collection.

Your child can only take part in the project, if

…you as legal guardians do not object the participation and your child fills out a declaration of consent the day of the first data collection.

… you have knowledge of German, as our questions are only provided in this language.

The lists of names will be anonymized in two steps.

The names in the list will be replaced by four-digit pseudonyms (e.g. Max Mustermann will replaced by `DK8N`). Only your child and the research team can assign this pseudonym to the name in the list.

The use of pseudonyms is necessary for three reasons:

1) The questionnaires from the same participants can be matched across the three survey times.

2) Your child needs an individual pseudonym to start data collection on site in the school class in order to be able to securely log into the online survey.

3) With the pseudonyms, we are able to study the network relationships within the school (e.g. we can research which participants are friends with other participants).

After the end of the project, all pseudonyms will be completely deleted and replaced by new, randomly created letter-number codes. This means that the social network data is then completely anonymous. It is then no longer possible to draw conclusions about the identity of the participants and individual data can no longer be deleted.

The completely anonymous data of this project should be available as open data in a secure data archive for long-term archiving of research data  on the Internet (probably data archive “PsychDataZPID”, see Such an approach means that other researchers can also access the completely anonymous data in order to re-evaluate it if necessary and to investigate further questions of their own. For the publication of the data on the Internet, in addition to anonymization by deleting the pseudonyms, any other personal information (e.g. school, class, group membership, parents’ countries of birth, migration background) is also deleted. This project follows the ethical and data protection recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Society for Psychology (DGPs) for quality assurance in research.

The collected data may be used for publications in scientific journals (e.g. articles) and for presentations at scientific events (e.g. congresses). This also happens only in an anonymous form, i.e. the data cannot be assigned to specific participants.


The data is intended solely for this project. Personal information collected in the questionnaire and other data from the surveys are used exclusively for the purposes of this project. The responsible project management and researchers involved prevent using the data for other objectives.

The data and the lists of names from the study are only accessible to the researchers involved in the project. They will not be passed on to third parties (e.g. teachers or parents). All employees of the University of Osnabrück who are involved in the project are subject to a legal obligation of confidentiality. All digital data is stored on secure, encrypted servers at the University of Osnabrück using the “MyShare” software and, according to the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (DFG), is kept for at least 10 years after the end of the project. Our data collection follows the requirements of the German GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time by e-mail at “”. Please include the name of the project “Together for tolerance” in the subject line. We appreciate your support!

In the three questionnaires, which are filled out digitally on different days, we would like to ask your child various questions about their experiences, opinions and behavior, and those of their classmates. We will also ask your child questions about personal issues, such as how they think and behave towards other people. We are interested in the relationships at school. To do this, we research so-called social networks. This means that we ask, among other things, who the participants are friends with, but also ask who they avoid. There is a list of names of other participants in the questionnaire that can be selected. Participants can only select pupils who are also participating in the project and agree to it.

An important topic in the surveys is: What does the social network of the students look like, i.e. who spends time with whom, who influences each other?

When analyzing the data of the participants, we can see who has to do with whom and how much. Importantly, the other classmates cannot see which people have been selected.

In a school everyone is somehow connected and in this social network everyone is important. In grades 7 to 9, however, we take a very close look: through the questionnaire data of the participants, we can indirectly identify who is particularly important to them in this network and invite these students to take part in the prevention. Then we would like to talk to them about the topics that are important to everyone and therefore affect the entire network.

An important topic in the surveys is: What does the school’s social network look like, who influences whom and to what extent? Through our programs and the pseudo-anonymized data, we can represent such a network of the school. In this network, all children are important. In order to be able to create such a network, we need the lists of names in the questionnaires. This is the only way we can see the relationships at the school and can specifically invite some students to the prevention. We would then like to talk to them about the topics and plan campaigns that are important for all students and thus affect the entire network.

The other participants cannot see the answers of your child to the questions in the survey or the names they choose. After the data collection, the names of the participants will be replaced by codes, which will then be deleted after the end of the project. The data and the lists of names from the investigation are only accessible to the team at the University of Osnabrück and all employees are subject to confidentiality. This means: we handle the data in a trusting manner and we do not pass on the individual data to anyone, neither to teachers, other students – or to you as parents.

If your child takes part in the project, he/ she fills out three online questionnaires in total on three different days. The surveys take place during class time and last about one lesson. The teachers are informed.

Our team works closely with the school and teachers. The project is first presented at school conferences and discussed there. Then the implementation of the project will be planned together. The times at which the surveys take place are coordinated with the teachers. Before the first survey, our team arrives at the school to present the project to the students and to answer any questions. The school also takes care of the distribution of information material. The teachers are always present when the data is collected.


Do you have questions?

…please feel free to contact us at any time by e-mail, stating the name of the project “Together for tolerance” in the subject line. We are looking forward to your message