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 you want take part in the project.

General information about the project

Who we are and how we work

We are researchers in Developmental Psychology at the University of
Osnabrück. Your contacts on site are Wilma Middendorf and Malin Kleuker.
They run the project in close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Maarten van Zalk and Dr. Maor Shani. We do not run the project on our own, but work together with the following organizations: the Radicalization Awareness Network of the European Commission, the State Prevention Council of Lower Saxony and the Lower Saxony Association of Education Initiatives.

An ethics committee at the University of Osnabrück has evaluated the project and declared it to be ethically acceptable.

You can find more information about this in the FAQ.

Project aim

“Together for tolerance” is a project about social relationships at school. Even if it does not seem like it to you but you are the expert about the social relationships at your school! This knowledge helps us to understand prejudice, racism, as well as aggression and how to counter them.

In the course of the project, we therefore ask you questions like: How are you feeling in your day-to-day life? Are your classmates influencing your decision making and your opinions, and how strong is their influence? Also, are you influencing others? Do you tend to support or exclude others? What do you think about societal topics? Due to your participation, you help us to learn more about this. That is why your participation counts!

Course of the project

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

You will also have time to ask us your questions!



The surveys

To participate in the project, you must fill out three questionnaires on a cell phone. Each survey lasts about a lesson and takes place during class. Therefore, we’ll come to your school. Then, if you have any questions, we’re there to help.

Besides the questions above, we’re interested in how students influence each other. To find out more, we use surveys to examine your school’s social network, i.e. the relationships between students. As an example, we ask who you are friends with and who you avoid. During some (not all!) questions, you will be able to select the names of other students who are also participating in the project and agree to that. Then other students can select your name as well. But don’t worry! Nobody but you and us will know which name(s) you select. Also, you don’t know if other participants select your name. Your answers and those of your classmates are secret. You can find out more about this under “What happens with your answers?”


The prevention

Along with the surveys, we conduct a program called prevention, which prevents conflicts between groups and promotes a positive school climate. This will be accomplished by inviting a few students that participate in the project to participate in a total of 10 sessions

During these sessions, students share what problems they have at school and what changes they’d like to see. After that, we plan and implement school-wide activities. Be creative!

The whole school can take part in these activities. These could include a school assembly, awareness campaigns on the school grounds or social media campaigns.

The implementation of these actions will be supported by a team from the Association of Lower Saxony Educational Initiatives e. V. (VNB).

We look  forward to your ideas!


The participation in the project is completely voluntary – so you can decide at any time whether you want to take part or not. If you no longer wish to participate (even in the middle of the project), you can let a person from the research team or a teacher know, or you can send an email to You do not have to justify why you are terminating participation.

You can choose not to take part in the project: You and your parents can withdraw independently. For this we need the following information: (1) your first name, (2) your last name, (3) your class and (4) message stating that you do not want to participate in the project (anymore). Your request to opt out from the project can reach us in several ways. It is sufficient if the objection is received in one way:

1. via e-mail at „“;

2. via this online survey:

3. via telephone (017695452586);

4. via post (the enclosed, prepaid envelope is addressed to the researchers);

5. via your teacher;

6. via school management and/ or

7. you tell one of the team members at the university of Osnabrück that you do not want to participate (anymore), when they are at your school, i.e. during the data collections.

You can only participate in the project if…

…your legal guardians do not object to your participation and you fill in the declaration of consent on the day of the first data collection.

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

…a declaration of consent completed by you is present.

In the process of storing, anonymizing, and using your data, we comply with the provisions of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). For this reason, we store the data for a period of at least ten years after the completion of a project. Your answers to the surveys will be kept anonymous after the project ended. This means you won’t be able to track back who answered what after the project ended. We do this by replacing names in the lists of names with substitute names (letters and numbers) and deleting those substitute names at the end. Since this is a research project, the anonymous (secret) data will be published in scientific journals. In addition, the anonymized data should also be made accessible in a secure data archive on the internet. Other researchers can then review our study or use the data to investigate their own questions. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure the quality of the research.

No. The questionnaires are not exams. We are interested in your honest answer. There are no right or wrong answers. We make sure that all your answers are and remain secret.

If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time by email at “” or write us a message (017695452586).We look forward to hearing from you!

If you participate in the project, you fill out a total of three online questionnaires, each on different days throughout the school year. The surveys take place during class time and last about one hour each.

The regulations of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Society for Psychology (DGP) are intended to ensure that researchers abide by the rules and are fair to everyone involved. There is a group of experts at the University of Osnabrück to check compliance with these rules: the so-called ethics committee. It takes a close look at projects and checks whether these rules are being followed. The ethics committee of the University of Osnabrück also checked this project: we comply with all the rules and the project is therefore ethically unobjectionable. When storing, anonymizing and using your data, we comply with the provisions of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

A declaration of consent is your confirmation that you have understood the information and that you agree. We want to make sure that you are feeling good if you are participating in the project. If there is something you do not agree with, you do not have to fill out the declaration of consent. If you do not agree and do not want to take part in the project, you can say “no” with the objection. Your legal guardians can also object if they do not want you to participate in the project. If your legal guardians agree to your participation, they do not have to fill anything out themselves.

We use the so called gender star because it is important for us to address all people, regardless of their gender: girls, boys and all other genders. The female and male forms are connected with an asterisk (*). Thus, the composite word should ensure that all people of any gender can be addressed with one word.

If you do something so that something negative does not happen in the future, that is a prevention. Our project is also a prevention because together with some students, we develop ideas on how we could treat each other better in the future.

An important topic in the surveys is: What does the social network at your school look like, that is, who spends time with whom, who influences each other? For example: Lisa and Tom are friends and spend a lot of time together. Lisa is also friend with Selin from the parallel class, but Tom doesn’t know her well.

By analyzing your answers, we can see who is involved with whom and how much. It is very important: the other classmates cannot see which pupils you have selected.

In a school, everyone is somehow connected. In such a social network, all of you are important. In grades 7 to 9, however, we take a very close look: Through your data, we can indirectly identify who is particularly important to YOU ​​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 all of you and thus affect the entire network.

Do you have questions?

…please feel free to contact 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.