Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Sciences - Department of Psychology

Research projects

Reducing health risks by optimizing professional communication in hospitals - the development and evaluation of a training concept for physicians and nursing staff

Objective: Misunderstandings, insufficient information flow, vague instructions, disrespectful communication, breaking rules, and open conflicts are challenges that physicians, nurses, and other employees face in everyday hospital life. Changes in the healthcare sector and accompanying factors such as staff shortages, turnover, and time pressure make it even more difficult to cope with these challenges. Communicating professionally and managing disagreements and conflicts successfully is more important than ever, as doing so contributes directly to patient safety. The FUNK Foundation funds the project "Clear communication in everyday hospital life" to develop a communication training for hospital teams. The training aims at improving the information flow and interpersonal communication between professional groups.

Project lead: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Alexander Redlich (Universität Hamburg), Sascha Kilburg

Duration: 2016 - 2023 

Funding organization (grant number): FUNK-Stiftung (RM-FS3-2016-01)


The employment-health dilemma during the COVID crisis

Objective: The COVID crisis forces precariously employed workers in hospitals (e.g. cleaners) to choose between being employed and protecting their health: Continuing their work at the hospital is associated with high infection risk. At the same time, during the COVID crisis many businesses where they could have worked alternatively were shut down, which reduces their employment options. Although such an employment-health dilemma can affect everyone to some extent, we assume that it is particularly salient among precariously employed hospital workers during the COVID crisis. In this project, we conduct qualitative interviews to understand how precariously employed workers perceive this employment-health dilemma and how this dilemma affects their well-being and mental health. Moreover, we explore the roles of gender, ethnic background, and their intersection.

Project head: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Dr. Jenny Wesche (Freie Universität Berlin)

Project implementation: Franziska Kößler (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Duration: 15.11.2020-31.12.2022

Funding organization (grant number): Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (2020-423-4)


ResohlUt: Resources, well-being and teaching quality among teachers

Reciprocal and dynamic relationships of teachers’ personal resources, work engagement, and instructional quality: A resource-oriented approach

Objective: In their daily working life, teachers are faced with high demands, which can lead to stress at work. Strengthening personal and work-related resources, may help employees to withstand those stressful situations. The aim of this DFG-funded Project is to investigate the reciprocal relationships between professional knowledge, teacher efficacy, work engagement, and instructional quality among biology and mathematics teachers. By understanding processes that build work engagement and instructional quality, we aim to identify starting points for interventions that develop teachers’ work-related wellbeing and performance. In future, our goal is to conduct a follow-up study that builds teacher efficacy through an online intervention program, that can be easily integrated into the daily work lives of teachers.

Project head: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Sandra Nitz (Universität Koblenz Landau)

Project implementation: Elisa Lopper, M.Sc. (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Marvin Milius, M.Ed. (Universität Koblenz Landau)

Duration: 01.03.2018- 30.03.2022

Funding organization (grant number): Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; 385984253)


Job crafting – a possibility to maintain and optimize well-being and performance of employees in times of social distancing?

Objective: Never before so many employees have been forced to work from home. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, suddenly many organizations had to send their employees to home office. Working from home due to infection control presents great challenges for employees. Changing work circumstances, an unavailable workplace, and the lack of communication as well as social support can be perceived as job stressors. Additionally, childcare and the permanent dealing with the pandemic may be further sources of stress. In this research project, we aim to investigate whether these stressors have a negative impact on employee's well-being and performance. Furthermore, we will examine whether and how employees can meet these challenges with proactive behavior (i.e., job crafting) and how leaders can (virtually) support their employees in doing so. The research project is funded by the Berlin University Alliance.

Project head: Elisa Lopper, M.Sc., Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Dr. Jenny Wesche (Freie Universität Berlin)

Duration: 06.2020 - 12.2020

Funding organization (grant number): Berlin University Alliance (114_GC_Pandemie_44)



EngAGE: Development of an Online intervention fostering work design and recovery skills in self-designed working conditions

Objective: Our aim in this BMBF funded project is to investigate strain and resources of persons with individualized and self-organized working conditions in order to determine required skills. As a second step tools for effective corporate as well as individual competence management will be developed. Additionally, we are interested in sustainable protection of people’s ability to work, even after a long duration of employment. The department of Work Psychology at the Humboldt University in Berlin is responsible for the design of an online intervention which modules focus on the development of health literacy with respect to personal resources. Main focus concentrates on the development of recovery skills, strengthening professional self-efficacy and self-management through daily micro interventions.

Project head: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Prof. Dr. Jan Dettmers (Universität Hamburg), Prof. Dr. Monique Janneck (Fachhochschule Lübeck)

Project implementation: Dipl.-Psych. Elisa Clauß, Dipl.-Psych. Vivian Schachler (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Project partners: GITTA mbH & GEPRO mbH

Duration: 2014-2017

Funding organization (grant number): Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF; 01FK13028)



SENFIN: An intervention promoting resilience at work

Objective: This project aims at promoting resilience in municipal employees whose everyday work is becoming increasingly stressful. To provide municipal employees with sustainable strategies, we designed a three-week online intervention that teaches employees how to practice mindfulness, positive thinking, self-regulation, and relaxation. In addition, we provide their supervisors with tools to promote their own resilience and that of their subordinates. To ensure high quality and sustainability, we evaluated the intervention applying a quasiexperimental design at three points of measurement points. Taken together, the project focuses on supporting employees to cope with stressful situations at work in order to improve their well-being and health.

Project head: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe, Dipl.-Psych. Elisa Clauß (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Project implementation: Dipl.-Psych. Vivian Schachler (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Duration: 01.12.2014-31.12.2015

Funding organization: Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen



Objective: The use of emails, text messages, and newsfeeds for work and private purposes has dramatically increased in the last ten years. On the one hand this hinders working continuously on a task during work hours. On the other hand it impairs detaching from work in the eventing or during the week-end.  The Start-up Offtime has developed an Application which enables the user to better control his or her smartphone use. The project aims to investigate how using OFFTIME on a daily basis affects employees' well-being, recovery and work engagement.

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Hoppe (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Project team: Alexander Steinhart, Michael Dettbarn, Marc Scharfenberg (OFFTIME)

Duration: 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2014

Funding organization (grant number): EXIST (03EGSBE263)