Prize papers 2017 – University of Copenhagen

Prize papers for 2017

At the Annual Commemoration Ceremony on 18 November 2016, the University announced the subjects of the prize papers for 2017.

The papers must be received by the dean´s office at the faculty in question by
12:00 noon on Monday, 15 January 2018.

The medals will be awarded at the Annual Commemoration Ceremony on
Friday, 16 November 2018.

Prize papers for 2017 by faculty:

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Paper 1:

Molecular Mechanisms in the Development of Resistance to Anti-Cancer Treatment

One of the major problems in the treatment of cancer patients is the development of resistance to treatment. Our knowledge about the molecular mechanisms, that form the basis of the development of resistance to anti-cancer drugs, is not sufficient but crucial in order to develop new medical modalities to circumvent the development of resistance.

A review of the known resistance mechanisms towards the most frequently used types of chemotherapy and a description of future applications of such information in the improvement of treatment of cancer patients is therefore necessary.

The prize paper must describe both clinical and experimental knowledge – either as a literature search or as a description of own investigations seen in the light of the literature available.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Jan Stenvang (

Paper 2:

Medical Cancer Prevention

The frequency of cancer diseases has been shown to be almost constantly on the rise with a doubling over the past 35 years. This increase in cancer incidences has taken place despite massive efforts within primary prevention. At the same time WHO predicts a further 50 % increase in cancer incidences over the next 12-15 years. Thus, there is a need for developing a new strategy within the area of prevention of cancer diseases. 

A review of the present knowledge about medical cancer prevention, including an assessment of the level of evidence available to the individual types of medical cancer prevention, is therefore necessary. Moreover, an evaluation of the practical and socio-economic possibilities of introducing medical cancer prevention in a country like Denmark is required.

The prize paper must include a description of both clinical and experimental knowledge – either as a literature search or as a description of own investigations seen in the light of the literature available.

Supervisor: Professor with special responsibilities Jose Moreira (

Paper 3:

Fetal cells and ovarian cancer

Pregnancy and childbirth reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, but the reason remains unknown. During pregnancy fetal cells traffic from the fetus to the pregnant woman, where they can persist lifelong.

An epidemiological study of a possible association between fetal cell persistence and risk of ovarian cancer is suggested. The study should preferably be based on biological samples from women, and appropriate register-based follow-up for ovarian cancer. Also, the study should apply and discuss alternative statistical approaches to modeling the association between fetal cell presence and ovarian cancer.

The prize paper must include a description of both clinical and experimental knowledge – either as a literature search or as a description of own investigations seen in the light of the literature available.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Mads Kamper-Jørgensen (

Paper 4:

Patient involvement in medical decisions

Medicines agencies, academia, pharmaceutical industries and patients groups seem to agree that patients should have increased influence on decisions regarding pharmaceutical products.

Decisions about pharmaceuticals have very different characteristics whether taken by a patient regarding a prescribed drug, by a pharmaceutical company regarding clinical trial design, or by agencies about regulatory guidelines. In the spectrum from individual to society - patients are expected to be involved in decisions.

By establishing a hierarchical structure representing patient involvement in the spectrum from individual to society using variables such as operational status, learnings and barriers - the successful prize paper will further advance studies in the field of patient involvement by considering the need for accessible and straightforward structure.

The prize paper must include the literature available as well as it must include information found directly at sources such as patient organizations, pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies.

Supervisor: Professor Marie Louise De Bruin (

Paper 5:

Can systemic thinking be an enrichment of public health work in dentistry?

Health education and health promotion can be based on a wide variety of concepts and approaches.

Based on the literature of the past 10 years an analysis of the extent to which and how systemic thinking might help to enrich and improve the work with health education and health promotion. This analysis should be supplemented with a description of some experiences with this approach from working with health education and health promotion in a selected target group.

The prize paper must include a description of both clinical and experimental knowledge – either as a literature search or as a description of own investigations seen in the light of the literature available

Supervisor: Head Dentist and Head of Studies Susanne Lempert (

Paper 6:

Use of fluoride toothpaste in the daily oral health care.
The majority of the adult Danish population brushes their teeth every day using fluoride toothpaste. In this essay a review of the oral health care habits of the Danish adult population is desired based on literature from the last decades.

Furthermore, this essay should be supplemented by a review of the evidences for the most efficient use of fluoride toothpaste in caries control in adulthood.

The prize paper must include a description of both clinical and experimental knowledge – either as a literature search or as a description of own investigations seen in the light of the literature available.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Kim Ekstrand (

Faculty of Humanities

Department of English, Germanic and Romance Studies

1. History in fiction – the representation of the Second World War in one or more Western national literatures.

2. What is the contribution of foreign language didactics in foreign language teaching? The answer must include an analysis of concrete cases, in which didactic theory enhances the pedagogical practices and yields better and faster results.

3. Populisms. An analysis of two or more populist movements in Europe after 1989.

Department of Arts and Cultural Studies

1. Uncertainty in big data archives from the perspective of archival theory and/or cultural theory, preferably with a focus on the analysis of aesthetic pieces (art, literature, film) or media phenomena (digital archives, social media or other digital platforms) that relate to this. The author will have the possibility of participating in seminars and workshop in connection with the research project Uncertain Archives,

2. What are the challenges posed by new media and technologies to contemporary theatre regarding the relationship between documentation and performance? The thesis may adopt an analytical focus on the connection between live and mediated formats on the level of performance, or engage in a more fundamental discussion of the conservation and documentation issues of contemporary theatre institutions. Finally, it could take the form of a theoretical discussion of the relationship between archive and performance, and how this relation is negotiated in contemporary re-mediations and re-enactments.

Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics

Gender Studies
Love in a gendered and affective perspective. How may new theories about love contribute to existing discussions within gender studies? The prize paper may involve analyses of selected empirical material and/or theoretical discussions.

Roots of Europe
An investigation of a selected subject relating to the segmentation of the Indo-European language family. The investigation may focus on either the language family as such, a particular dialect group or a single branch.

Danish Language/Danish as a Second Language
An investigation of the linguistic problems that may occur in interactions between representatives of the Danish judicial system and citizens with Danish as Second Language.


1. Analysis and discussion of participants‟ use of wearables in social interaction.

2. Analysis and discussion of ICT-mediated social practices in healthcare.

Royal School of Library and Information Science (RSLIS)

1. We suggest a critical analysis of new possibilities to communicate literature in traditional and novel spaces. Emphasis can be either on the physical space, the digital space or both.

2. An analysis of the internet group Anonymous is suggested – this analysis includes an investigation into the group‟s information behaviour and digital culture from a technology- and science of knowledge perspective.

3. Algorithms increasingly seem to decide and influence our digital behaviour. But as users and citizens in a digital society we also contribute to creating, activating and accordingly maintaining these algorithms. Both an account and analysis of how algortithms are integrated in our culture and society is suggested, due to their positions as technologies as well as actors.

4. An investigation is suggested into the the important challenges research infrastructure is facing due to digitization, and further into how information science research can optimize systems and digitalization processes in this respect. The investigation may take a specific domain as point of departure (e.g. physics, medicine or history) or investigate a general problem.

5. What will an appropriate bibliometric analysis of research production, quality and „impact‟ of the Humanities look like? The analysis can be an empirical study and/or a “state-of-the-art” review accounting for present research regarding the methodological and theoretical preconditions/challenges there are in developing humanities-oriented bibliometric.

Department of Media, Cognition and Communication

Communication and IT

An analysis of the interplay between face-to-face communication and the use of social media. The thesis can consist either in an empirical study, for example of the media uses and communicative practices of different age groups, or in a theoretical essay including a literature review.


“Public reason liberalism vs. liberal egalitarianism. How are we to understand the basic idea of “equality” underlying contemporary public reason liberalism as compared to classic rawlsian liberal egalitarianism, and what normative concerns are encapsulated in the two theoretical schools?"

Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies

Sociology of Religion

An analysis of the relation between religiosity and social coherence, based on freely chosen empirical studies of for instance themes of immigration or national themes.

Minority Studies

1. A rapprochement between theories of minority-majority relations and theories of emotional dynamics in asymmetrical power relations. Possibly related to one or several empirical case studies.

2. An examination and discussion of the introduction of the concept of hate crime in Denmark.


1. An analysis and discussion of social inequality in contemporary Greenland.

2 An analysis and discussion of the use of Greenlandic and „loan‟ metaphors in Greenlandic Literature.

History of Religion

1. An analysis of the construction of religious authority and argumentation in a specific historical or modern context illuminated with freely chosen empirical studies.

2. An analysis of the use of Buddhism by Friedrich Nietzsche and an examination of the dependence of this use on contemporary studies in the field of History of Religions of Buddha and Buddhism.

Arabic, Islam and Islam Studies

An analysis of the causes for the change of religion from Christianity to Islam in the Middle East from ca. 650 to ca. 1000 based on an analysis of contemporary sources and of the way these sources have been used in modern research.

The Saxo Institute

Ethnology: Migration

An ethnological analysis of the making of new communities in light of the recent migrant influx to Europe. The study can address new social movements, and/or new perceptions and practices of democracy, solidarity and identity. The analysis may include a cultural historical perspective.

Greek and Latin

Did Paganism Stand a Chance?

The religious situation in the Roman Empire at the time of the emperor Julian, as evidenced by the literary sources from the years 350-400 A.D.

Faculty of Law

Jurisprudence A: The prohibition of market manipulation
The prohibition of market manipulation has shown to be difficult to construe and the case law in recent years display convictions as well as acquittals making it difficult to ascertain a given understanding of the prohibition. The legal analysis required should aim to distinguish the prohibition from legitimate behaviour in certain instances, such as trading in own shares and trading using High Frequency Trading (HTF) technology. Among the issues that should be analysed are the subjective condition, the distinction between market manipulation and disclosure obligations, and any contradiction between the prohibition of market manipulation and the protection of free speech in Danish and European law.
Contact person: Professor, dr.jur. Jesper Lau Hansen

Jurisprudence B: Expert evidence in civil litigation
The ordinary procedure governing expert evidence in Danish civil litigation is different from similar procedures in several other legal systems and in other types of proceedings (including the more autonomous arbitration proceedings), and expert evidence gives rise to several theoretical and practical considerations. This is a call for a legal analysis of expert evidence in civil litigation, which shall include laws of comparable legal systems and comparable types of proceedings. The analysis shall address, inter alia, the object of expert evidence, legal considerations relevant for regulating expert evidence in civil litigation, and the judicial assessment of expert evidence.
Contact person: Associate Professor, LLM PhD, Clement Salung Petersen

Jurisprudence C: Freedom of religion and social norms
In recent years, the fact that (certain) religious groups have a vision of man and society and a conduct, which collide with classic Danish social norms, including those concerning democracy, freedom and human rights, has been the object of increased political focus. But to what extent do the provisions on freedom of religion in the Danish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights place limits on the freedom of the legislature to protect and enforce the (majority’s) social norms? This question may be dealt with in general terms, or one may take as a starting point a more limited topic, such as a) the access to limit freedom of speech for religious preachers, who seek to undermine democracy, b) a prohibition against religious clothing in the public space, or c) the duty to take special religious considerations in the organization and operation of public institutions. 
Contact person: Professor, LLM PhD, Jens Elo Rytter

Jurisprudence D: Mandatory Rules in Contract Law
To protect presumably weak contract parties’ legislation will often include mandatory rules according to which certain contractual terms are per se deprived of their legal effects. The legal consequences of such rules may, however, cause uncertainties. May they be invoked in all circumstances, including cases where parties are presumed to be able to take care of their own interests, e.g. via collective agreements? Is it, based upon the study of selected legislative areas, possible to define certain principles according to which mandatory rules are included in legislation, and with what legal effects? May a contract loose its binding force under the Danish doctrine of failed assumptions if parts of it lose validity because of a mandatory rule? And what policy principles should govern legislation within this whole area? The paper may seek inspiration to these questions in how other legal systems have dealt with them.
Contact person: Professor, LLD. Mads Bryde Andersen

Faculty of Science

Department of Chemistry

The use of mobile sensors for air pollution monitoring and research

The air quality in urban areas is a major concern in modern cities due to significant impacts of air pollution on public health, global environment, and worldwide economy. Recent studies reveal the importance of micro-level pollution information, including human personal exposure and acute exposure to air pollutants. A real-time system with high spatio-temporal resolution is essential because of the limited data availability and non-scalability of conventional air pollution monitoring systems. Currently, researchers focus on the concept of new mobile and cheap air pollution monitoring sensors that can be installed in large IT networks. This price essay should present own data – if possible - and discuss the limitations of the existing works and conclude the objectives that we want to achieve in future systems.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Political Science

An analysis is requested of the potential impact on how differences in voters' knowledge may affect their preferences with regard to the economic policy.

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Faculty of Theology

Section for Biblical Exegesis

Social exclusion and inclusion in texts related to ritual in the Bible, the Qur’an and/or associated literature.
Supervisors: Professor with special responsibilities Gitte Buch-Hansen, professor with special responsibilities Thomas Hoffmann or professor with special responsibilities Anne Katrine Gudme

Section for Church History

An analysis of the anthropology in one or more hymnal commentaries from the ancient church.
Supervisor: Professor with special responsibilities Mette Birkedal Bruun

Section for Systematic Theology

Conscience and selfunderstanding in Søren Kierkegaard and Hannah Arendt.
Supervisor: Professor with special responsibilities Claudia Welz­­­

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