RUB » Equal Opportunities Portal » Women in Science » Interview with Eva Belke

Prof. Dr Eva Belke

Short biography:
Eva Belke is doing research and teaches at RUB since 2009, her research area is simulative psycholinguistics.

Eva Belke

Interview with Eva Belke

You are professor at the School of Philology – what is your work about?

In my research, I am interested in how people succeed in transforming ideas in language. How they access her mental lexicon, find the correct words, have the correct words ready when they need to use them in a specific phrase. The same issues are important for comprehending language: how do we comprehend written and oral information? 

What is it you find most fascinating about your research area?

That I deal with language, something we process so naturally, although it is a highly complex procedure.

Were you planning an academic career while still being a student?

No. I was educated in a very practical job, as clinical linguist for speech therapy. But I chose the university instead of a logopedics-school. This gave me the option to decide otherwise after graduation. Not necessarily for an academic career, but for a more challenging profession.

What was your plan B? What would you have done if you hadn’t become a scientist?

I guess I would’ve become a speech therapist.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Hiking. Long hikes. Especially in Great Britain, the country’s landscape appeals to me.

You also worked at an English university. Why did you decide to pursue your academic career in Germany?

For private reasons, I also wanted to give a career in Germany a chance. My position is financed by “Eigene Stelle” and DFG-money, this is why I came back and gave it at try. If I cannot settle here long-term, I can still go abroad again. But it worked out and Bochum fits very well.

If you were rector today, what would you do?

An idea I ‘imported’ from England and one we have applied in our institute here and one that would be very good for the whole university is mentoring students. I experienced this as “progress review” abroad: every teacher supervises a small group of students from each year. In our instutute, we meet each group in the second semester for the first time and discuss how their studies are going. After this, they can always contact us whenever needed. One year before doing their B.A., we meet again and talk about the future and further university plans. The advantage: we always know where our students are, they do not simply disappear, and very often we can give them concrete help. We also experience them differently in a personal conversation than during a lecture.

If we were to fast-forward to ten years time – what would you wish to have succeeded in?

I have a few research ideas for my lab and my research group; innovative ideas I would like to establish within my research area – I would like to do this in the yrars to come. Next to this, I’m looking forward to see how the students who stayed in contact with the institute have developed.

1 July 2010