Nordhausen University

The sub-project ELSA - Vulnerable Groups at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences focuses on the perspective of women* who may be confronted with special challenges cause by their life situation. The focus is put on migrated, refugee and/or illegalized women* or women* who have experienced violence in their partnership at the time of the unintended pregnancy. The objective of the study is to examine the individual resources and life situations of the unintentionally pregnant women. We want to give the women* a space to share their experiences and stories. Based on these personal experiences, gaps in care will be revealed and recommendations for the psychosocial and medical support system will be derived. This should contribute to a sustainable improvement of the care system.

For more information on the sub-project, please visit @elsa.nordhausen or


Prof. Dr. Petra J. Brzank


Petra J. Brzank, Dr. P.H., MPH, is a sociologist and doctor of health sciences, professor of sociology and social research methods at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences since 2016, and executive board member of the Institute of Social Medicine, Rehabilitation Sciences and Health Services Research at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences. Professional background: Research associate at the Institute for Health Sciences at the TU Berlin, where she conducted accompanying research for S.I.G.N.A.L., the first pilot project to improve the health care of women affected by violence at the Charité Berlin (2000 - 2007), as well as at the University of Applied Sciences Fulda (2007 - 2012), where she was a member of the working group on health protection in cases of interpersonal violence, doctoral thesis on the help-seeking behavior of women affected by violence, visiting researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the Gender Violence & Health Centre of Charlotte Watts (2012 - 2013). Co-founder of and collaborator in the Office for Refugee Medical Assistance Berlin (1995 - 2002). Her foci are violence and health, particularly among women, social determinants of health, and gender-sensitive research methods.

Aaron Korn (M.A.)

Research Associate

Aaron Korn, M. A. Sociology, has been employed at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences as a research assistant in the ELSA-VG subproject since October 2022. His thematic focus includes qualitative social research methods and intersectional gender research.

Alina Jung (M.A.)


Alina Jung, M.A. Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and MA Gender and International Law, joined the ELSA sub-project at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences as a research assistant in December 2021. Her research interests include gender-based violence from intersectional and feminist perspectives and reproductive justice.

Jelena Seeberg (M. A.)


Jelena Seeberg, M. A. Soziale Arbeit, ist seit 2020 an der Hochschule Nordhausen und seit 2018 an der HAWK Hildesheim in Forschung und Lehre tätig. Thematische Schwerpunkte Ihrer Arbeit sind Diversity, globale soziale Ungleichheit, Flucht und Migration, sowie Gewalt in Paarbeziehungen.

Martin Nowak

Research Associate

Martin Nowak, Diplom Sozialarbeiter/ Diplom Sozialpädagoge, M.A. in Praxisforschung in Soziale Arbeit und Pädagogik ist seit November 2023 im ELSA-VA Projekt beschäftigt. Er verfügt über langjährige Erfahrungen als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in Forschungs- und Entwicklungsprojekten sowie in der Lehre an unterschiedlichen Hochschulen in Deutschland. Seine Forschungsschwerpunkte liege in der Zivilgesellschafts- und Engagementforschung unter Verwendung qualitativ-rekonstruktiver Forschungsmethoden.

Mara Pfeifer

wissenschaftliche Assistentin

Mara Pfeifer, BA Soziale Arbeit und BA Kulturwissenschaften, studiert seit 2023 Soziologie im Master an der Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität in München. Im Projekt ELSA-VG ist sie als wissenschaftliche Assistentin mit dem Schwerpunkt Lebenslagen von Frauen mit Flucht- und Migrationsgeschichte tätig.

Hanna-Sophie Ulrich (M. A.)


Hanna-Sophie Ulrich, M. A. Sociology, has been employed at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences as a research assistant in the ELSA-VG sub-project since December 2020 and works as a university teacher. Her thematic focus includes, among other things, the psychosocial care of people with a history of flight and migration, taking into account gender-sensitive and intersectional perspectives.

Kristina Winter (M.A.)


Kristina Winter, M.A. Sociology, has been employed at Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences in the ELSA sub-project as a research assistant since December 2021. Her research interests include child/adolescent health and socialization as well as sexual health and violence.

Marie Laué

student assistant

Marie Laué has been studying Social Work (BA) at the HAWK, Hildesheim, since 2019. She supports the ELSA-VG sub-project Nordhausen since April 2021 as a research assistant with a focus on the life situations of women* who have a history of flight and migration.

Nele Schneider

student assistant

Nele Schneider is a Bachelorstudent of Cultural Studies at the University of Leipzig. In the project ELSA-VG, she works as a student assistant with the research focus "Women* in Partner Violent Relationships".