Scientific Student Associations

Scientific Student Associations
Scientific Student Associations (TDK in Hungarian) represent a unique phenomenon of the Hungarian higher education.

The scientific student associations’ movement has been working in Hungary for more than 70 years. Its purpose is to give individual opportunity of research to interested students beyond the regular university classes. The different associations, each including students and mentoring teachers from the same area of interest, are all autonomous bodies within the framework of the higher education. The student members of the associations conduct individual research beyond their academic requirements, and they summarize their results and findings in an academic paper. These papers are evaluated by the different TDKs, and the ones of outstanding quality are nominated to the Scientific Student Associations’ Conference (OTDK in Hungarian) organized biannually. The OTDK is Hungary’s most significant scientific event; in 2021, for instance, thousands of papers were presented across the various sections.

The nominated papers are first evaluated by anonymous external experts, then students give a presentation based on their papers in front of a professional committee of the specific topic. The committee chooses the best papers, and ranks them. Many of the research papers are published officially, and in many cases, this is the first step of a student’s academic career. Most of the instructors at ELTE Faculty of Humanities took part in TDK activities in the past. There is nothing to lose with TDK, but there is much to win.

ELTE Faculty of Humanities is one of the most outstanding Hungarian institutions in charge of talent development. Students of the faculty nominate hundreds of research papers to every Scientific Student Associations’ Conference (OTDK), and they also achieve excellent results in their research fields. The results of the Humanities Section show that every other student ranked excellent studies at ELTE Faculty of Humanities.

The next conference is going to be held in spring 2023. The evaluation period for the ELTE Faculty of Humanities Scientific Student Associations’ papers will likely be in November-December 2022.

Scientific Student Associations work in every institute and at several departments of the Faculty of Humanities. More information is available on them at the faculty website or via email:

Applications are welcome from every interested student. We recommended starting the preparations in good time for the conference held in 2023.