My Research Journey

In August 2016, I embarked on a research journey after being selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to serve as a German Chancellor Fellow. We called ourselves BUKAS and we went to Germany from the U.S., Brazil, Russia, India, and China with the shared goal of contributing to our academnic and professional communities through international collaboration.


Washington D.C.

Yay for interdisciplinary collaboration at the 2019 Law & Society Conference! I presented my paper, "Patient-Centered Medical Malpractice Reform: The (Absent) Role of U.S. Health Insurers in the Aftermath of Medical Errors and a German Model for Change."

You can view my presentation here.



The 12th Annual McGill Graduate Law Conference gave me an opportunity to introduce my dissertation project. My presentation was titled, "The Legal Reaction (or absence thereof) to Modern Error Prevention Science: A Duty to Manage Healthcare Risks in the U.S. and Germany." 



I joined doctoral students from around the world at the 2018 Rijeka Doctoral Conference where I presented my research titled, "Using the German Model to Improve the Reliability of
Medical Malpractice Litigation Outcomes in the United States." Get a glimpse of my thoughts on this topic in this video.



I had the pleasure of presenting my paper, "Are You My Doctor? Defining the physician-patient relationship in the age of e-health" at the Católica Graduate Legal Research Conference 2018 – “The Future of Health Law” - in October 2018. Check out my slideshow here.

A revised version of this paper has been published in the Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law.


Rainier and I gave the incoming BUKAs some advice about living and researching in Germany with kids!

Does this baby make me look tired?



It was awesome to present my paper, "Repurposing the Affirmative Defense of Comparative Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases in the United States to Improve Patient Safety" at the inaugural Younger Scholars’ Forum at the IACL‘s 20th Congress in Fukuoka. 

A revised version of my paper has been published in the Indiana Health Law Review.

Special thanks to DAAD for funding support for this conference!

Profile in International Researchers' Newsletter

Read Here


Meeting Angela Merkel

In July 2017, we had the honor of meeting the patroness of our fellowship, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. 



I had a great time at Cleveland at the 2018 Younger Comparativists Committee Global Conference, where I presented my paper, "Filling Voice Promotion Gaps in Healthcare through a Comparative Analysis of Error Reporting and Learning Systems and Open Communication and Disclosure Policies in the United States and Germany." 

A revised version of this paper has been published in the American Journal of Law and Medicine.

Special thanks to the Chair of Common Law at the University of Passau for funding support!

Open Letter to the BUKAS

Read Here


How the Alexander von Humboldt Annual Meeting inspired me to IMAGINE

There’s no doubt that the BUKAS are a talented group of people that I hold dear to my heart, but the foundation’s annual meeting revealed the true extent of the Alexander von Humboldt network. Researchers from literally every corner of the world and their families gathered in Berlin to celebrate knowledge, and it was truly fantastic. Read More

Interview for
Uni Passau
Campus Magazine

"Mindy Nunez Duffourc hails from New Orleans (USA). She studied Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and worked as a lawyer in Chicago and New Orleans."
Read More


During the month-long introductory seminar in Bonn and Berlin, we toured German business, civic, political, and social institutions, and we had a little fun too!

Find some photo highlights here


Poster Success

I’m not a scientist, so before this Humboldt experience, my poster presentation skills dated back to the mid-nineties when my Ancient Rome history project (accompanied by a sugar cube coliseum that was hastily devoured by ants) made it to the Louisiana state fair. Despite being out of practice, I managed to present my research today with a poster auf deutsch und ein bisschen englisch. Yep, that’s right; you would have to just take my word for it if I didn’t have this fantastic photographic proof. (If you listen hard enough you can hear the deutsch, right? right?)

Finishing Deutschkurs

Fischers Fritze fischt frische Fische; Frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritze

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Embarking on a Research Journey

The news came in Bonn following a three-day selection process and a dinner cruise on the Rhine. I returned to my hotel room to find an envelope. It contained a letter from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation inviting me to serve as a German Chancellor Research Fellow.

                                                                                                                   Read More


My way (a poem)

I began a trip
Stop CLT
Final Destination FRA, Germany

The scene in Charlotte:
15 minutes before my plane boards
I need to accomplish the following: obtain a boarding pass for my Frankfurt flight and pump breastmilk
Upon arrival at the desk, I'm told
Flight overbooked, no seat
I hurry to nearest restroom
Pull up my dress and sit on my presentation poster
To pump
While crying about the sold out flight
Before spilling breastmilk in my suitcase

I'm awarded with a window seat

In Frankfurt I spot
Two Russians
And one American
With posters
And we travel together to Bonn

At the hotel
I promptly blow a fuse
And deprive at least 7 other candidates of electricity
Right before
The big welcome
But luckily
The wall-mounted skin dryer was operational

So I arrive at the welcome
With well-dried hair

In the following days
Friendships are forged
But competition is fierce

I'm positively convinced
I'm a confident fraud
Amidst a circle
Of which I shouldn't be a part

I think of my grandfather in Germany
WWII all those years ago
He'd be proud

I think of my husband
The endless support
He is proud

I think of my son
Surely 5 lbs heavier by now
He's probably, well, hungry

After the interview
And the tour
And the boat ride
An envelope opened
I win

I'm a buka
A Humboldtian
A German Chancellor Fellow

And to think
I did all that
And may I say
Not in a shy way
Oh no
Oh no not me
I did it my way

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