Experiments in interdisciplinary capacity-building: The successes and challenges of large-scale interdisciplinary investments

Catherine Lyall, Isabel Fletcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research funding agencies in many countries support interdisciplinary collaboration in order to tackle the 'grand challenges' facing societies worldwide but there is uneven guidance as to its effective conduct. Different types of interdisciplinarity require different approaches and there is no single model for success. Moreover, 'problem-solving interdisciplinarity' often runs contrary to academic conventions, structures and norms which are still predominantly discipline-based. The stability offered by public investment over the longer term may offer advantages for the personal research and publication strategies of interdisciplinary researchers. Support for relationship building with a range of stakeholders through this type of research may also lead to a greater likelihood of research impact beyond the academy. The benefits of such experiments in research capacity-building can be both intellectually rewarding and confer added value to public investments by encouraging significant social and economic returns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalScience and Public Policy
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • capacity-building
  • research policy
  • SCIENCE
  • BARRIERS
  • PROGRAM

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