Improving pathways to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: first lessons from the Shape-ID project – Policy Brief
Authors: Bianca Vienni Baptista, Catherine Lyall, Jane Ohlmeyer, Jack Spaapen, Doireann Wallace and Christian Pohl
Work Package: 2
Published: 31 March 2020
Description: This policy brief presents key issues and challenges for fostering interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in Europe, focusing on the participation of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in such research. It provides concrete guidance to policy makers and funding organisations on how to tackle those issues and maximise the participation of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Policy Recommendations in Brief:
- Inter- and transdisciplinary research takes place for a wide range of reasons and with partners playing a variety of roles. To encourage greater AHSS participation in funding programmes, funders and policy makers need to engage more substantively with AHSS communities across the spectrum of disciplines and with IDR/TDR experts when defining, designing and evaluating IDR/TDR calls.
- Inter- and transdisciplinary research is often more time-consuming than mono-disciplinary research as researchers need to navigate disciplinary differences to align goals and approaches. Funding programmes should allow for additional resources to enable IDR/TDR development, for instance to fund additional meetings, facilitators within projects and time to build mutual understanding and trust.
- Inter- and transdisciplinary careers are still seen as risky for researchers. Policy makers should support and incentivise universities to build capacity in IDR and TDR by taking steps to de-risk inter- and transdisciplinary career paths and integrate IDR/TDR into education and training at an early stage.
- Uptake of knowledge and recommendations on inter- and transdisciplinary research does not appear to be widespread. A validated online toolkit of IDR/TDR methods, materials and best practice examples is urgently needed to provide a common point of reference for European stakeholders to facilitate the above recommendations. SHAPE-ID will produce a toolkit of this kind but investment will be needed by the European Commission to maintain and develop a sustainable resource for the research and policy community in the longer term.
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