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What supportive conditions are required for enhancing interdisciplinary research?

Kit Macleod, Katrin Prager, Mags Currie, Sue Morris and Bex Holmes


Case study based on DICE @ Hutton Aslin and Blackstock 2010


Research activities


Literature  Insights from different perspectives…no overarching theoretical framework for the study of interdisciplinary research and its effectiveness  Processes involved are widely recognised as different from disciplinary research  Social learning and knowledge exchange are highlighted in the literature as key aspects of interdisciplinary working  Institutional support for interdisciplinary research is needed


External stakeholder views  Good customer relations and client satisfaction

 Excellent research and communication  Their understanding of interdisciplinarity  Supportive conditions: personal attributes and mindset; communication; culture and working environment for interdisciplinary research; physical environment; training and skills; and funding.  Indicators


Selected findings from Hutton staff  Different understandings of interdisciplinary research: between executive, leaders, staff and externals  Awareness of both advantages and disadvantages  Robust insight and suggestions for supportive conditions  Research needed on indicators: how do we tell excellent interdisciplinary research is happening?


Hutton staff survey – findings (initial) Definitions of interdisciplinary research (n=77): 5% 16%

multi-

21%

transinter58%

Research that involves different disciplines working towards a number of goals under one thematic umbrella Research that integrates different disciplines, working towards a jointly set goal

Research that integrates different disciplines and non-academic participants, working towards a jointly set goal


Selected findings from Hutton staff  Different understandings of interdisciplinary research: between executive, leaders, staff and externals  Awareness of both advantages and disadvantages  Robust insight and suggestions for supportive conditions  Research needed on indicators: how do we tell excellent interdisciplinary research is happening?


Supportive conditions  Time

 Team building  Management systems  Physical spaces  Informal chats and seminars  Funders/funding

 Careers

Wait. The benefits from publishing ID papers will increase as their citation rate increases

Support from linemanagers and group leaders is essential to facilitate individuals to undertake ID research If we believe ID research is worth promoting, we can choose to measure excellence using other metrics that reflect investment in such work


Dr Kit Macleod, JHI ‘Support for enhancing interdisciplinary research’