737411 Designing interdisciplinary projects in the sustainability science

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Smetschka, Barbara , Haas, Willi , Schmid, Martin
Offered in
Wintersemester 2022/23
Languages of instruction


In this seminar, interdisciplinary research challenges as experienced by the participants - possibly in their PhD-projects - will provide rewarding cases for learning. We will explore how to conduct satisfying interdisciplinary research with an understanding that interdisciplinarity is a non-trivial but often exciting task. Theoretical models, methodological tools and languages separate scientific disciplines. A sustainability science, which aims to address socially relevant issues, needs interdisciplinary research in order to cooperate on creating new knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. The quality of interdisciplinary communication is crucial. Only by reflecting on differences between disciplines, e.g. with the concept of "scientific communities” or “cultures", and by recognizing communication barriers, we can develop bridging concepts to overcome these divides and to make use of different perspectives and disciplinary strengths. If you are interested in receiving and giving peer-feedback, in reflecting on the broader scientific and societal embedding of your research, this is the right course for you.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

A deepened understanding regarding the following questions: How is my research embedded in society and academia? How does my research relate to social groups and conflicts, to scientific communities and debates? Cognitive knowledge on options and obstacles within interdisciplinary research.
o Guiding insight for PhD-projects and future research tasks and roles.
o Theories and models of communication, team building and evaluation, as well as examples of project management and presentation techniques in an interdisciplinary research context.
o Experience in interdisciplinary communication and designing an interdisciplinary project. From research idea, project design and team building, to presentation and evaluation of the research design, participants will experience interdisciplinary collaboration for themselves, reflect on these experiences, and test new approaches developed from them.
o The course is supported by a learning platform. Students will have the opportunity to use a virtual workspace for interdisciplinary project work. The strengths and weaknesses of virtual collaboration compared to face-to-face meetings will be elaborated.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.