discussion from that of barriers to one of suggestions and solutions. The data gathered from the focus groups were used to help the committee to develop findings and recommendations. It is important to keep in mind in reviewing these comments that this group is made up entirely of those interested in IDR.


The following discussion questions were provided to each moderator for discussion.

Training and Education

Should undergraduate students be encouraged to pursue an interdisciplinary degree? What policies can institutions adopt that would facilitate team teaching, curricular development, and cross-departmental course offerings? What programs and/or policies would be most effective at facilitating interdisciplinary training of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars?

Hiring and Employment

What can institutions do to facilitate hiring and review of interdisciplinary faculty? Are joint appointments a good idea? Are multi-departmental review panels effective? Should outside experts be appointed to review panels for interdisciplinary tenure candidates? What strategies can an interdisciplinary tenure-track researcher employ to enhance the review process? What can faculty and departments do to enhance the process?


What are effective criteria for evaluating interdisciplinary papers? Interdisciplinary researchers? Interdisciplinary programs? What can investigators, institutions, and funding agencies do to enhance the review/evaluation procedure? Does interdisciplinary research require different or additional criteria for evaluation than disciplinary research?

Establishing a Team

What programs and policies can institutions and funding agencies adopt to facilitate collaboration between disciplines? Are seed grants effective? Are meetings effective? What are the critical aspects of team formation?

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