Evaluation of IDR

E-1: IDR programs and projects should be evaluated in such a way that there is an appropriate balance between criteria characteristic of IDR, such as contributions to creation of an emerging field and whether they lead to practical answers to societal questions, and traditional disciplinary criteria, such as research excellence.

E-2: Interdisciplinary education and training programs should be evaluated according to criteria specifically relevant to interdisciplinary activities, such as number and mix of general student population participation and knowledge acquisition, in addition to the usual requirements of excellence in content and presentation.

E-3: Funding organizations should enhance their proposal-review mechanisms so as to ensure appropriate breadth and depth of expertise in the review of proposals for IDR, education, and training activities.

E-4: Comparative evaluations of research institutions, such as the National Academies’ assessment of doctoral programs and activities that rank university departments, should include the contributions of interdisciplinary activities that involve more than one department (even if it involves double-counting), as well as single-department contributions.

Academic Institutional Structure

U-1: Institutions should explore alternative administrative structures and business models that facilitate IDR across traditional organizational structures.

U-2: Allocations of resources from high-level administration to interdisciplinary units, to further their formation and continued operation, should be considered in addition to resource allocations of discipline-driven departments and colleges. Such allocations should be driven by the inherent intellectual values of the research and by the promise of IDR in addressing urgent societal problems.

U-3: Recruitment practices, from recruitment of graduate students to hiring of faculty members, should be revised to include recruitment across department and college lines.

U-4: The traditional practices and norms in hiring of faculty members and in making tenure decisions should be revised to take into account more fully the values inherent in IDR activities.

U-5: Continuing social science, humanities, and information-science-based studies of the complex social and intellectual processes that make for successful IDR are needed to deepen the understanding of these processes and to enhance the prospects for the creation and management of successful programs in specific fields and local institutions.

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