Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research examines current interdisciplinary research efforts and recommends ways to stimulate and support such research.
Advances in science and engineering increasingly require the collaboration of scholars from various fields. This shift is driven by the need to address complex problems that cut across traditional disciplines, and the capacity of new technologies to both transform existing disciplines and generate new ones. At the same time, however, interdisciplinary research can be impeded by policies on hiring, promotion, tenure, proposal review, and resource allocation that favor traditional disciplines.
This report identifies steps that researchers, teachers, students, institutions, funding organizations, and disciplinary societies can take to more effectively conduct, facilitate, and evaluate interdisciplinary research programs and projects. Throughout the report key concepts are illustrated with case studies and results of the committee’s surveys of individual researchers and university provosts.
Table of Contents
|1 A Vision of Interdisciplinary Research||16-25|
|2 The Drivers of Interdisciplinary Research||26-40|
|3 Interdisciplinarity in Industrial and National Laboratories||41-60|
|4 The Academic Researcher and Interdisciplinary Research||61-83|
|5 How Academic Institutions Can Facilitate Interdisciplinary Research||84-113|
|6 How Funding Organizations Can Facilitate Interdisciplinary Research||114-136|
|7 The Role of Professional Societies||137-148|
|8 Evaluating Outcomes of Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching||149-170|
|9 Toward New Interdisciplinary Structures||171-187|
|10 Findings and Recommendations||188-206|
|Appendix A Biographical Information on Members and Staff of Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research||207-218|
|Appendix B Charge to the Committee||219-220|
|Appendix C Convocation Program and Speaker Biographies||221-248|
|Appendix D From Interdiscipline to Discipline||249-253|
|Appendix E Survey of Institutions and Individuals Conducting Interdisciplinary Research||254-280|
|Appendix F Committee Interviews with Administrators, Scholars, and Center Directors||281-286|
|Appendix G Focus Groups on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research||287-295|
|Appendix H Bibliography||296-306|
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