Following our Open letter with recommendations on effective funding for inter- and transdisciplinary research, our association has joined forces with ScienceEurope, EUA and UNICA to again emphasised the vital importance of supporting inter- and transdisciplinary research.
Inter- and transdisciplinary research offers new insights into research priorities and brings more creativity into research collaborations. Science Europe, EUA, CESAER and UNICA believe that major challenges we face today require such an approach. It is urgent to ensure researchers are supported appropriately to facilitate collaboration beyond disciplinary boundaries.
Research performing organisations and universities can create integrative and diverse environments that foster inter- and trans-disciplinary research by enhancing mutual understanding, stimulating interaction between disciplines to break silos, encouraging researchers to share facilities, co-designing projects, creating opportunities for capacity building to acquire skills such as empathy and trust, putting in place support mechanisms and promoting and rewarding initiatives for monodisciplinary researchers to engage in inter- and trans-disciplinary research collaborations.
Universities and research performing organisation should promote inter- and trans-disciplinary learning and teaching by challenging students, teachers, and researchers to get out of their comfort zone, teaching them different perspectives and approaches, and developing more interdisciplinary courses. Similarly, research funding organisations should recognise the activities of researchers that support trans-disciplinary learning and offer funding for training to further enable such approaches.