Letter from the Dean

Last changed: 21 April 2023
Helena Hansson

Opportunities in multi- and transdisciplinarity

Last autumn saw the start of the Interdisciplinary Academy (IDA). Two groups of researchers, with different academic backgrounds, successfully investigating two different themes using interdisciplinary approaches. All IDA participants have set aside one day a week to work on their chosen theme in peace and quiet. This has been a great opportunity for SLU to increase interdisciplinary cooperation, and I’m very happy to announce that IDA will continue next semester. We expect to announce the call this spring, and for the programme to start in autumn. As before, anyone at SLU can apply for IDA.

Working together, across traditional disciplinary borders, is a necessity. Not least because it’ll help us contribute knowledge for sustainable development. This is something I feel strongly about. We need holistic approaches; how wholes, systems and parts of systems relate to each other and interact. Multi- and interdisciplinarity are also needed to ensure quality and relevance by having experts from different fields working together and pooling their expertise.

Stepping out of your academic comfort zone and trying your research in a different setting can be quite a challenge. But also very rewarding. Discussing with researchers from other disciplines who curiously question theoretical assumptions that you take for granted, while at the same time allowing you to see your knowledge in a new context.

Sounds interesting? Then apply for IDA this spring!

/Helena Hansson, Vice Dean responible for development of multi- and interdisciplinary studies

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