source:What is needed to institutionalise transdisciplinarity? – Integration and Implementation Insights
What is needed to institutionalise transdisciplinarity?
August 3, 2021
By Gabriele Bammer
What are the indicators that transdisciplinarity has been institutionalised? How close is it? What still needs to be done to achieve institutionalisation?
Transdisciplinary teaching and research are becoming more common in universities and a range of research organisations. So how will we know that transdisciplinarity is an integral and accepted part of the research and higher education scene, nationally and internationally?
I suggest that there are two primary criteria:
- The expertise required to undertake transdisciplinary research is recognized and codified
- Acknowledged transdisciplinary experts are given an equal voice with established disciplines when research and higher education policy are made and when funding is allocated.
On these criteria, it is fair to say that transdisciplinarity is not even close to being institutionalised. As colleagues and I have suggested in How can expertise in research integration and implementation help tackle complex problems? we are only beginning to define the expertise that transdisciplinarians have. In addition, when transdisciplinarity is discussed at the research policy and higher education tables, it is rare for those involved to be acknowledged transdisciplinary experts. Similarly, acknowledged transdisciplinary experts are not yet routinely involved either in setting the policies of funding organisations or in reviewing relevant grants.
Nevertheless, there is growing acknowledgement of the importance of transdisciplinarity, along with funding for projects that tackle complex problems. Those interested in leveraging these advances to achieve institutionalization must:
Why are these actions necessary and how can they best be achieved?