Interdisciplinarity and Research Creativity: New ways of generating impact


Interdisciplinarity is an increasingly relevant concept in science and innovation. Universities worldwide have started to install interdisciplinary centers during the last 15 years (Bio‐X at Stanford University). Interdisciplinary research has the potential to address ‘grand challenges’ that are gaining importance in current times of uncertainty and interdependence. Interdisciplinary research facilitates radical innovation due to its potential to link hitherto unconnected streams of knowledge. It shapes completely new scientific fields such as synthetic biology and neuroeconomics thus transforming the landscape of science.

Despite its positive impact, existing studies show that scientists who work in interdisciplinary fields find it harder to get funding, publish their results and pursue their career. It takes longer to get appointed as a professor. Recent research proves that highly ranked journals favor mono-disciplinary work. Consensual criteria to evaluate interdisciplinary research are not yet established.

This project addresses this gap between the epistemic practice and the structure of the German science system. It will analyze existing tensions and develop practical solutions to address the existing challenges between interdisciplinarity and the disciplinary order.

Project Management
07/2017 - 12/2018
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung