Dr Catherine Lyall, University of Edinburgh, with Dr Ann Bruce, Dr Laura Meagher and Dr Wendy Marsden.
This project took advantage of QUEST's position as a leading interdisciplinary programme to assess the practice of interdisciplinarity and provide guidance to current and future researchers, research leaders and research funders for the enhancement of interdisciplinary research into global-scale processes. The project studies the nature of "deep" interdisciplinarity; examining strategic and institutional aspects of interdisciplinarity (including barriers and enablers).
The main objectives of the project were:
- QUEST-oriented Objectives: to help the QUEST directorate and programme as it wraps up its activities in its final synthesis stage.
- Working in conjunction with QUEST core team to enhance QUEST's interdisciplinary performance
- Observing and evaluating QUEST's activities
- Delivering practical benefits to QUEST
- Insight-utilisation Objectives: to develop comparative studies in order to exploit insights from various sources:
- Engaging with comparable initiatives, such as RELU, Tyndall Centre's Climate Change Research Programme and the ESRC's the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)
- Considering structures, mechanisms and experiences of relevant international initiatives
- Learning (and disseminating) Objectives: in order to work with QUEST to promote organisational learning and generate benefits that are more broadly applicable across the long-term future of various UK efforts to tackle complex, multi- dimensional challenges in this sphere:
- Working in conjunction with QUEST core team to draw transferable lessons of relevance to the emerging programmes of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership
- Delivering guidance for future initiatives in a readily utilised form
- Advancing understanding of interdisciplinarity through a community-building event.