Initial Publication Date: April 13, 2015

Interdisciplinary Research & Teaching

Interdisciplinary research and teaching are growing trends in the sciences. The resources and references below describe some of the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary work. If you would like to suggest additional examples, resources, or references, please email Carol Ormand.

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Examples of Interdisciplinary Research & Teaching


Interdisciplinary Hiring, Tenure and Promotion: Guidance for Individuals and Institutions

This online resource presents the first comprehensive approach to the entire pre- and post-tenure experience of interdisciplinary scholars. It addresses issues faced by both faculty and research scientists, raising concerns for consideration and providing recommendations and examples. The resource is designed to help guide individuals, as well as institutions, in fostering and promoting interdisciplinary scholars, and to promote a dialogue about issues and options for different career stages.


Amey and Brown, 2004 : Breaking Out of the Box: Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Faculty Work

This book presents a discussion of concepts and definitions of interdisciplinarity and collaboration, and introduces a model of interdisciplinary collaboration. It also examines how the interdisciplinary collaboration model and concepts make sense in academic organizations and affect academic work. Individual chapters focus on organizational, cultural, cognitive, and leadership aspects of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Atkinson and Crowe, eds., 2006 : Interdisciplinary Research: Diverse Approaches in Science, Technology, Health and Society

Researchers from across disciplines introducing varying ideas on interdisciplinary research. Linking chapters present the contributions in an historical and theoretical context, identifying the themes between the approaches, and encouraging new thinking about old problems. Includes contributions from leading researchers across the quantitative-qualitative spectrum, from marine biology to spirituality.

Gewin, 2014 : Interdisciplinary research: Break out

This article describes the growth of interdisciplinary research and the challenges faced by interdisciplinary researchers in academia.

Haynes (ed.), 2002 : Innovations in Interdisciplinary Teaching

This collection is designed to assist both new and experienced faulty members who want to teach in interdisciplinary settings. It includes articles describing a variety of approaches to interdisciplinary teaching, including interdisciplinary teaching in non-traditional settings.

Lattuca, 2001 : Creating Interdisciplinarity: Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching among College and University Faculty

This book explores the meaning of interdisciplinarity via interviews with faculty who are engaged in its practice. The author moves away from previous definitions based on the degrees of integration across disciplines and instead focuses on the nature of the inquiry behind the work. She organizes her findings around the processes through which faculty pursue interdisciplinarity, the contexts (institutional, departmental, and disciplinary) in which faculty are working, and the ways in which those contexts relate to and affect the interdisciplinary work.

National Academies Press, 2004 : Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research

Interdisciplinary research can be impeded by policies on hiring, promotion, tenure, proposal review, and resource allocation that favor traditional disciplines. This report identifies steps that researchers, teachers, students, institutions, funding organizations, and disciplinary societies can take to more effectively conduct, facilitate, and evaluate interdisciplinary research programs and projects. Throughout the report key concepts are illustrated with case studies and results of the committee s surveys of individual researchers and university provosts.

Palmer, 2002 : Work at the Boundaries of Science: Information and the Interdisciplinary Research Process

This book examines how interdisciplinary scientists discover and exchange information and knowledge, highlighting how the boundaries between disciplines affect how information is used and how knowledge is constructed. It is written for scholars and practitioners with an interest in developing information systems and research environments to foster innovative scientific work.

Salter and Hearn, eds., 1997 : Outside the Lines: Issues in Interdisciplinary Research

This book explores the nature and practice of interdisciplinary research in Canada. Contributors address the ways in which interdisciplinarity is defined, positioned, and handled by researchers, universities, and critics, and examine such topics as "myths" of interdisciplinarity, postmodern critiques of interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and research grant allocation, women's studies, Canadian studies, environmental studies, and "emerging" disciplines.

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