Interdisciplinarity: Challenges

Partners interviewed at the start of the xDelia project were also aware of the potential challenges...

Cloud created by:

Gill Clough
22 January 2010

Partners interviewed at the start of the xDelia project were also aware of the potential challenges they would face:

  • Interdisciplinarity - this was seen as a challenge in that researchers from different, and sometimes traditionally antagonistic, methodological traditions would need to work together on a common goal. What are the key guidelines for supporting team-work in an interdisciplinary setting?
  • Communication - related to interdisciplinarity, it is important and sometimes difficult to ensure good communication between groups who not only come from different disciplines, but who also speak different languages and live in different countries. Good and regular communication is key. How can we make best use of the technology available to us to support good communication and collaboration whilst at the same time avoid overwhelming partners with an array of unfamiliar technologies?
  • Divergence from the project goal - with a diverse set of disciplines, there is a risk that the overall project goal may get superceded by individual institutional or personal aims. Can we guard against this?
  • Leading Edge Research Topic - also a strength of the project, the nature of the research topic presents challenges because there is so little pre-existing research to build on. Should we guard against being over-ambitious, or is the best tactic to push ourselves as far as we can?
  • Time - linked to the nature of the research project, time was seen as a challenge in two senses. 1. Three years may not be long enough to achieve all the aims of the project. 2. Three years may give rise to a false sense of security resulting in slow progress at the start of the project. Could a good participatory evaluation strategy help ensure that the project delivers?
  • EU - As a European-funded project, xDelia needs to conform to certain guidelines and standards. This may take time from the research. How can we factor this into our calculations?

Extra content

Embedded Content

Contribute

Gráinne Conole
5:06pm 22 January 2010


Great thanks for posting this Gill - good to see a succint summary of some of the things coming out of the X-Delia stakeholder interviews. In a project I did an evaluation of some years ago (called Pass-IT), which was very successful despite the very different mix of partners and agendas, a key thing to emerge in terms of success was the shared clear vision they all had - this acted a glue holding the project together and ensuring commonality.

Contribute to the discussion

Please log in to post a comment. Register here if you haven't signed up yet.